As loyal readers recall, “The Party Review” premiered on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 with the review of a child’s birthday party. (Not so loyal readers can read all about it here.) In addition to that child’s birthday, their family also hosts a yearly Halloween party, which I attended with my own child, who came dressed as a “nerd”: taped frame glasses, false overbite, bow tie, and mustache. I dressed in all black—a hoodie, yoga pants, and shoes—claiming to be a ninja. Given my lack of costume preparation and having forgotten to remove my black baseball cap, I had no good argument when a small child identified me as “The Dark.” Although, in retrospect, that seems a little racist. White people, please raise your kids better. Just kidding (maybe). Either way, for what it’s worth, no one can accuse me of appropriation for dressing as The Dark.

Your primed white guilt aside... the party was everything one could wish for in an upper middle class, Portland-style children’s Halloween party—including sushi treats and hummus, because that’s obviously what the kids long for on the holidays. The sushi treats came in salt-cured salmon, spicy tuna mayo, and, if you chose to really level up, teriyaki tofu varieties. To be clear, the teriyaki tofu was bomb. I brought a bag of chocolates, because I’m a motherfucking saint.

Wine, liquor, grown people punch, and a mason jar cocktail occupied the lion’s share of counter space. The punch, as explained to me by our generous host, contained vanilla vodka, some other alcohol, even more alcohol, and a bunch of ingredients no one cares about. It was delicious.

At some point in the party—as with any event chaperoned by middle-aged parents—a sad parent jam broke out in the basement. I played bass poorly over top of a halfhearted drumbeat, while a third parent impotently plinked away on a keyboard. As sad as the description makes it sound, it was still better than listening to toddlers attempt to make conversation. Speaking of which, what’s with the smell of phantom poop in any room of toddlers?

Once the peculiar essence of toddler became too much to handle, I headed back upstairs, where I was greeted by the soothing and melodious tones of screaming children on a YouTube Halloween mix. My basement ascent was also perfectly timed to catch a toddler as they were nearly out-maneuvered by the stairs. Given my cat-like reflexes used in the rescue, maybe I am a ninja (though probably just a parent).

The real selling point of the party was the psychic who read my stickers (yes, stickers) to reveal I would very likely gain or lose something at some future date. Mind. Equals. Blown. But what really earned this party 10 points out of 10 were two children slapping their butts in a performance of “The Butt Dance.”

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