Back when I was a lowly graduate student, I made an occasional hobby out of
writing outlandish invitations for upcoming parties. Many of these failed to
survive the The Great Hard Drive Crash and e-mail Backup Failure of 1999, which
is probably just as well. Of those that did survive, however, this was
one of my favorites:
Date: Tue, 6 May 1997 13:27:11 -0500 (EST)
From: Jeremy Freese <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: [recipients deleted]
Subject: A man, a plan, a canal... PARTY AT NAZAN'S!!!
Really massive party THIS FRIDAY NIGHT at Nazan's, 9pm. Bring
Her address is 113 Gentry Avenue, Apt #2, which is half a block
due south of the Irish Lion, behind Bank One. Much fun will be had
all, so please come.
I have to warn you, though, the party has an unusual theme. I mean,
could be a going away celebration for Nazan's roommate Jim, a friend of
many of us in the department. It could be to mourn the possibly
departure of Nazan herself. It could be to welcome Erin Maher back
Bloomington, or to congratulate those who are receiving their Ph.D's.
the party could just be to bask in the end of the academic year and the
joy of impending summer. Any of these would be a good reason to throw
big party, but aren't *the* reason.
Instead, Nazan wants to have a party in recognition of the fact that the
name "Nazan" spelled backwards is also, amazingly enough, "Nazan".
party in celebration of words like "kayak" and "race car",
like "No, it is open on one position". A party where she can
come out to
the world for what she is, a hopeless and incurable cilohaholic, someone
desperately addicted to PALINDROMES, you know, things spelled the same
way frontwards and backwards.
Yes, really, a palindrome party. Obscure, peculiar, exotic, but
And so, if you have ever been to a French-Lebanese restaurant and ordered
"Le Falafel"; if you've seen Sharon drive by in her red Camry
observed "A Toyota"; if you flunked out of gym class because you
do a "pull-up"; if you've taken to calling one of your socially
professors "Dr. Awkward"; if you've seen Dave in one of his
yellow outfits and wanted to shout, "Yo! Banana boy!"; if you've
any of your academic career at IUPUI; if you keep candy stashed in a
secret "reward drawer"; if you've watched the Cosby Show and noticed
"Lisa Bonet ate no basil"; if you had to quit going to the
lunchtime brownbag because "sex at noon taxes"; if you've been
to Xanax or PCP; if you've looked into a dark corner of the ISR and
wondered, "Was it a rat I saw?"; if you've been in the produce
at Kroger and whined about there being "no lemons, no melon"; if
tried to start a conversation with a fourteenth-year graduate student by
saying "Here so long? No loser, eh?"; if you saw Jesse Jackson
McGovern host Saturday Night Live and gushed "Star comedy by
if you've tried to entice a partner into insurrection by yelling
lover!"; if you've run out of a Variations in Human Sexuality lecture
with the cry, "Egad! No bondage!"; if you've seen ex-VP-Quayle in a
mood and noted "Poor Dan is in a droop"; if you've been to Oklahoma
discovered "Tulsa nightlife: filth, gin, a slut"; if you've
gorged yourself at Fazoli's and had to shout "Go hang a salami! I'm
lasagna hog!"; if you've thought your life was going to be ruined by
"Stats! Stats! Stats!"; or if you've ever gotten sloshed on your
$3 green wine and muttered "Goddamn Mad Dog", then this, my friends,
the party for ewe (and eye)!
Nazan will be there. Bob will be there. Anna will be returning for it.
Elle MacPherson, Lil' Abner, Otto Van Bismarck, the guy who played Radar
O'Reilly, and (oh no!) Don Ho are rumored celebrity guests. Possibly:
Oprah & Harpo, Aidan & Nadia (in an unholy pairing of B-movie
with Romanian gymnastics), Gladys Knight and at least one Pip. Also:
senile felines, somebody's Mom and Dad (and Sis?). Music: Plan no damn
Madonna LP, but probably plenty of Abba, NIN, A-ha.
Obviously, 7/9/97 would be a better day for this party, but because Jim
is leaving, we can't wait that long. Festivities will begin at
and will probably last until NOON the next day. Please BYOYB (Bring
Own Yeasty Beverage), or else bring some pop.
So come see Nazan and Jim's apartment and say "Wow!"; come celebrate
end of the semester and shout "Yay!"; come bring some delicious food
we can go "Mmm!"; or just come to cheer and laugh: "Rah, rah! Har,
But whatever you do, don't miss it, because a party like this only comes
around once every noillion years. Or maybe just every six years,
as Prince might say, Friday night we're gonna party like it's 1991.