Three years ago, an editor at The Miami Hurricane assigned me a story that was the polar opposite of my dire, novice experiences covering spilt Pepsi on the UC patio and critiquing filthy pizza restaurants. “I want you to go to __th and ___ ____, to a house that’s been having some righteous house parties,” he said out of his talentless mouth. “Whatever you do, do not join in on the festivities, you’re a journalist, remember that. These guys might soon be legends, yes, but they’re also complete losers.”
When some forgotten freshman blonde dropped me off, I was holding my pen and pad, habitually daring the sun to blind me. I sludged towards this dank little “cabin,” the never-mowed lawn rubbing against my “board shorts,” as hundreds of hidden beer cans folded under the infamous weight of my feet. The door was partially open, the college smell of Nag Champa was practically a stupid guard dog, and there sat Syah and the Hza, and sprawled out on the carpet, a kid later identified as d-zone – the three core members of a house party design firm called Cabin 5. Every passed out person in the zany living room (think Pee-wee Herman’s Playhouse versus the Waltons) had a blood red smile – 20-year old Jokers and Harley Quinns locked in fetal positions.
“You want a couple Jell-O shots?” the Hza asked, already stumbling to the fridge, ready to consume twice his share if I tell-tale declined.
“A couple?” I retorted.
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By the time Cabin 5 imploded from too much success and excess in January of 2002, they had thrown what are still thought by many students to be the largest house parties UM has ever seen. Even party-attending cynics acknowledged the creativity Cabin 5 added to the stale circuit. At one of the first bashes, “Friday the 31th,” C-5 affiliates sold cups wearing hockey masks, and booming hip hop anthems were hacked up by Jason’s Crystal Lake chant. The unanimous pinnacle was “Cabin 5’s Excellent Adventure,” in which one of six kegs occupied a dubiously obtained “phone booth,” while a strobe light and a tape recorder gave life to photocopies of Bill and Ted.
But the end was near.
“The money got to our heads. Even though we were making a killing, we still didn’t have the loot to hire someone to pick up the discarded Jell-O thingies in the backyard. There are no text books on house parties…whoa, wait a second,” says Syah, plugging in a lamp.
“You know, we didn’t have the drive any longer. To build a dynasty you need competitors, and it’s like, who did we have? The frats, I mean, the frats at UM can’t even have kegs,” the Hza exasperates, falling out of a La-Z-Boy.
“I remember going to a frat party my first year, and after I finally found a pony keg, and then after drinking from it like ‘whaaa,’ some guy rocking a shirt with John Belushi on it tells me, ‘Hey dawg, stop chugging our O’Douls,’ and I was like, ‘I’ll make sure to avoid your trannies and baking soda,’ laughs the Hza.
When Cabin 5 fell off the map, generic keggers thrived once again like close-ups of ant populations on the Discovery Channel. No one expected students off campus to dream up memorable themes, but bumping Nelly and Pearl Jam, leaving lights on harsh enough for scientists, and providing two kegs max (gee, college was sweet), is comparable to having sweatered grandparents hug you at the door. Meanwhile, the few UM spots playing choice hip hop have girls too busted for CB4 and the ones playing rock are “Leave It to Beaver’s Kids.”
The time was ripe for a Travolta.
“Oh shit,” d-zone smiles, “this is going to be ‘Heavyweights.'”
Situated around a circular table covered with elaborate blueprints and drugs, the members of Cabin 5 haven’t changed a bit – except for some cheesy facial hair. Their eyes are giddy slits and they’re still laughing bubbles into the milk of their cereal. A calendar nailed to the wall has a large red skull and crossbones on Saturday, February 8, when they attempt to do what Michael Jordan recently could not.
“Don’t knock on Mike bitch. Basically, there’s no theme to this party – we’ve outgrown that. We’re trying to hunt down every college clichE ever conceived: at least six kegs, 5,000 Jell-O shots, gorilla suits, dope lighting, fog machines, whatevs,” grunts Syah. “Everything but Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, they were busy.”
“Exactly. The main difference with this party is that Empirical Mile is playing and in my opinion they’re the sickest band ever to go to UM. This is almost like an introduction, and it’s going to be legendary; right now kids are Colonel Mustard and Professor Plum on them, but once they witness tomorrow night’s performance…things will never be the same,” the Hza explains.
The members seem confident that tomorrow’s “Cabin 5 Billion” will attract hoards of students, but concerns linger over the financial consequences begetting such a lavish event. All of the extensive planning, going that “extra inch,” takes quite a toll on Syah, the Hza, and d-zone’s bank accounts. They desired to make clear via this article in Life & Art that tomorrow’s event is absolutely not BYOB, and there will be a mandatory $5 cover (includes one cup).
“We want to see everyone out here enjoying themselves, but we cannot emphasize enough against bringing in outside beer and attempting to steal our kegs and taps. When people charge cover at parties, it’s usually unwarranted, but there was no other option,” pleads Syah.
“Can I say this one, can I say this one? Right now we still feel like we ain’t get what we want yet. When we get our props, when we really really get to where we gotta go, that’s when you know it’s on. Cause right about now, I ain’t braggin’ or nothing, but yo, the Cabin got something I know everyone wants, cause I know I’ve been waiting for it. We out for the gusto,” says the Hza.
For more info, Cabin 5 will have an instructional presentation tomorrow night.
Hunter Stephenson can be reached at HurricaneAccent@hotmail.com.