Not sure of the guest list for your next shindig? Make sure the old sergeant’s on it

It’s a case of deja vu all over again as the party patrol descends on Phil Brown’s place

Apr 08, 2024, updated Apr 08, 2024
Phil Brown has some advice for parents hosting their offspring's shindigs.

Phil Brown has some advice for parents hosting their offspring's shindigs.

My son has just moved into a new pad in Sydney. He’s sharing with three mates in trendy Newtown. He’s home for a few days and mentioned this and my wife asked him how many people were coming to the shindig.

“About 150,” he said and I looked mortified. I started having visions of the cops arriving and of the place being trashed which isn’t really fair.

Because I was channeling my own misspent youth on the Gold Coast when parties were, well, let’s just say lively.

I recall my own 18th. My parents went out for dinner expecting to come home and find twenty or thirty well behaved young folk having fun. But what they actually came home to was little short of a riot. The house was full of people, most of whom were not invited but had tenuous links to me or other people who were invited.

Just as my mum and dad came into the rumpus room, which really was a rumpus room on this occasion, they saw a body plummet into the pool. One of my friends had climbed onto the roof and dived into the pool from up there. Fair enough. He was okay although he disappeared soon after.

He was found, by the lady next door, face down in her flowerbed the next morning.

Anyway, a good time was had by all except my mum and dad and the party was the talk of Miami State High School the following week.

And that’s how we rolled back then on the Goldie when we were all young surfers, fit as fiddles but with little common sense.

Partying started to pall for me some time in my thirties. I guess it correlates with my abstinence from alcohol which began around 30 years ago.

Being sober at a party is handy for others, because you can drive them home but after an hour or two it gets boring.

So, I sometimes resent parties in the neighbourhood. When we lived in Spring Hill in the mid-1990s I recall a huge birthday bash in the house behind us. At about 2am, unable to sleep, I called the cops.

I got some grumpy old Sergeant who was reluctant to respond.

“What if someone is getting the snot beaten out of them in the city?” he said.

“Is someone getting the snot beaten out of them in the city?” I responded.

“No but that’s not the point,” he said.

“But I think that is the point,” I said, explaining that I was officially complaining and expected results. He slammed the phone down but the police did turn up around 3am and the hullabaloo subsided.

Funny thing is that I met the bloke whose birthday party it was some years later and we became friends and I don’t think I have ever let on that I was the one who called the cops that night. Still, I guess you know the party is a success when the constabulary arrives.



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