What makes Patrick's Samedi Gras party unique when compared to the average costumed Mardi Gras house party (outside of, say, New Orleans) is the spontaneous entertainment in the front yard: Hula-hooping and fire dancing. A neighbor drops by to complain about fire safety violations. Anita the fire dancer assures her that it's okay: "It's safety-approved fake fire," she says. The neighbor, getting nowhere, leaves and the fire show resumes. Being slightly tipsy is the way to go when you're watching fire dancing—you're still aware that fire is dangerous, and you occasionally wonder if you're standing too close, but you're too mesmerized by the swooping flames to bother doing anything about it.
There are enough pasties and masks left over from Patrick's preparty stitch 'n' bitch last weekend to go around. So whether you show up in your street clothes or in full-on Harlequin costume, Patrick has something to add to your outfit. However, I quickly learn that bacchanalian irreverence only goes so far: While many women wore shirts that strategically showed off the aforementioned pasties, that does not mean they want their picture taken for this column.
In his living room, Patrick has constructed what translates into nontech-speak as a bitchin' light system. The most impressive thing about the setup, though, is that he worked in a warehouse for 16 hours as trade for it. "The barter system works," Patrick says. "[It's] based on reputation... I want to build an entire empire without money." Good luck with that, Patrick.
Do you want The Stranger to try Hula-hooping in the rain at your next house party? E-mail the date, time, and party details to firstname.lastname@example.org.