Once a year, Pagliacci Pizza closes down its stores at 9:00 p.m. and rents out Sunset Bowl in Ballard for a holiday party. (FYI, when I'm not crashing your party, I'm delivering your pizza.) This year the party is punk themed, with prizes for best costumes and a karaoke competition. At first the old, crusty dudes who normally hang out at the bowling alley seem confused and stick out in the crowds of young pizza employees, but eventually they find the tables of deli trays and go to town on the free food. The drunker I get, the better I bowl, but I also become irritated with the unbearably not-punk music chosen by the DJ. "Man on the Moon"? "Roll to Me"? I find the owner of Pagliacci and proclaim, "If someone doesn't get a Fugazi CD in here in 10 minutes, I fucking quit."
So why am I talking about my company holiday party instead of a real party, you ask? I tried to go to a house show in the Central District the night before. Upon arriving, I found the tenants and, following protocol, asked if I could review their party for my column. Their answer: "Absolutely not." They have shows there fairly often and didn't want any attention whatsoever in the paper. They mentioned something about "Atlas," but I still don't see what that Battles song has to do with anything. They were nice enough about it, though, and as I walked out the door, they yelled from the kitchen, "Goodbye, Jeff! Don't be a Stranger!"
Want The Stranger to karaoke at your party? Then you need to have "She's Gone" by Hall and Oates on your machine. Also, e-mail the date, place, time, and party details to email@example.com.