Wanaka, New Zealand: The 18th Birthday Party

Brent called me up one night and asked me if I would like to do a private security job with him. It seems a woman was throwing a birthday party for her daughter, and she had rented out a union hall for it. She wanted a couple security guys there to make sure only invitees were allowed in, and that the kids didn’t get into any trouble.

Eager to expand my security experience as well as my bank account, I agreed. It would be a cash job, probably lasting about 5 – 6 hours.

Brent picked me up from my hostel, though it was only a few minutes walk from the hall. During the drive over, he turned to me and said, “By the way, don’t know if I told you, but it’s a dress-up party. The theme is superheroes and villains.” Oh, you have to be kidding me.

We got there at approximately 7:30, when the parents had just finished setting things up and getting ready. We took a walk around the area to get acquainted with the layout, including entrances and exits. Fortunately there was only one way in, with the DJ booth blocking the back door. We were told that one of the girl’s friends would be at the door with a guest list and wristbands. We would just have to help her out and make sure the kids weren’t out of control or being too loud.

The birthday girl was dressed as Supergirl, and her friends ran the gamut from Batman to Duffman, to the obligatory pimps and hoes.

The job was really easy. Apart from the birthday girl, most of the kids were around 17 years old, and unlike the usual pub crowd, they listened to you. If they were being loud outside, one word from Brent or myself and they would shut up. If you wanted them to go inside or stop acting like a fool, they would immediately apologize profusely and do what you asked. It was great.

In fact, we were somewhat centers of attention ourselves. They would constantly come up to us and talk to us about being doormen. Of course, Brent told them I was a former astronaut, so many of the girls surrounded me and questioned me about space flight.

A couple rather amusing things happened during the party.

Of course, some girl ended up dancing with some guy that another girl liked, and the two got into one hell of an argument. The offending girl kept trying to smooth things over with the other one, except the latter seemed to just want to be left alone. Other friends got involved, and finally tears and screaming picked up. We got them to calm down, and at the least, head inside, but they just kept going at it. After a while, the argument seems to have died and we realized that the girls had disappeared. No one knew where they had gone, and for a while I assumed some were hiding inside and others had gone home.

I was doing a standard loop around the outside of the hall when I heard voices coming from the area well behind the hall. A caravan park was nearby, so at first I thought it was some campers who were up late. There were also some storage sheds back there, so I went with my instinct and walked back there. Sure enough, the girls had taken the fight to a dark, secluded corner, outside one of the sheds. Great. I called Brent to let him know what I was doing, and then proceeded to break up the fight. The girls were both screaming at each other and crying, and after what seemed like ages, I got them to break it up. The ‘victim’ girl went home and the others went back to the party.

The second incident involved who else, but Duffman. Duffman had done a great job with his costume, and I always chuckled when I saw him around the hall. But he soon disappeared and I found myself asking where he had run off to. Perhaps some Duff-related emergency.

Next to the hall was a small rugby pitch, separated by a low wire fence. Some of the kids had snuck over the fence and were hanging out on the dark lawn of the pitch, so Brent and I turned on the floodlights briefly to tell them to knock it off (I felt bad for one guy, he looked like he was stealing second when we caught him). Brent flicked the lights off, but not before I caught a glimpse of something in the middle of the field. “Hey, turn those back on real quick.” When the grass was bright again, I confirmed what I had seen: someone was passed out in the middle of the pitch. I hopped the fence and walked over. When I was close enough, I exclaimed to myself, “Hey, it’s Duffman!” He was on his side, with several cans missing off his Duff beer-belt. He started grumbling and rolled over when I was standing over him. “Duffman! I was wondering where you went. You alright man?” He made some kind of affirmative grunt. “You can’t pass out here Duffman, maybe it’s time to call it a night.” Rather angrily, he got up and walked away from me, across the pitch and on his way home.

There was one girl at the party whom you would probably classify as The Rebel. She didn’t seem like the cheerleader/popular/homecoming queen type, and was a rather shady character. We found out that she went into the bathroom at one point and, quite literally, tore a large hole in a closet door. It was a pretty solid wooden door to, and she absolutely destroyed it. And it was completely unprovoked, it’s not like she was unleashing some of that some-hussy-was-dancing-with-my-man rage. We had a chat with the chaperones who confronted her about it.

All the partyers were so blitzed that we finally recommended to the parents that they cut off the alcohol. At the end of the night we made sure all the kids had some way of getting home, and then we helped straighten up the hall before leaving. We got our money, thanked the parents, and went home.

To this day Brent and I will often reminisce about that night and how easy it was. No aggressive rugby players or crazy women, no arguments when we laid down the law, no backtalk. It was easy (and good) money, and it was kinda fun too.



  1. i am 100% certain that the only reason that you got all those security and doorman jobs was because everyone thought you were black (good thing they never asked you to dance or dunk,. because i’m fairly sure that half the girls there outweigh your now skinny ass.

  2. You’re probably right:

    Once, a friend of mine who is also a bartender at Shooters was talking to me about Shooters’ weekly Karaoke night. I was telling her that I was terrible at both singing and dancing, and she replied, “Oh come on, you’re black, I bet you have such a good voice and you’re sooo good at dancing.” By the time I regained my ability to speak, she followed that with, “And I also bet you can run really fast too.”

    I told her that I was better at basketball than anyone else and if it wasn’t for my bad back I would totally prove it to her. Then the cops came in, beat me down, called for backup and sprinkled some crack on my body.

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