Oh the weather outside isn’t as frightful

Todd Weiser

And the free beer is so delightful

And since this e-mail tells me where to go

Let the beer flow! Let it flow! Let it flow!


Now that I’ve proven Jewish kids should never write
Christmas tunes, we can move onto more important matters —
like meteorology. While last year’s winter showed us snow
into early April, 2004 looks to be treating the Midwest a bit
kinder (cross your fingers). It’s true that Punxsutawney Phil
did see his shadow last month, thus declaring, in Groundhougese,
six more weeks of winter.

The assertion actually elicited boos from the Gobbler’s
Knob crowd. However, look outside … wait, no, walk outside.
The rodent was wrong, I say. Wrong!

University students can end their winter hibernation period.

Spring Break usually serves for most as a one-week respite from
sub-zero temperatures and layers upon layers of white powder only
to return to campus and immediately fall back into depression. This
year we’ve been granted early parole; extra layers of clothes
can be removed and the attractive and not so attractive can once
again make their presences known.

More importantly, with good weather comes the return of the
house party. A favorable sight on any northern campus (not
including Michigan’s North Campus of course), the return of
the house party means so much more here in Ann Arbor for, of all of
our traditions — winged helmets on the gridiron, Business
school rankings, Blimpy Burger burgers, not stepping on the
‘M’ — our greatest institution is undeniably free
beer cups at house parties.

Don’t get me wrong; it will be hard to leave the bars
behind after the winter we’ve all shared with them. Yet, I
will certainly not miss the Kenny Rogers send-off at Rick’s
or the long lines in freezing temperatures while my buzz slowly
fades and scores of sinners cut in ahead. There’s always Main
Street, but it’s just so far away.

But that’s all over now. With the mercury rising, your
e-mail inboxes should once again become flooded with party e-mails.
And believe it or not, there is an actual art to writing such a
piece of correspondence. Party priority will always go to the
closest habitation or the bestest of friends, but like a good
Joseph Conrad novella, the wording of a party e-mail can lure in
all the party moderates.

Before entering into such a venture as party e-mail writing, you
might first want to determine whether your abode will be a multiple
party thrower. If the answer is yes, or if you’re still an
underclassman, then go ahead and create yourself an e-mail group
through directory.umich.edu. It seems like a computer savvy step,
but just click “Bind” and then “Add.”
However, don’t take this step lightly, for like a good
hacker, your e-mail group moniker can lend you street cred and it
will be the name by which your legend will always be known.

Most play it safe with an address/party combo like
525walnutpartylist@umich.edu, but I say have fun with it. My
personal group takes its name from Quentin Tarantino’s
“Kill Bill.” Does anyone get it? Mostly not. But those
that do can lay claim to a house cup in the keg line.

Rule No. 1 is by far the most important, yet it is also the rule
I never personally follow: Keep the length short. A proficient word
count should be between 70 and 100. The best party e-mails
I’ve encountered run a little over 200. Seventy words lends
you the space for all the essentials — date, time, beer of
choice, address and roommates. The longer e-mails are where the
magic happens.

The second commandment of party e-mail composition says to never
underestimate the power of the subject line. Don’t be afraid
to let loose in the subject. It is dangerous to not use the word
“party,” but what is life without risk? My roomie has
moved on to subjects like “Come and Shake Your
Tailfeather,” and my personal favorite of my own doing is
“Win a Date with 1345 Geddes!” Side note: Never use
“Hey Ya!”

Rule No. 3 advocates you write in your best Karl Marx
authoritative tone. Don’t meekly announce a “party with
a couple cases of beer and good music and good conversation.”
No, you are having “the fiesta to end all fiestas with six
kegs of Honey Brown, a reggae band followed by a live DJ where you
are not only sure to get fucked up but possibly fucked as well.
Miss it and die.” Side note: Throwing in a little Spanish is
always fun and inviting.

The fourth statute commands of you to always announce
“loads and loads of jello shots.” Don’t worry if
you don’t actually make them. People never show up on time
for jello shots anyway.

You have now passed Party E-mails 101. Re-read your letter to
make sure you’ve followed all the rules, included the date
and address and also have not left any of your roommates’
names off the signature (I’m still sorry for that, Brandon).
You can only hope now that no one hits “Reply to All”
because a load of annoying mass replies can be the kryptonite to
your writing skills, turning your party population into one.


Todd will be happy to provide further tutoring to
young hopefuls seeking to learn the art of party e-mailing. Contact
him at


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