Robert Frost: Lifelong crashing enthusiast
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: party-crashing totally rules,” said Robert Frost famously, also famously counting two hyphenated words as one word. Frost knew something that only a tragically tiny portion of the population ever finds out: there is scarcely a greater rush to be gleaned from life than to be somewhere you’re not supposed to be, pretending to be someone else, disposing with all superficiality around people you’ll never see again, and getting a shit ton of free stuff.
In honor of those reckless intrepid souls who seek the thrill of the crash, we’ve put together a checklist to last a lifetime.
Level 1: The Wedding
Crashing a wedding is merely a warm-up for the rest of this list; it is pure amateur hour frolics. At any wedding you’re faced with two families, usually coming together for the first time, with some at the fringes of the family or friend spectrum only a miniscule notch above being party crashers themselves. Go at the end of the main course, so you can pick up scraps while the dancing begins; upon dessert, the dance floor is yours. Unburdened by cake, you shall become the life of the party.
Level 2: The Fundraiser
At a good fundraiser a single table can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Or it might not. You never know until you go up to an empty chair and sit in it. If the security is tight, however, consider dressing as the help, then doing a disgracefully bad job at your fake job: simply idle and eat the prosciutto-wrapped artisan figs by the baker’s dozen until full or fired.
Level 3: The Academic Conference
Conference-crashing is getting a touch over-saturated nowadays, but it’s still perfectly possible to find a nice little academic conference at a nice little liberal arts college, where the amount and quality of food, particularly at the posher institutions, is typically in stark incongruity with the significance of the event. Crashing a conference on what the ancient Greeks may or may not have used for skin care? You’ll likely find a sprawling, decadent platter of Mediterranean delicacies. And you might learn something about skin care! Who knows.
Level 4: The Startup Launch Party
Not that crashing any party should ever elicit any sort of regret, but among all the parties on this checklist, you really, really can’t feel bad about crashing a startup launch party. Also needlessly decadent, these parties are often thrown before the hosting company has done much of anything at all, much less proved that is has a working product. They are taking a loan out on celebrating; they are begging to be crashed, and with as much impunity as can be mustered.
Level 5: The Bar/Bat-Mitzvah
The Bar/Bat-Mitzvah is when a party crasher becomes a man/woman. Because the Bar/Bat-Mitzvah is not as long or taxing as the wedding, two can easily be crashed during the course of one day—a daytime and a nighttime celebration. There’s also usually a decent amount of swag, so the dedicated crasher likely won’t have to buy t-shirts or kippot ever again.
Level 6: The Funeral
Funerals, obviously, are a whole other story. The logistics themselves are not so difficult: you show up at a cemetery—utterly grief-stricken under the sunglasses you’re wearing—then find a funeral and follow the procession to the food. Beautifully simple. The question is: are you prepared to dishonor the dead to score catering and wine, that, understandably, has probably had very little thought put into it? If the answer is yes, you are ready to move on to the boss of the game. You are ready to crash a boat party.
Level 7: The Party-Boat
Go the the harbor. Follow the music. Get on that boat. Sail into the night. Party boat crashing is our zenith of crashing, because unlike the others on this list it’s hard to remain completely anonymous on a boat for multiple days. You’ll have to invent an new persona for yourself, applicable only on the high seas. You’ll probably want to be a fellow boat owner, in which case you’ll have to name your boat, in which case a good formula for naming your boat is “ocean” or “sea” + a predatory bird + a Roman numeral. A slightly more genuine and foolproof method would simply be to swim out a ways and start flailing, so that someone has to pick you up. If there’s no party on the rescuing boat, simply jump overboard and try again!
If you can’t find any parties at first or get thrown in jail a few times, don’t get discouraged. It takes discipline. Party crashing is as much an art as poetry or ice dancing, and the rewards much greater. Here’s to the crash!