More than once recently have I started a blog post with the word apparently. Read this euphemistically to mean I had a vague idea what I wanted to write about but, knowing nothing about the subject, I had to resort to skim-reading some crap off the internet as my source material. In other words, if you look through my internet history you will find a lot of wikipedia. With that in mind let us proceed.
Apparently housewarming parties are named after a pre-central heating tradition of guests bringing gifts of fire-wood and fuel; literally warming the house – isn't that lovely. Nowadays the heat of a housewarming is generated by the overflow of hot drunken bodies pressed into a tiny kitchen jostling and fighting for position by the punch or doing shots when directed to by a pack of cards. The gas oven warms up Iceland's finest vol au vents, mini hot dogs and chicken dinosaurs, and all the guests secretly collaborate in an effort to fill the flat with aromatic methane gas.
One member of the team takes the lead and evacuates a warm alcoholic mixture of blue WKD and cocktail sausages (or blue curaçao and caper berries) all over the bathroom floor or the master bed. The two burliest housewarmers generate housewarming friction as they bash their masculine bodies together, walking though the motions of a fight as a pretence for touching one another. Someone puts on Beyonce's Single Ladies and all the married and long-term partnered ladies stumble their way through an improvised arrhythmic interpretation of the officially sanctioned dance.
The loudest members of the group take to the streets to inhale the fumes of burning paper, the American tobacco plant, and/or recreational cannabis. There they shout their opinions on religion, politics and the like, often proceeding their proclamations with I'm not racist but... By this point no one can distinguish fact from opinion and all of a sudden everyone is calling for a reintroduction of the death penalty and saying gay couples don't make fit parents. The thin walls and open windows of the neighbouring houses and flats are no match for the crowded rowdy drunkards debating the first thing that pops into their heads. Suddenly the police have to come issue a shut up order, which lasts all of twenty minutes until the next one.
The next day and memories of vomitus, rowdiness, belligerence and ignorance drip back into consciousness, warming the house and the reddening cheeks with embarrassment. That's if someone hasn't dropped a lit cigarette down the sofa (or left curling tongs plugged in on the carpet) and warmed the whole building down to the ground.
That's it: housewarming dealt with. See you tomorrow for nervous shame and embarrassed apology.