The Halloween party was going to be big. It didn't seem like it during the first hour. It began around nine o'clock that evening, Saturday, Oct 27th, 1979. Responsibilities had been doled out to everyone, and everything was ready. I was in charge of making the invitation, which was printed on a yellow 8½"x11" sheet of paper and posted all around campus. The enrollment that term was around 45,000 students and everyone was ready to see how many people 116 Burcham could hold. I was also in charge of the colored light bulbs that would be placed around the house in strategic locations. Red, for the stairway and above the front door, blue for the entrance room, yellow in the kitchen. The rest were placed in the other rooms, bathing the house in the proper Halloween atmosphere.
Terry was in charge of the sound. He let everyone in the house make a party cassette on his stereo, which was top-notch. He then set the system up in the closet off of the entrance room, under the stairway. The door had a lock on it, so Terry was in charge of changing the tapes. He ran speaker wire upstairs and down to the Litchi Room so the house was set up for music on all levels. Everyone figured that this was better than having albums lying around that anyone could fumble with. Terry took pride in his music collection and his sound system, so he oversaw the music for the night.
Les and Phil handled the beer. The tub in the downstairs bathroom, off of the kitchen, was filled with ice and the keg placed inside. Since there was always a line for the beer, those bathroom facilities were not in use for the party, at least for the women. If a guy could take a quick piss while filling up his glass with beer, another skill had been achieved while away at college. Otherwise, a line would form up the stairs under the glow of a red light to the bathroom on the second floor.
Mick and Marcus made their tapes and lined up the drugs. Red Dragon blotter acid was the drug of choice that evening. Everyone took their hit and dressed in costume. I was an exclamation point and Mick and Marcus were each dressed as The Grim Reaper. Terry dressed as Adolph Hitler. A group photo was taken, the acid started to kick in and a few people started to show up. The party was off to a slow start so at around nine thirty I decided to go up to the attic room to compose some poetry that I would perform later during the evening in the Litchi Room, accompanied by Mick on the conga.
The attic room was quiet. I sat down at the typewriter to think of what I would perform. The acid had kicked in by now and I was beginning to rush. Time stood still and the thoughts in my head were out of control. I hadn't yet typed a thing. After some time had elapsed a young couple wandered up into the attic. They weren't in costume, but were wide eyed as they entered the attic room oasis.
"Hi", said the guy. "Is this your room?"
"What?" I said, being brought back into the land of the living.
"Do you live here?" he asked again.
"Oh, yeah", I replied. "One of my roommates and I live up here."
"What a cool pad", said the guy's date. "Do you mind if we sit down?"
"No, not at all. Here, grab a seat." I indicated a couple of small wicker chairs in the party area. The guy and his date pulled them up to the roll top desk where I was seated, sat down, and pulled out a hash pipe.
"Do you get high?" asked the guy as he stared at me dressed as an exclamation point. The answer should have been obvious.
"Oh, yeah", I smiled. "As a matter of fact, I'm tripping right now".
"Really?", said the date. 'What's it like? I've never tripped before.
"What kind of stuff is it?", asked the guy.
"Red Dragon blotter."
The date was curious. Go away to college, learn about the higher levels of reading, writing, arithmetic and drugs.
"What's that?" she asked.
"It's LSD in liquid form dropped on small squares of paper with a Red Dragon printed on them." I explained. "Sometimes it's on a sugar cube, or small squares that look like a window pane, or in the form of a micro-dot pill, like Orange Sunshine."
"What are you doing?" Asked the guy, pointing to one of the cartoons that was on a drawing board next to the typewriter. He passed the freshly filled pipe to me.
"Oh, I'd like to be a cartoonist someday."
"Wow, that's neat." said the date.
Conversation meandered on like that for a while until I felt the need to see if the party had picked up yet. I didn't want to leave a strange couple alone in the room. It was kind of weird how they casually came up there when the party was two floors below and the door to the attic had been shut. The mind expands to all possibilities on mind expanding drugs - hence the name.
I wondered, "What brought you up here?" I didn't know if I had just thought it or said it out loud when the guy began to tell me that he and his date had come upstairs looking for the bathroom and saw the small door in the hallway, wondering what was behind it. They opened it, almost expecting to find a linen closet, but instead they were greeted by a carpeted stairway with a mummy on the landing. This prompted an investigation. Upon reaching the top they saw me, the exclamation point man. I was wearing white full piece thermal underwear, a black turtle neck underneath which filled in where the collar opened and covered all the skin. Black Danskin® briefs were worn over the underwear, and black socks, with deck shoes underneath to protect my feet. I had painted my face half black, half white, and was wearing a white fright wig that looked like Phyllis Diller's teased hair. The costume was completed by white garden gloves with exclamation points painted on them. Exclamation points also ran down the sleeves and the side of the legs, with one in the middle of the chest. Definitely an original outfit, and perfect for an acid trip. I suggested that we check out the party and so we all went down three flights of stairs to see how the evening was shaping up. I turned behind me on the stairs and the couple that I left the attic with were gone. I never saw them again. For all I knew they were figments of my imagination.
As I neared the bottom of the stairs by the front door, I looked out toward the living room and saw what was a pleasant surprise. The noise had gotten louder as I descended the stairs from the attic to the second floor and then down to the main level. I then saw what had to have been at least one hundred guests, packed wall to wall in the entrance room, living room and kitchen. More were filing in through the front door and there was a line up the stairs to the bathroom. The party was in full swing.
"Wow, this is great", I thought. It was now eleven o'clock. I had been up in the attic, tripping, for the past hour and a half and hadn't written a thing to perform. Such is the way of a good buzz.
YOU ARE READING
A Pie In Every EyeNon-Fiction
A. W. Ellison, A. K. A. Billius, was a Chef. This is the story of The Chefs...Campus Pie Assassins, as they pied professors during lectures in humungous lecture halls at Michigan State University from 1979 to 1981. The story covers how The Chefs ca...