A few years ago, we published our most popular post ever. Ironically, considering that we try to be at least a little bit high-brow and are proud of being elitist pigs, our most popular piece was a humorous story about parties written by our vampire columnist. It immediately went viral and everyone read it. Then, like all these things, everyone forgot about it. (even more ironically, our second-greatest hit was a depressing relationship piece written by a columnist calling herself Scarlett – argh, there goes our street cred).
We may be elitist, but we aren’t proud and we like clicks as much as the next blog, so we asked Baron H (famous as the main columnist of the now defunct Undead Smart Set) to do a follow up to that one. He hemmed and hawed that he’d gotten all the best parties in the first one, but when we pushed, he started saying things like “well, there was that one time in Mexico, but I really shouldn’t talk about that…” We told him he was going to talk about it or we’d call in the stakes and garlic brigade, and the results are below.
Greetings and Salutations,
It’s always a mystery to me why mortals get so exercised about parties. They’re entertaining, yes, and often instructive, but from what I’ve seen of the blowouts organized by humans, they’re not really all that special. Granted, there are some exceptions, but in general I’ve found that the undead have much better blowouts… Perhaps the fact that we’re permitted to eat the mortals present make our festivities inherently better.
Nevertheless, there were some good party eras in the past and it’s worth celebrating the ones I missed last time. Nothing too new, of course, because modern people have no idea what a good party looks like – not even in the seventies, when sex was a lot more free and easy than it is today.
5. The Re-consecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan
Now this was a good party to be undead at mainly because, for a glorious few days, the strict taboo on not killing the partygoers was lifted. Every male was expected to bring something to the party – specifically, every male was expected to bring a prisoner, captured in battle to sacrifice at the altar.
No one is quite sure what the final number of victims were. Sources have said that it might have been as high as eighty thousand killed over the course of four days. As a witness, I’d say that there certainly were a lot of them, although I’d be hard pressed to give an exact count. Why, you ask? Well, there are certain things that a gentleman doesn’t discuss… let’s just say that there were other things happening at the party apart from the sacrifices. It was good enough for fifth place on this list.
4. Kubla Khan’s Xanadu
I didn’t mention this last time because I wanted to spare Coleridge’s blushes. I told him all about the parties, how the great Khan would empty entire nations to have the right kind of food and drink for the table and the right shade of girls on hand for his soldiers. But then he went and got stoned out of his mind and forgot most of it.
I tried again, but the woman I told it to was either even more stoned than Coleridge or had a really low opinion of what her contemporaries could understand.
Either way, these were amazing parties with a seriously dark edge, but I’m done trying to explain them to humans.
3. Nero’s Domus Aurea
This is a gold dome near to my heart. Nero’s Rome was possibly unique in its tolerance of the undead. They were pretty much up for anything back then, and would happily invite anyone – and anything – out of the ordinary to join in. When you have accepted that infinite power corrupts infinitely, and have decided to enjoy that fact, it takes a lot of creativity to make you feel special again
At this place, every night felt special.
The amount of blood, wine, food and bodily fluids spilled at any of these parties could fill an ocean basin, and I suspect they probably tried. I shudder to think of the wasted blood.
2. Papal Conclave of 1644
One normally doesn’t think of the Catholic Church as a hedonistic and freewheeling institution. In fact, if one doesn’t know the right people, it might seem precisely the opposite (assuming one politely looks the other way on the subject of altar boys).
The reality is very different. Everyone knows that in earlier, less social-media-conscious centuries, the Vatican had a brothel for its priests. Also there were Medicis in there – those guys knew how to throw a party.
But that just scratches the surface. If you want to see what the Vatican is capable of, try to get invited to a conclave. Better yet, build yourself a time machine, or go around the earth really fast or get hit by lightning and go back in time to 1644 and get invited to that conclave.
While everyone in Rome was distracted by the fact that, oh, woe, the Pope was dead and also by the fact that someone had wisely ordered that the water from various fountains be replaced with wine, leaving the population drunk for days, the cardinals shut themselves in a huge palace with every courtesan in Italy. The wine also meant they didn’t realize that a lot of their wives were also missing, and so were a number of altar boys. Finally, I find it amazing that no one commented that the white smoke smelled decidedly funny.
The Cardinals themselves? They were having such a good time that not one of them threatened me with a crucifix during the whole party.
1. Indian Chandela Dynasty
Look, I know there have been good parties everywhere. But when they’re so good that you actually carve the images of them on temples and they’re still causing comment a thousand years later, then you were really on to something.
Such was the situation in India during the Chandela dynasty. As Mel Brooks used to say, “It’s good to be the King”, but it is even better to be the king of a civilization whose Pantheon includes a deity called Kama, essentially a god of sex. So you can spend the entire GDP of your people on a huge party, run through the entire supply of virgins of both genders in a few nights, and still say that you were observing a religious holiday. Bliss.
Today all the guides tell tourists that the temples are carved with all aspects of life and that sexual lust was one of the things of which one had to be purified before entering the sacred space – hence its prominent placement along some walls. It’s not hard to tell that that is purely PR spin and you should pay no attention to it whatsoever.
We know exactly what those temples are: they’re the 10th century equivalent of those Instagram pics of the party last weekend. The one that got a little out of control.
I know because I was there – being immortal has its perks!
Anyhow, this time I’m really out of parties worthy of including in future lists, but if you know of any coming up that might compare to these… well, just leave a comment and the owners of this blog will invite me.
Gustavo Bondoni’s latest novel is entitled Incursion. He assures us that, if you enjoy adventure and action by believable characters, you’ll like this one (of course, he’s the author, what else is he going to say?)