Rules for My Cuddle Party

(Originally appeared on McSweeney’s, September 18 2007)

1. Please do not give birth in the hot tub. The only reason I say as much is because at my last cuddle party, a woman gave “natural” birth to a set of twins in the hot tub.

2. I’d appreciate it if you didn’t use my grandmother’s hand-knitted pillows as an impromptu sex swing. I only bring this up because at my last cuddle party, a man by the name of “Mr. Pump” (nickname?) used my grandmother’s knitted pillows as an impromptu sex swing.

3. I’m the “lifeguard.” That means I’m in charge. Whatever I say, goes. When I drop this ostrich feather, that means it’s officially time to begin. Also, if I tell you not to use my prescription psoriasis ointment as a sex lubricant, please don’t. I only say this because at my last cuddle party, a group of teens from the local high school found their way into my medicine cabinet, climbed on top of my kitchen table, and used my psoriasis ointment as a sex lubricant.

4. Please do not frighten any of the neighbors, especially the easily startled 89-year-old with the propensity for calling the authorities. I’m telling you this because at my last cuddle party, a group of recently released prisoners (none of whom I had previously met, and who had only learned about my cuddle party from a mysterious pamphlet stapled to a lamppost across from a methadone clinic) loudly popped their “freedom cherries” beneath the bedroom window of my neighbor, the easily startled 89-year-old with the propensity for calling the authorities.

5. I would love it if you did not urinate into my backyard air-conditioning compressor. I’m no Nostradamus, far from it, just an accountant, new to the area, whose only wish last weekend was to throw a cuddle party to meet some fantastic new friends and to create an alcohol- and drug-free environment where people could explore nonsexual touch and unlimited affection without being criticized. What I’m trying to say is that I’m definitely not the type of person who can somehow peek into the future and magically foresee that a middle-aged woman, wearing only panties depicting Bugs Bunny with a large gray erection, would (for whatever reason) show up at my house on a mini motorbike, quickly become drunk off homemade strawberry wine, and then urinate into my backyard air-conditioning compressor.

6. One last thing: Would you please refrain from taking an oatmeal bath in my guest bedroom, even if you do happen to have a rash on your genitals? I hesitate to even bring this up, but at my last cuddle party—before the state police, the local TV news, and a group of representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services all broke down my front door—a dishwasher on his lunch break from the Old Spaghetti Factory snuck into my kitchen, stole a container of oatmeal, and then took a long, medicated soak in my guest bedroom, which just so happens to not contain a bathroom or a bathtub.

7. Got it? Good! Actually, not good. Wonderful! Because with that “official business” now out of the way, let’s. Do. Some. Serious. Cuddlin’!!!!

Your official “cuddle-party lifeguard,”

Mike

P.S.—Oh, yes: please feel free to help yourself to the deli and
egg-salad spread.