Pad Parties: The Guide to Ultra-Entertaining
Chronicle Books, Matt Maranian. Chronicle Books, $22.95 (160pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-3785-9
Beneath the wacky, kitschy veneer of designer, vintage-clothes hawker and style writer Maranian's latest book (he also authored Pad, a book about funky interior design), lies the heart of a conscientious host and dutiful party planner. Among his hints for the aspiring reveler, which include napkins printed with erotic personal ads and a stash box made out of a book, is a four-day prep schedule for the week leading up to the event, including such un-outrageous tasks as guest confirmation, grocery shopping and house cleaning. Other suggestions for swinging, fun-loving times include ambient video programming (running classic television commercials, Liberace videos and sexploitation or blaxploitation flicks in the ""Optic Hors d'Oeuvres Tray""); an array of party foods, from Black Olive and Herb Turkey Balls to Crab Cups with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce; and, of course, drinks: party punches like the Pink Chihuahua (""use a good quality tequila and your guests will swear that you laced this punch with PCP"") and Circus Freak (""more fun than a contortionist""). Overall, the events Maranian seems to favor are laddish affairs, with vintage decorations, gimmicky food and libations, and a guest list of Betty Page lookalikes. With good-natured prodding and a connoisseur's touch, this glitzy, self-consciously hip little book should push the Hawaiian-shirt-and-goatee crowd to new levels of socializing.
Reviewed on: 06/01/2003