Be conveniently located or don’t even bother.
Travel time is for chumps, so an invitation to a pre-party that is more than a 15 minute drive from your night out isn’t really an invitation at all - and should be treated with contempt. Play this one by ear, but questions you might ask yourself when deciding if this pre-party is geographically worth your while might include: “have I heard of this suburb?” “is it on a train line?” and “if I were to wake up here after a night out with no money, no shoes and gum in my hair, exactly how brutal would my walk of shame home be?”
Snack like a bandit, but don’t dine.
Snacking is important to line the stomach before you (evil super villain voice) DEEEESSSTTRRRROOOOY IIIITTTT! Good options include Doritos (obvs), a small handful of m&ms (peanut only, for the protein), gourmet breads and a diverse selection of pretentiously healthy dips or SMALL portions of pizza or pasta. There should be absolutely no food that can’t be eaten whilst standing with a drink in one hand, and anything larger than a small snack portion will weigh you down in mind, soul and body and mos def result in going home to watch netflix instead of going out - and I don’t even mean netflix and chill. Finally, for the love of reflux, remember The Great Noodle Return of 2008 and chew your food.
Choose your accomplices wisely
Obviously a select group of awesome-sorts is essential (about 6 is ideal), but note that you’ll absolutely need someone punctual. They can either be anxious-and-meek or relaxed-and—charismatically-commanding, but they must be punctual. The anxious one will constantly remind you of the time, but you can totally ignore them until the last minute because they are pushovers; something akin to hitting snooze 8 times on an alarm that isn’t quite loud enough. The commanding one will not say it’s time to go until it really is time to go, but they’ll say it with such authority you’ll follow them anywhere because it just won’t be a party without them. Outside of that, you want close friends, with room for one new face (only one!) if they’ve been vetted by someone you trust. One new face can bring some fresh social zest to the proceedings but two? You might as well be out already. This is your safe zone, and there must be no judgement. Because…
Crank the tunes. 80s and 90s or bust.
Your pre party is not the time to show off your top drawer music knowledge; save the forward thinking pano-bar jams for the afters. What you need is heart stirring, fist pumping gee-up cheese wads of sound - and you need it now. Start with the ‘80s for mood lifting inspirational karaoke and air guitar tunes then move into the ‘90s for neck popping, cargo pant dropping dancing vibes. And, when it’s time to leave, always play 'The Final Countdown' to get your team on the move with style.
Drink with great fanfare.
You’re (probably) not 18 anymore and your habits of pre-loading yourself into oblivion are in some, teeny, tiny, dare-we-even-acknowledge-it way responsible for the Lock Out Law blanket of over-regulated drudgery Sydney night culture finds itself tucked under. So don’t smash down the spirits like the world’s about to end - all you need to do is make sure one of you is drunk enough to leave wearing PJs or a novelty animal hat. Instead of reckless boozing, why not set up an elaborate home-made cocktail station so that half the fun is in making your drink and then throwing those little umbrella-spears directly into the eyes of your peers? Why the hell not eh?
Sacrifice One for the good of All.
Your pre-party can set the tone for the rest of the entire night, so it’s crucial you get your laughs in early. The fastest and easiest way to do this is to sacrifice one of your party in the name of humour. Indulge in the heady rush of group bullying as you make this person and all their faults the butt of every joke of the evening. Be ruthless, and unmerciful in your attack and remember always to work as a pack. In addition to your top notch bully-banter, make sure you convince them to get changed at least four times only to end up back at the same outfit they started with. Once the final call is made to roll out of the house, glitterbomb them.
Give the responsible person all your things
Make sure this is not the same person you sacrificed.
If it is your house: Leave yourself a surprise.
A snack, a pint of water and a friendly welcome home note (eg: “you’re the best!” or “so this is what your life has amounted to then? Slow clap my friend, slow clap”) should do the trick. Maybe even download yourself some Game of Thrones to pass out to whilst you finish off those Doritos in bed.
If it isn’t your house: Apply a scorched earth policy and sabotage the venue.
DONT clean up. By this time you are definitely at least a little late and there is no time for dealing with problems that don’t have to be yours in the morning. That’s sober thinking and it’s not for you. DO take the television remote control with you and leave it in your host’s post box. DO put plastic spiders at the bottom of your host’s bed underneath the covers so they get in bed drunk and think they are real spiders. If you don’t carry a cache of plastic spiders on you, you can also use hair clips, but i think it’s about time you re-assessed your handbag priorities.
If your host mentions something about downloading Game of Thrones to pass out to, make sure the episode queued up is RED WEDDING.
Bring a thoughtful present for your Uber driver, because there is definitely no other way you’re getting 5 stars…
…and finally - always, always take one for the road.
If you found this manual helpful, you might also like to brush up on How To Recreate A Kings Cross Bender At Your House Party, What To Do If Your Party Is A Horrific Failureor How To Have The Best Night Of All Time As The Deso Driver.