FROM THE STREET (Astronauts vs. Aquanauts)

Vitale Studios was the perfect site for the launch party. The warehouse was durable enough to withstand the ongoing squirt gun battle, which also included bubble guns and a giant purple bubble wand, as well as hip enough to entice people to dance. The bar was stocked with four kegs, several cases of wine, and margaritas by Blue Head Tequila — all of which were free. Japanese lanterns hung from the ceiling like planets while hyper-colored LED lights glowed on the walls to make the space and sea travelers feel at home.

A space captain at one point cautioned me about the tendency of the Moonbounce — an inflatable, undersea-themed jump-around — to teeter when overloaded with partiers.

"Everyone in the Moonbounce," I yelled. "We're going to tip it over!"

Once inside, it was like being in a padded room overloaded with drunken lunatics. Bodies flew around the space like jumping beans, bouncing off the inflatable walls and getting stuck in the netting. It was impossible to get hurt, or at least there were no injuries that a few swigs of alcohol couldn't fix. We were like children flying into each other and falling down, albeit hyperactive kids who'd had a few too many sips from their parents' beer.

All the jumping made me sweat, so I stripped down to my handcrafted, rhinestone encrusted Speedo. I've never had so many people flash pictures of my crotch — well, maybe I have (long, re-occurring story). With the aid of DJ MEGA, the astronauts and aquanauts kept partying well past the 2 a.m. mark. As the old saying goes, it wasn't over until the fat lady sang or, in our case, until the three-boobed lady-man prostitute from Total Recall, stripped out of his dress and wig, kicked over a line of beers, and the inflatable Moonbounce finally came down.

So here I sit in my efficiency wondering what to do with the leftovers from the party. I could try to pack it all away and save it until next year, or I could just call all my friends and throw myself another birthday party tonight. I could even pretend to be surprised.

E-mail Alfie at [email protected]

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This weeks photos by Krista Shay

Two tapped kegs float in my bathtub, a three-boobed alien blow-up doll slowly deflates on the floor of my efficiency, enough squirt guns to terrorize a soccer team are piled in my dish rack, half of a birthday cake is melting to my stove, a space princess stripped to her silver skirt and furry moonboots is blanketed in my hand-bedazzled flight-suit, and no matter how hard I scrub, I keep finding flecks of glitter on me. These are the spoils one accrues after hosting a party for a hundred astronauts and aquanauts.


Secretly, I've always wanted a surprise party. I've spent most of my birthdays hoping to walk into a room full of lovely women yelling surprise, someone to crown me with a tiara so everyone knows it's my day and enough beer to sink a ship. I've spent just as many years being disappointed. The only time I'll ever have a surprise party is when I'm old and too senile to remember it's my birthday. Lesson learned: If you want to have a kick-ass birthday party, you have to throw it yourself.

So that's what I did. I was overwhelmed by all the prominent space and sea adventurers who showed up: Dr. Spock, Poseidon, Kuato from Total Recall, a crew of pirates, a parrot fish, a clown fish, an intergalactic hitchhiker, a merman with a starfish bra, a space cowboy and more space sluts than you'll find at an interstellar truck-stop. Those who were too cool to dress up had the option of buying uniforms printed by Blue Lucy which read, "Team Zissou: Unpaid Intern" or being shot with squirt guns the entire night.

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