How to Cancel a Party

Years ago, I’d planned a house party but sent out the following cancellation notice. It became quite popular so here’s a repost. Enjoy.

Different House Party.

September 2005

West End, Cincinnati — Rajiv Satyal, 29, received a harrowing blow to his ego as he failed to generate turnout at his much-ballyhooed Episode III party.

Due to gathering some lethargic 42 responses, Mr. Satyal has decided to pull the plug and cancel the event. He has indicated that he’ll reschedule for October/November.

Insisting he cannot feel two emotions — humility and embarrassment — this nevertheless must be a disappointment for him. Fresh off the success of his first two gatherings, which delivered 80 and 85 people, in order, this one generated interest amongst a number half that.

In typical fashion, he issued a statement that began sincerely and ended with his usual sarcasm:

“This was a tough decision. A lot of great people DID RSVP and I apologize if I am hanging them out to dry. I do truly appreciate their sincerity — you know, both of them.”

Satyal added, sweetly but somewhat pathetically…

“If it is an inconvenience to anyone, please call me at 513 [edited] and let me know. You are still more than welcome to come over. I wouldn’t want to harm anyone’s plans and would still love to see you.”

Still, Rajiv seemed to be more concerned with the quantity of attendees rather than simply sucking it up and showing the intended attendees a good time.

“Well, I was actually planning on revealing my new persona. I did buy new glasses.”

To put the number in perspective, the invite went out to 178 people with 42 accepts, which puts his approval rating at a mere 24% — and that’s if you round up. This is slightly below his least-favorite politician.

“We all know Mr. Bush is the worst President of the millennium. To be in a league even underneath him is disgraceful. I think Pol Pot had a higher approval rating than mine.”

The excuses ranged from being out-of-town attending a firefighters convention to simply deflecting with Mitch Hedberg lines, somehow perhaps ironically chosen as a fellow stand-up comic. In fairness, even his closest friends replied by saying they’d be out of town this weekend and asked him to reschedule.

Mr Satyal stopped short of directly suggesting some kind of conspiracy. This author is convinced that he does indeed believe this, given that it is pretty clear he suffers from delusions of grandeur. Rajiv endeavored to assign some sort of significance to the number 42, alluding to the Douglas Adams’ trilogy. This superficial reference, coupled with his entitling of “Episode III,” showcased Mr. Satyal’s attempts to reach out to the nerd community, which has historically eschewed him as simply too much of a “dork.”

Rajiv’s enemies — clearly existing in droves much larger than suspected- rejoiced in what they called was a much-needed knock off of the proverbial high horse:

We all know that Rajiv has been riding high for some time now and we thank goodness that he’s been put back in his place. Here’s to hoping his reschedule attempt goes over like a led zeppelin.”

When these messages were relayed to Mr. Satyal, he characteristically philosophized,

“Well, to put things in perspective, I suppose the streak couldn’t continue. I had recently come off of a string of successes: recognition for strong work at P&G, opening again for Dave Chappelle, several media and out-of-town appearances, and a return to the gym.”

Here, he was clearly reverting to his age-old practice of braggadocio and namedropping in a desperation attempt to salvage his reputation, which now, by the way, is about as far away from solid as his bench-press is from the triple digits.

“The heck with it.”

Satyal intoned, making his way out of the Party Source and heading home, having just canceled the trio of kegs he had planned to order in his own walk of shame, as it were.

Stay tuned…

Originally published at on September 22, 2005.