Satire: Family of five gets fined for having a super party
The unruly celebration began just as every other 7-year-old’s birthday does. The presents were displayed on the kitchen table, along with “Happy Birthday!” cards from distant relatives. Paw Patrol-themed balloons floated beneath the ceiling, and streamers cascaded throughout the house.
Last week, the Newark City Council unanimously passed a new ordinance aiming to tame the unruly day-drinking habits of university students. The ordinance states that any social gathering with more than four people that meets three criteria from a predetermined list is technically a “super party.” When violated, the tenants are subject to a hefty fine of $500 and 20 hours of community service.
The Sullivan family were the first victims. The family of five, who live at the end of Choate Street, had plans to celebrate the birthday of their youngest child, Jessica.
“We had the whole day planned out,” Jessica’s mother, Joan Sullivan, says, holding back tears. “I wish I knew better, I should have known better.”
The parents of three made an effort to keep the kids quiet in the morning. In hopes of staying out of trouble, they even made the kids listen to their morning cartoons with their AirPods in.
“In the morning, the house was quiet,” Joan says. “If only it had stayed that way.”
Jessica’s father, David Sullivan, feels responsible and guilty for ruining his daughter’s birthday, but he said that he believes he did everything in his power to keep the celebration from getting unruly.
“When we woke up, she asked me to put on the soundtrack of Frozen so she and her two siblings could sing and dance along,” David says. “ I said no. I did it for the community.”
The day’s activities had been planned for months. Up until the ordinance was passed, a magician had been scheduled to come to the party. However, the entertainment was canceled in hopes of keeping the kids safe.
The day was seemingly going well. The children took naps, played silently outside, and even took a walk to the frozen yogurt place down the street.
It wasn’t until after dinner did havoc strike.
“I thought we had made it,” Joan says. “Until I made a stupid mistake that’ll haunt me forever.”
After the spaghetti and meatball dinner, that had been requested by Jessica, it came time for the birthday cake and candles.
The words “Please, Mommy and Daddy, sing happy birthday to me,” will haunt Jessica and David for the rest of their lives. Before Jessica was even able to blow out the candles, Newark Police came bursting through the door.
“It’s all a blur,” Joan says. “Once we began singing ‘Happy Birthday,’ it all goes black in my mind.”
Both of Jessica’s parents will face charges for holding a super party on their property. According to the ordinance, both homeowners must complete the community service and appear in court.
Although completely remorseful, David and Joan have only asked one request of the city council.
“Please, just let us find a babysitter first.”