Archaeologists investigating ancient caves in Altamira, Spain and Lascaux, France and digs along the Yellow River as well as various Beverly Hills and Manhattan sites, have declared the cocktail party has been a revered tribal ceremony since Paleolithic times and is still thriving.
Recent digs have turned up fossilized hors d’oeuvres, tiny stirrers made from reindeer shinbones, sabertooth tiger incisors and puzzling cave drawings of staggering hunters. Medical researchers at Paleolithic burial mounds have recorded findings that indicate a sharp rise in heartburn and hangover incidence during the Cro-Magnon era.
Some sociologists maintain the cocktail party has its roots in the human psyche as an intrinsic activity of the species and Mankind can no more eliminate it than it can abandon other reflexive habits like golf, bingo and tax evasion.
The very first cocktail party was probably accidental. Someone discovered a neglected bowl of apple juice at the back of the cave and took a tentative sip of the fermented brew. “It don’t taste like the regular stuff,” he probably announced, “but it’s not all that bad. I think I’ll have another.”
By the time of the Roman Empire, cocktail parties had gotten out of hand. Happy hours were lasting longer and longer and the party-goers were crankier and crankier the mornings after. It all ended with that enormous hangover we call “The Dark Ages”.
The succeeding barbarians weren’t much better behaved. Visigoth cocktail parties, for instance, would begin jovially, but eventually the revelers would get violent and start striking one another with whatever weapons were handy.
Nowadays, the violence has been largely eliminated, but some of the terminology has survived. “Club” for instance is a noun (not a verb) that we associate with cocktail venues and the bubbly mixers. The parties, themselves, are referred to as “bashes” and “drinking bouts” The rarer term of “brawl” might indicate actual Visigothic violence.
In an attempt to add elements of grace and beauty, an additional calming term has been invented: “The Cocktail Waitress”. We feel confident it will work provided Visigoths are not invited.