Issue 35: Party Hard


Who doesn’t like a party? From the moment you’re placed upon this Earth, you’re a natural born party animal. Most likely, there were several celebrations in your honor. Remember your first birthday? Probably not, but I can guarantee your parents reveled in the moment. You were likely showered with gifts as everyone sang songs and ate cake in a joyous celebration. You were a true partygoer, at age one.

As we grow older, the parties keep piling on. Christmas, Halloween, heck even Boxing Day - there are an endless amount of celebrations. But, what happens when you want to plan a fiesta around your party supplies? It’s a strange predicament to be in, but I recently found myself there.

Enter - a website with a stellar selection for your celebratory needs. Whether you’re a fan of pirates or princesses, this place has it all. Recently, they added a load of TMNT party supplies to their arsenal. Now, I could easily throw a green machine-themed celebration without shelling out too much green.

In the blink of an eye, a box arrived on my doorstep. I popped open the cardboard treasure chest - rummaging through and exploring the surprises had bestowed upon me. The small box was deceiving. Despite its size, there was a hoard of TMNT jewels inside. Like yanking a rabbit from a magician's hat, I mysteriously pulled countless items out of the box. Eventually, a mountain of TMNT party supplies stood before me. There was no way I could conquer this myself. This heap wasn’t intended for one man. When a box of party supplies lands on your doorstep, you’re expected to throw a party.

Unfortunately, my birthday isn’t until late October. Even if it were sooner, I don’t have the patience to let these party supplies idly sit by, growing old and gathering dust. This batch of goodies was begging for a bash. A lively party with the simple mission statement - eat, drink, and be merry. I thumbed through my calendar hoping to track down an upcoming birthday. But, the results were bleak. Friends, family, heck even the pets - not a birthday in sight. I couldn’t let a TMNT-fueled celebration slip through my fingers...

Then, like a firecracker, an idea burst into my mind. Although a birthday celebration wasn’t possible for myself or others close to me, I remembered an approaching birthday steeped in significance. A much-deserved celebration - one that everyone can appreciate. Whose birthday you ask?

America. America’s birthday. A day that roars for celebration. The epitome of party days.

The 4th of July. A day dedicated to letting your hair down and unleashing your inner party animal. From coast to coast, the flags fly high and the barbecues are ablazin’. Everyone raises a glass, toasting to independence. The calendar is packed with holidays and special events, but the 4th of July, is THE day for a party.

This year, the usual red, white, and blue went green. The Turtles joined the party, throwing their bandannas in the mix of stars and stripes. Venturing to my parents’ home in Cape May, New Jersey (the physical location of The Sewer Den), and with help from, we mutated the normal backyard barbecue into a green machine mecca of celebration. Liberty and justice for all, dudes.


If you’re having a party, you’ve gotta spread the word. Despite living in a digital age where social networks reign supreme, people still love to get an invitation in the mail. The Sewer Den’s 4th of July spectacular was no different. included a set of invitations in their box of tricks they sent my way.

I uncapped my pen and scrawled my chicken scratch in the appropriate spots. Written, sealed, stamped, and then finally sent. If only the US Postal Service sold TMNT stamps...


The 4th of July traditionally leaves your belly full of burgers and hot dogs. While everyone else has the day off, the grill is hard at work. The heat stays on and sizzles the grub until it’s time for the fireworks. In honor of the TMNT-themed party, our grill was given a challenge - cook up something that screams “cowabunga.”

We went classic and whipped up the obvious choice - pizza. Full slices would’ve eaten up too much real estate on the grill, so I opted for bite-size Pizza Bagels. Burgers and hot dogs on the grill, sure, not a difficult task. But, Pizza Bagels? The box gives you instructions for the microwave and oven, but grill directions are nowhere to be found. So like a good ninja, we simply trusted our instincts.

SETTING THE TABLE provided the perfect platter for the cheesy treats. With the killer combo of TMNT plates and pizza, guests couldn’t help but gobble them up. Yum.

If anyone got too wild scarfing down the chow, making a mess was quite alright. came to the rescue with a healthy supply of TMNT napkins. Who knew wiping your mouth could be so action-packed?

Nickelodeon's TMNT logo makes up the back of the napkin. Although I enjoy a healthy dose of the ninja-escapades, a classy design can go a long way. I really dig the simplicity of this one.

If you’re a hands-off type dude or dudette, don’t fret. also has loads of utensils. Add some action to your meal - slice and dice your way to being full. The “Party Packs” include a set of brown cutlery that falls in line with the Turtle motif.

Guests were washing down the pizza with refreshing beverages. Whether it was soda, juice, or a brew, the TMNT cups kept guests cool. Like the plates and napkins, the cups feature the Turtles how we like them best, in battle mode. My Mountain Dew danced and splashed around a cup covered with ninja spirit. Every sip was bodacious.

Throw some swank into your party with this nod to nostalgia - paper straws. Call me crazy, but doesn’t a drink taste better with one of these?

I give the credit to Tropicana. Their advertising hooked me young. For ages, their commercials have always featured that fresh, vibrant orange with a paper straw perfectly poking out.

The paper straw has a mystical quality - like some sort a rare animal hiding in the deep parts of the rainforest. It’s nowhere to be found. Major fast food chains and even fancy restaurants stick to the plastic stuff. If you can party in style, why not?

All of these party supplies couldn’t simply sit upon the table. No way, this was a TMNT party after all. Naturally, the tablecloths showcased our heroes.

If the conversation and food weren't enough to keep guests entertained, the tablecloth presented a mutant melee during the meal.


No party is complete without a visual overhaul to your space. Balloons and streamers are a soiree staple. Surrounding the grill, green and brown streamers painted our party scene.

The sewers never looked this good.

Meanwhile indoors, the guests and I had a blast blowing the balloons. The floor became riddled with green and brown balloons. We beat them about enthusiastically, sending the rubber orbs into the air. The room became a solar system of floating balloons.

Eventually, these planets fell to the carpet. The solar system was gone, but a new creation emerged. Instead of remaining in place, the balloons gravitated towards the air vent on the floor. Like a litter of puppies, they flocked to their mother. All 20 balloons gradually clustered together near the air vent. A funny sight for sure.

The balloons provided plenty of inside entertainment, but they never made it to our outdoor party space. Why not? Something ugly was brewing...


The Turtles, like all superheroes, have their own blend of evildoers. My TMNT-themed party was no different. However, my villain didn’t come in the form of Shredder or the Kraang, but something far more powerful - Mother Nature. The party was fortunate enough to slip past her wrath of rain and clouds, but she still had one last trick up her devious sleeve. She huffed, and she puffed, and blew the party in.

The wind. The celebration couldn’t survive the battling blasts of air. Plates and cups were soaring through the skies like the Turtle Blimp. Utensils and napkins jumbled into a massive blur and went hurling to the ground. The tablecloths thrashed wildly. Gust by gust, it forced guests indoors. I begrudgingly surrendered, Mother Nature won. The party was over.

Everyone felt defeated. Our mission was to have a rockin’ good time. Mother Nature infiltrated our celebration, pushed our backs against the wall, and struck with a fatal blow. Although we used the majority of goodies that had sent me, there were still a few treats left in the box. The party must go on.


My birthday party for America morphed into an all out celebration for the country. No longer would my party be confined to a small space on the deck of a New Jersey house. This blowout was sprawling from coast to coast.

My girlfriend, Jessica, and I boarded a plane immediately following the 4th of July. We had planned to rent a car once we arrived and then cruise the west coast for three weeks. Driving from LA up to Portland (and back down), we were having ourselves a road trip. This adventure was months in the making - we were stoked. But, since the 4th of July TMNT celebration had been cut short, our suitcases now carried a few treasures from Where we went, so did the party.


On a road trip, you naturally spend lots of time driving. As the wheels spin, so does your mind. Countless hours of being cooped up in a car cab make anyone go mad. Sure, there’s the radio, road games, and conversation to keep you busy. But one thing doesn’t change - your seat. The anticipation builds as you approach any opportunity to stretch your legs. Standing - you’re genuinely excited to simply stand. When that moment finally arrives, you’re completely giddy - struck with silliness. That’s when you whip out the Turtle masks.

One of my favorite items from made our road trip one heck of a party. Every time we reached a key destination, it was time for the Turtle masks. Slipping them on generated a buzz of excitement within us. Our stiffness from the car immediately loosened, and we were left with positive party vibes.

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon 

The miles started piling on and so did our eagerness to don the Turtle masks. When the car was off, the masks were on. Each stop offered an opportunity for Turtle Power. Sure, these landmarks presented the perfect backdrop. But, it was the masks that provided the real magic.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco 

What about striking a pose? The Turtles are a zany bunch of mutated ninjas. Their franchise is stockpiled with silliness. Posing for a picture in a Turtle mask was never a problem.

Meltdown Comics, Los Angeles

America is filled with beauty. There are natural wonders, there are man made wonders, and then there are Turtle wonders. Although you won’t find the Turtles on a road map, that doesn’t mean you can’t track ‘em down. The country oozes with green machine goodness. At Meltdown Comics, a couple of other guests crashed our TMNT party.

Oregon Film Museum 

If you’re worrying about wearing a mask in front of an audience, don’t be. People fell in love with our personal Turtles party. They happily offered to snap a photo for us. A few folks even asked to have one of the masks! You want your party to be a hit? Cover your mug with a Turtle Mask.

Hollywood, California 


3 weeks and 3,398 miles later, the moment came to finally return the rental car. Our party that started outside The Sewer Den in Cape May, NJ on July 4th, then continued up and down the west coast, had finally come to a close. Thank you for infusing this celebration with enough Turtle Power to keep the party going for almost a month. It might have been a little unconventional, but whoa, what a party. A Turtle fan can’t ask for more.

Special shout out to Alan B. from for all his help along the way! And a big thank you to my friend, Ben, for snapping the photos.

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