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11.21.2002

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how i threw an 80s party and survived 
by Kathryn O'Halloran
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music
Getting the right music is what makes an Ď80s party so easy. If you donít have stacks of Duran Duran and Michael Jackson on vinyl stowed away in the cupboard, or the record player to play them on, just head to your local discount music store, where youíre sure to find a treasure trove of Ď80s compilations. Dig deep to get some of the more obscure stuff rather than the boring old chestnuts on every Ď80s CD and every movie soundtrack. Itís those old one hit wonders thatíll have everyone going "oh yeah" that are sure to make the party.

fun activities
If grooving on a makeshift dance floor to 80s tunes isnít activity enough for you, 80s-themed games are a great way to bring on the fun. When it came time to plan activities for my bash, I decided to feature an Ď80s trivia quiz, with appropriate prizes from the thrift-shopping expedition. As it turned out, preparing quiz questions wasnít nearly the arduous task Iíd anticipated. I got on the net, typed "í80s trivia quiz" into a search engine, and found a world of trivia for the asking. The only real work I had to do involved trimming the number of questions down to a usable level. Ok, I probably still overdid it, because with three sheets of questions to go, eyes were already starting to glaze over. But at the start of the game, trivia mania was in ample evidence. The key is to keep things short and snappy, and cater to short attention spans. Select around 20 of the best questions along with a back up page, so if everyone really gets into it you can keep going with the game.

Because I knew several of my friends were veritable fonts of Ď80s trivia knowledge I roped them into playing team captains, and asked them to select team members Ė a quick and easy way to ensure fair and even teams. I pinned a huge set of paper up on the wall to use as a score sheet and got each team to think up an appropriate í80s name for themselves.

Beware, a trivia quiz isnít all fun and games. Your most laid-back friends can turn into persnickety rule makers. Trust me, you donít want to spend the night listening to someone tell you "I canít believe you gave the other team a point for that. Everyone knows it was George Michael, solo, not Wham!" If things start to get ugly, finish up the game quickly and move on.

If triviaís not your cup of tea, try Name That Tune instead. Record snippets of songs or Ď80s TV themes onto a CD for everyone to guess the song. Again the Internet makes this so easy.

If the thought of organizing quizzes is just too much of a brain strain, rent some of your favorite Ď80s movies and relive the magic, or dig out those beloved old board games from your 80s youth Ė that original edition of Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly perhaps. If you search thoroughly you might even find some that are based on Ď80s TV shows. Or for a sure-fired crowd-pleaser, track down an Atari system and watch your friends clamor over who gets to play the next round of Ms. Pac-Man, Frogger, or Space Invaders.

don't stop: more this way!

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