Back in the seventies and eighties, Wham-O sold 9 million tarps in brightly colored boxes to kids who watered the plastic and slid all the way to cult-toy nirvana. In 2005, throwing a Slip ’N Slide party can be your ticket to retro-kitsch-party hipness. What else is so high in nostalgia, low in cost, rife with nudity, physically risky—and just a few flights above your apartment? First, go to Home Depot and get yourself a tarp. You and your pals are heavier, faster, and drunker than during the first Reagan administration, so plan on about 40 feet of slideage per reveler. At $18.78, the Depot’s best-selling heavy gauge is the Thermwell sixteen-by-twenty-footer, which comes in festive royal blue. Get two, and use Tarpline’s Pro-Patch to stitch them together Frankenstein-style, creating a sixteen-by-forty sliding area.
Factor in at least five feet around the edge for non-sliders to take a breather and a beer. This area will also act as a buffer zone, reducing crashes into the perimeter wall. Ensure that your sliding area is free of bumps, depressions, and barbecue equipment, and lay some towels beneath the vinyl to cushion rooftop impact.
Before you run a hose up the side of your building, consider vegetable oil. FreshDirect offers a 64-ounce bottle of Crisco for $3.99. Get at least ten, and pour liberally—nobody wants to squeak to a sudden stop.
Invite friends to bring bottles of either beer or iodine. Provide social lubricant by allowing only those in swimwear or less up to the roof. Toast good, bad, or ugly slides with shots until order breaks down and the night descends into a greasy make-out session.
At the end of the festivities, toss the party’s flotsam and jetsam onto the oily tarp and roll it up like a giant burrito. Tie or tape up the ends and chuck in a Dumpster. You’ll be hearing about your awesome party until Thanksgiving.