Toronto Nostalgia: The Mad Hatter

This Toronto-based webzine writes about the infamous “Mad Hatter” parties, which were the ultimate birthday party outing when I was a tween.  I was never cool enough to be invited to one, but even at the time I was somewhat thankful for that – anarchy and menace has never been my style.

I remember listening raptly to the tales told by those kids who had gone: “We were picked up in limos*!”  “We got to have whipped cream and pillow fights!” “There were no parents anywhere!”  Hearing the anecdotes on this page make me think my reluctance was earned.

“By the end of the party, there would be bloody knuckles and bruised feelings and people would be crying. It almost got out of hand constantly. I remember they made sure there was a cushion of 20, 30 minutes where we were let loose in the ice-cream parlour, and you’d get these double cones—one handle with two scoops side-by-side—and you could have as much ice cream as you wanted. So when the parents showed up you were sort of, like, coming down from this emotional adrenaline rush, from a sugar high, and you were kind of, like, [panting], and if you had been crying an hour earlier, now you were, like, best party ever!”

*hearses, actually, but as kids you don’t know the difference.

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