The scene of the destruction has now been repaired
The danger of MySpace turning teenage parties into apocalyptic gatecrasher magnets has had parents scratching their heads. But even with security guards, wristbands, and a strict guest-list a party can still end in carnage, writes Monica Fuller in our reader's column.
Man plans and God laughs. Maybe I should have thought about that when I agreed to allow a teenage party, for no good reason, in my home in Melbourne, Australia.
So I planned, but what one cannot plan for is the unforeseen - the gatecrashers, the occasional stupidity of youth, their disrespect for property and themselves.
To begin with, ground rules were laid down, a list of invitees was to be compiled and stuck to, hired security guards would patrol at the door and the rear of the house.
No glass in the back garden because sure as anything they would throw a bottle in the pool or on someone's head, an ID bracelet dated and named would be given to each guest and this would show us who had gatecrashed, the pool gate locked, neighbours advised, police register of party filled in, DJ hired, everything was great.
At 7.30pm, they began to arrive, at 9pm I felt my first wave of nausea as about 50 youths rolled through the gate in puffer jackets and attitude. These boys were known as being gang members and they looked it.
My first reaction was to call the police. Whilst waiting for the police to arrive I had a word with a couple of these boys explaining that they didn't look as though they needed any more trouble in their life, especially over a 15-year-old's party.
After a bit of negotiating they saw sense and left. On their way down the road they beat up a young lad coming to the party and broke his nose and split his cheek.
While I had agreed a hundred could come, there were about 150 inside the house and out in the back yard with another 100-120 in the front yard trying to get in - with any lie, or trick they could think of. Many scaled fences but were found by security.
One neighbour will not talk to me since the party. The fact is that what happened outside the party was not in our control. MSN and Myspace sends out messages at the speed of light about where a 'good' party is being held and so they storm the gates.
What of their parents though? Where do they think their 16 and 17-year-old children are? One parent dropped off four boys aged 16-17 and one was wasted with alcohol, and they were not on the list. Just dropped and left with no knowledge of their safety.
I have never dropped my daughter and her friends off at a party without seeing them inside and settling on a time to collect.
Outside the house was extremely tense as we juggled with kids unable to handle alcohol but with a good handle on their mouths. The language was mind blowing in its obscenity, not directed at me, just spattered in their own conversations.
Inside was rocking, the DJ was excellent and my friends were doing a good job of making sure all handbags stayed in a secure area in the front room.
What I didn't see as I went from area to area was that my house was trashed.
Food was dripping from the ceiling where they had aimed at light fittings just for a laugh. Toothpaste had been used to graffiti the bathroom mirror, then sprayed with hairspray to make it stick.
Human faeces had been smeared on our bathroom walls, two toilet seats broken, holes on the wall made, it would seem, by stilettos, wall tiles broken and the floors defied description. There were drinks poured on walls, cans thrown in the pool, hedges trampled and broken.
I grew up in Glasgow and went to parties every week - we had a ball and left. No stealing, no throwing food no damage - just a laugh and good music.
But my daughter was a hero for throwing the party of the year - she has glowed ever since. For her it was "the maddest party, and Mum, wasn't it brilliant - nobody had anything stolen, that's a first". God's still laughing and I am still wondering how I was tricked into saying yes. Never again.