47 Cakes

Happy Birthday!  Is it?!!!  It’s quite basically an obligation to feel good.

I had to wish someone happy birthday today.  He is about my age, and I hope he didn’t give a crap if I said it or not.  He probably didn’t want me to acknowledge it, but since I work with him on a daily basis, it’s better to be on the safe side of the cake.

My birthday always felt like Thanksgiving. That’s what it really was.  Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday and my birthday transformed it to a relatively easy Thanksgiving for my mother. German chocolate cake, and shake and bake chicken for everyone.  Wish granted.

Growing up as a hillbilly, we didn’t have parties.  We didn’t have ho downs  We had two cows, Ferdinand and Issabella, sniffing at our screen door waiting for their dessert. As the youngest of 13, the only rule was to wait for the candles to ignite and then blow them out to defuse the potential catastrophe.

Don’t get me wrong.  Or, maybe you can. There’s nothing wrong with taking an adventure to Sir Charles of the Cheddar Cheese Factory or dry heaving to the smell of dirty socks on your birthday.  Just don’t invite me.  The last one spent with Chucky was for one of my many nephews, Quinn.  Someone invited to the party was a neighbor who had her nose recently bitten off by a dog.  She was a foul and angry cuss.  The party guest, not the dog.  (That’s not funny.  That’s not funny at all.)  Actually, it was a little funny because she showed up to the party wearing a costume….according to the other guests who thought they missed that memo.  Fully recovered from the injury, it did leave scars.  The doctors replaced her nose with a clown like prosthetic.  It was a chunk of flesh they took from her hind side.  That’s not funny either.  However, this not being the merriest of neighbors, she would lecture the dog daily about staying out of their yard.  She did it in such a fashion which eventually would lead to her nose’s demise and embarrassment.   Ultimately, after the settlement, she was furnished with a new house, a car and a dose of vanity.  One guest at the party walked up to her and, unknowingly, said in the dimmed lights of Chucky Cheese’s palace for hungover adults, “I didn’t know this was a costume party”.  She thought the victim was dressed as a clown.  According to my brother and I, evidently, clowns can make you chuckle.

I was invited to many of these parties only costing me fifty dollars a pop donated to a child I didn’t even know.  Crappy pizza, flat beer, and awkward conversations with the guy dressed up as a mouse wishing me to pour a beer down his dirty costume was just downright uncomfortable.

I feel sorry for the guy who is turning 47 today, because it will be the fourth birthday he must celebrate this year with his two children and wife.  All he wants for his birthday is a nice dinner at a decent restaurant.  He never gets to choose where this restaurant is, because his wife can veto any of his choices, resulting with them going a restaurant of her choice.  Poor bastard.

It’s his birthday penance.  He told me once he personally suffered during his own B-Day party at the age of ten.  He had an uninvited brother, age 8, sneaking into his special party.  After embarrassing his brother with insults and “get the hell out of my party, you twerp.  Scram!!”  in front of his friends, my friend was beckoned by his father to join him upstairs for a private meeting of the buns.  He was wailed on 10 times, and then told he would be the age of 50 if he didn’t welcome his younger brother to participate with kindness and respect.  End of story.  As the youngest of 13 children, I never was surrounded by this environment.  My older siblings were too busy eating and drinking their presents to even acknowledge my presence.

The last birthday I thoroughly didn’t enjoy took part in a classroom.  My middle school students, their parents, and other relatives decided to interrupt our class by surprising me with a party.  No beer, just cookies, soda, cake and students too strung out on glucose crack to participate with further lessons.  It did teach me a lesson.  Never tell a middle school student which day your birthday lands on the calendar.  If you wish to torture a fellow teacher, tell one of his or her students that tomorrow is his or her birthday, even if it isn’t.  They will never forgive you, which was my plan in the first place.  I paid my dues.  Let them pony up as well.  Mayhem results and spite usually conquers all.

Happy Birthday….even it’s belated, or early….even better!

My next complaint will be to the editor.  It is with regards to the Lord of all Sins: Surprises.



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