I’m not a birthday guy. When I was maybe 9 years old, birthdays were great! They
were like the warmup show for Christmas—where toys and cash rained from the heavens.
Now that I am a safe distance into my 30’s, birthdays merely mean that I somehow
survived another trip around our modest sized star. Those birthdays also seem to
come a lot faster now.
Time is indeed relative and, as a kid, it moved along at a snail’s pace. I wanted
to grow up so badly. My mom always used to say, “Enjoy being a kid. Adulthood sucks,
honey.” Well, maybe not in so many words, but that was the gist. And, wow, was she
right. Why are moms always so right? Responsibilities, careers, bills, mortgages,
deadlines, insurance, 401K’s, politics, taxes, doctors, gray hairs, nosehair plucking.
When I was a kid, I always wondered if having armpit hair would tickle. Well, it
doesn’t, but nosehairs do. The worst is when you can feel them wafting in the wind
with each breath. God, I want to make a sprint for the bathroom and pluck this thing.
I try to avoid making a spectacle of my birthday. I just really don’t like a big
deal being made about it. Outside of my 30th birthday, I really haven’t celebrated
them since I was 16 and got my driver’s license. And no, I didn’t have an awesome
adventure that night like the Two Coreys in License to Drive. But I did line up
on the wrong side of the football field that night and get cursed out by my coach.
“Hey Numbnuts! Get your ass to the other side of the field!” That was my name. Numbnuts.
Ah, the good ol’ days.
When people ask me what I want to do for my birthday, I am dumbfounded. Honestly,
I just want to lay on my couch, drink beer, eat Cheez-Its, and watch lesbian porn.
How do you say that to your wife’s grandfather? No matter, I play along as best
as I can. These people love me for some odd reason. Truth be told, I love them back
and I gratefully, if not grudgingly, accept their offers of celebration in my old
Which brings me to the birthday gift. Usually, I’d rather see people make some random
kid’s day and buy them an action figure than get me something for my birthday. Mr.
and Mrs. Security Gawd, however, are a unique case. Their gifts are always unexpected
and delightfully bizarre. Take my 30th birthday for example; they got me a stuffed
toy, meowing alligator that wears a cowboy hat, boots, and has a Florida Gator t-shirt
tucked into his white Fruit of the Looms. While you wrap your mind around that last
sentence here’s a picture:
Meow. Meow. Meow.
It’s an abomination. Unfortunately, I feel too guilty to just throw him away. He
has a birth certificate that claims he’s mine and that his name is Cleatus Maximus.
Yeah, he’s Roman, too. I can’t bear to get rid of him, but I also can’t possibly
let him roam free. Cleatus would murder me while I sleep. For my own safety, I have
him locked away in his box tucked far in the depths of The Closet where he will
never see the light of day. Sometimes I think I hear him crying out to be released,
like Sloth from The Goonies when he was chained up in the Fratelli’s dungeon. His
anguish tugs at my heartstrings, but I won’t fall for it. I’m protecting not only myself,
but the world by imprisoning this demon.
We were supposed to meet the Gawds at a restaurant for a birthday sushi dinner that
night. We threw on our shoes and gathered our things to head out for dinner. Ehhhhhhhhhh!
That’s the sound of my doorbell. The bell used to be the pleasant ring of clichéd
surburbia. Through some sort of witchcraft, it was magically changed to the gameshow
wrong answer sound a few years ago. People ask why I don’t get it fixed. Why would
I? I love that fucking doorbell. Strangers know immediately upon pressing that button
that they are at the wrong place and that I don’t want your stinking Yankee candles,
$50 chocolate-covered popcorn, or silly religious propaganda pamphlets claiming
that Harry Potter is the Great Satan. Ehhhhhhhh! Not interested! You Lose!
The Gawds obviously love this doorbell as much as I do and gleefully hold it down
and then tap it in quick, random patterns until I can make the trek to the door
and silence the cacophony of wrongness. They surprised me by showing up at the house,
but all questions were immediately pushed to the back of my mind when I spotted
the large, ominous, black gift bag they brought along with them.
Dunnnn-Dunnnn-Dunnnnnnn...DA-DUNNNNNN. Bum-Bum Bum-Bum Bum-Bum. That's the 2001 A Space Odyssey Theme, by the way.
Inside this bag was pure, unadulterated treasure. Without hesitation, Security Gawd
and I sprung for the foam weapons. I grabbed a mace and he snatched a sword and
we flailed at each other with the violent fervor of William Wallace. Our epic duel
lasted all of two seconds before my mace broke. Clearly, I was outmatched, but he
did not realize that I am already equipped with an arsenal of foam weaponry. I made
a move for my foam nunchucks and jumped back into the fray. Dazzled by my nunchuck
prowess, Security Gawd did what any grizzled warrior would do: he used his wife
as a human shield and cowered behind her until my own wife yelled at me to put away
the chucks. I’ll get you next time, Gadget. Next tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime!
Behold the foam sword and broken mace. The nunchucks were not part of the gift, but were involved in the battle. Fair warning to parents: Foam Nunchucks will be given as Christmas gifts this year.
Speaking of next time, this post got way longer than I thought it would. You think
I planned to write a whole paragraph about a doorbell? In my next post I’ll cover
the remaining contents of The Ominous Black Birthday Gift Bag. You can expect junk
food, toys, apparel—well not really apparel, but I didn’t want to say accessories
(ac-th-e-th-orie-ssss)—weird random shit, and ping pong balls.