Wednesday, January 20, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

When I was a kid, two things were guaranteed on my birthday: a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken and a cake in the shape of an animal. At 51, party plans have been revised for a variety of reasons, not least of which are that as much as I still love the taste, the Colonel's recipe would probably kill me in my tracks, and given the limited number of animal species on the planet, my mainstream zoological cake options would have been used up a decade or two ago, leaving my already domestically-challenged wife to decide between ordering gateau de l'iguane from the local patisserie or whipping up her own boll weevil layer cake. (Cut a big slice of THAT baby and watch the kids run for the hills.)

Of course, birthday parties after 30 (30 at the OUTSIDE) should be low-key affairs. It's okay to make a grown-up fuss about milestone birthdays (40, 50 etc.) but for the in-betweeners, celebrations at our house are geared towards making it fun for the kids, something that can easily be accomplished with a few balloons, a cake, candles and a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday" sung sufficiently in key to keep the two year old from bursting into tears and the dog from turning in a circle several times before pissing on the carpet. (By the way, I realize that at 51 I'm a little long in the tooth to have small children, but I have an attractive wife 12 years my junior who can't keep track of her own ovulation cycle.)

The first and last rule in making it fun for the kids is to remove alcohol from the equation. While they might not fully grasp the implications, kids are instinctively uncomfortable with liquor-fuelled screaming matches, impromptu wife-swapping and Uncle Billy falling down the stairs. Also, as amusing as a drunken toddler might be careening across the living room after finishing off a half-full rum and coke left unattended on a low-lying coffee table, it's probably also grounds for the wee one's removal from the home by child welfare authorities.

Gifting should be optional for adult birthdays, the notable exception being wives, on whom gifts should be randomly lavished throughout the year so as to accrue goodwill in the event that a well-meaning but professionally preoccupied breadwinner forgets his espoused's actual birthday.

I couldn't care less about getting gifts for my birthday, a relatively recent change in attitude that my family and friends honored this year by getting me a combined total of one (count 'em, one) present - a book called "Order of Battle: The Red Army in World War II." Sounds like quite the page-turner. I'll read it to Allie tonight, because there's nothing two year olds like better than Russian Front bedtime stories.

"And then all the Germans surrendered and were marched into captivity in Siberia, where most of them perished from mistreatment and malnutrition. The end. Sweet dreams!"

Like I said, it's all about the kids.

19 comments:

  1. You are as fun to read as to listen to Ted - thanks for the laugh and happy birthday sir.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yet another classic Bird Droppings...Happy Birthday-- hope it was good one, and may you continue to see many more! Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Deep down, aren't you happy to have another one though? :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. who doesn't love a good war story at bedtime,in the words of Anne Frank'anybody here that?"to tis day makes me harken to the day of my dad's uncomfortness with his kids,the days when a bell and howell 8mm camera,with a blinding stadium lighting system attached,that literally made you put a hand in front of your eyes for protection.
    another birthday makes the old ones better by comparison.
    try to enjoy the moments happening now v.s.the days behind.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree with Christopher.. I just LOVE reading you...you are brilliant and inspired and, above all, seriously amusing!!! There's an oxymoron if ever there was one. A pleasure to have shared your birthday....

    ReplyDelete
  6. After the many years of listening to you on the air, I can actually 'hear' your voice as I read Bird Dropping, which of course adds to the hilarity of it. Yes you have it right about the birthdays, I for one do not want to be reminded of my age (53) especially when in my heart I am still '21'!! Thanks again for starting my morning off with a few tears of laughter.

    ReplyDelete
  7. happy birthday Ted,

    that KFCs a rip off..its sooo expensive,
    but have you ever tried chesters chicken..
    its soooo good..

    as for war stories..you should if you
    havent watch Paschendale..
    its very good.. or maybe they have it at chapters...

    Brian,.

    ReplyDelete
  8. 51?? Heck I'm 57, look like 40 and feel like 25. As can be seen by my pic in Facebook; Hawaiian shirt with beer in hand. Its only a number Ted, many and I mean many cold ones to you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Happy Birthday!! You know a number is a number, as long as you keep up with the kids you are young at heart... Ant that alone is worth a lot...

    ReplyDelete
  10. wowowow

    Big update,,

    teds replacement at chom is
    for Hab P.J. STOCK..

    whats that all about..
    is he going to report hockey scores or
    something..

    suprizingly they played
    motley crue and the white stripes on
    chom at 6:30am i loved it but..humm
    maybey someone got loose in the studio..

    bucause usually im throwing up over bryan adams
    and the tragically shit..

    both acts have only Reckless and up to hear
    cds as thier claim to fame and how long ago was that?..

    Brian.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Happy late birthday Birdman.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Happy Birthday Ted! I can understand stressing over birthdays.. im turning 29 on the 30th of January..But if im not mistaken..since my birthday is on the 30th.. 30 SHOULD be my lucky year..
    Heres hoping...
    By the way.. mornings arent the same without you..
    cheers

    ReplyDelete
  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Happy Birthday Ted! Speaking of milestones, I just turned 30 last week and after waking up past noon on the following day with a massive headache, I decided then that from now I should really make this a once a decade thing... Enjoy your day!

    ReplyDelete
  15. GATEAU DE L'IGUANE LOOOLLOL !!

    ReplyDelete
  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Gerbil cake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. How about a nice pint? I'm buying!

    Hope your birthday was memorable. Gerbil cake? Nice!

    ReplyDelete