Birthdays are opportunities to celebrate life, make young ones feel older, and older ones feel increasingly concerned about dying un-noticed in a hospital, shrivelling up or developing Alzheimers.
Here in Bangkok, the ex-pat community is currently in Birthday Party mode.
Maybe there wasn’t anything interesting on the telly in September, seven years ago, six years ago, five years ago…but May and June are birthday boom time.
It’s an arms race.
Some fiend invites a magician. At the next party, somebody else ups the ante by staging the mother of all water balloon fights, but this is soon eclipsed by another mother who rents most of the ground floor of a five star hotel by the river.
Masculine cunning stepped in at the next party. Instead of whistling up clowns and fireworks and a T-72 tank complete with Spetsnaz special forces armed with flame throwers, he filled a cooler box with ice and beer. That worked for me.
The current issue is Nicholas. He’s turning six and his wicked mother has engaged a small mobile zoo specialising in snakes, tarantulas, lizards, very large beetles and frogs. He’s also bringing crocodiles. I don’t think Nick’s Mum has invited Animal Planet, but should they accidentally turn up, they’ll have plenty of footage.
Annabel’s seventh birthday party is set for June 12th. Our neighbour’s children have a zoo. Snakes, dragon lizards, snapping turtles – it’s pretty impressive, particularly when they escape. I’d been planning to use them as an Annabel party hook. But I’ve been gazzumped! Nick’s crocs are going to make me look sadly unimaginative.
My wife caught me making a rather furtive call to “The Amazing Mr. T” or “G”. I forget. I was arranging a tiger. He’s got one.
My wife is a woman (thankfully) and has a brain rather than a penis. Somewhat curtly, but wisely, she told me that bringing a tiger into the living room was a really stupid idea. Having been issued with a penis, as opposed to a brain, I attempted a few thoroughly un-convincing lies. “He’s cheap!”
“Well, OK, not very cheap. Really expensive, actually. 7,000 baht.”
“Have you booked him?”
“No. Not really. OK. Yes. I booked him a little bit.”
“Yes, OK. Silly idea.”
At the Sunday market I had a GREAT IDEA! There was a withered little creature selling blobs of slime that explode, adhere to faces, walls – we’ll have a slime throwing party I decided!
The party began as soon as we got home. I wasn’t looking. Annabel is gorgeous but impetuous. She showed the slime balls to the local kids and it was slime slinging city.
If you plan a slime ball throwing party, bear this helpful fact in mind – they aren’t very durable.
After exploding in a kid’s face twenty times they finally give up. And burst for real.
After checking stock, I realised that almost all of our slime balls had been destroyed.
THIS POST TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW>ANNABEL WANTS TO SHOW ME HER BIRTHDAY CARDS. RIGHT NOW! COME DADDY!!!