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Birthday Gift Prowess Usurped by P.D.
Another birthday has passed without incident – no drama, no foolishness, no police or fire department presence. I guess I’m getting kind of dull in my old age.
Actually, I’ve been keeping sort of a low birthday profile for some years now. I think my last “big” one was when I turned 40. It was a work night, if you can call it work to hang out in a nightclub reviewing a show, and at the end of the evening I had “Happy Birthday” sung to me by one of my top three bands of all time, NRBQ. It’s kind of hard to top that so I haven’t even tried.
Middle-age birthdays are really in the No Big Deal category of life events anyway. After a certain amount of lah-de-dah – a card, a cake, a book – it’s really just another day. That’s the way it has been for me, anyway, and I don’t mind. I know there are big celebrations coming if I just manage to hang on there.
The way I see it, your first 12 or 13 birthdays are all big deals – “Oh my goodness, look who’s turning 4! 5! 6!” and so on. You get a couple of so-what years until you turn 16 (“Better hide those car keys, Dad!”). Then things slack off again until you turn 21 (“But offisher, it’sh my buh-birthday, honesht!”)
From then on, the only birthdays that matter are the decade birthdays (“Lordy, lordy, look who’s 40! Isn’t it nifty? You made it to 50!” “You don’t look a day over 75 – too bad you’re 60!”).
Then once you hit 80 or so, the whole thing starts over again (“My, my, look who’s turning 84! 85! 86!”)
I’m not much for birthday presents. I know some people place a lot of emphasis on loot but I got over that a long time ago. It was my 9th birthday, in fact.
My present that year was the Mattel Dick Tracy set – a toy Tommy gun and snub-nose revolver with shoulder holster. I was thrilled. It was just the thing to have around in case Mumbles, Pruneface, Flattop or any other Dick Tracy bad guys showed up on Gilmore Road. I couldn’t wait to show my fellow neighborhood crime fighters.
My attention was diverted by the birthday pie-cutting ceremony (this was one of those years when I requested pumpkin pie for my birthday instead of my usual, a chocolate cake with caramel frosting). The niceties observed, I turned to don my holster and pick up my Tommy gun, only to find them gone.
Then I glanced out the front window to see my brother P.D. out there, demonstrating the smooth action of the machine gun while all the kids in the neighborhood passed around my pistol and holster for inspection.
P.D. had clearly overstepped his authority, so of course I threw a fit. Mom took swift action.
What happened? I got in trouble for being a brat on my birthday and had to spend time in solitary confinement while P.D., as usual, got away.
That kind of took the zing out of the whole presents thing for me. Besides, I may be dull, birthday-wise, but I am also patient. If it’s presents I want, I’m content to wait for Christmas.
Just don’t forget my cake. Or pie.
© 2010 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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