It is well-known that I am the prankster around the office…and beware the person that invokes my pranks. However, it is I that got pranked this week with an amazingly executed classic: The Forgotten Birthday.
For my boss Chris’s birthday I rigged his office chair with an airhorn. My co-worker Karen we threw a fake party complete with streamers and crumbs since she took the day off. Linda had her office so decked out with party favors she couldn’t get in the door. For me…nothing. Huh? As a kid I dreaded my birthday because it was in July so I never got to have the cake party at school…I was part of that summer group where we all celebrated with one cake on a day near the end of school. Sucked. One summer I had a pool party with a handful of friends who were in town and it has remained in my memory since as epic! As an adult, I have been out of town for my birthday almost every year, so I rarely partake in the office celebration of cake and ice cream around the conference table. Til this year.
This year I was in town and Linda pulled me aside and said, “Ryan, you said if you were ever in town for your birthday you wanted one of those cookie cakes…is that still true?” She remembered! My heart swelled! It was what all the cool kids with school-time birthdays got when we were kids and I always wanted one! I nodded yes to Linda and the excitement grew, and grew, and grew til it was the Friday before my birthday. Party time for sure! Nothing. No cookie cake. No “Happy Birthday.” Just, “Have a good weekend.” So…I did.
My wife Kate and I played golf together on Saturday (my birthday) and she played fantastically. It was extremely relaxing! A new set of clubs had been the gift from my folks earlier in the year so it seemed fitting that they be used on the actual day…and I shot well. Kate’s parents had got me a grill for Father’s Day / Birthday so after golf we grilled up chicken breasts, hot dogs for the kids, and corn on the cobb. That night I got to rent a stupid action flick OnDemand and all seemed awesome.
Sunday I realized I got text messages from my mom, dad, and sister on my birthday…but no phone call. I knew my sister was dead in the middle of a theater production and my folks were hosting guests so it made sense. By the time Monday rolled around I was sure the office was going to throw me a party with cookie cake, my dad would call in to sing, and it would be fun. Nope. Nothing. No one even asked me how my birthday went. Down trodden and significantly older, I resigned to the fact that my office had forgotten about my birthday and my family wasn’t going to call. I worked late, turned off the lights, and went home to cry in my beer.
Then, Tuesday I walked in the front door to this:
Yup…the ole Forgotten Birthday Prank. The office folks NAILED IT! They got me with the party favors over the door, the confetti everywhere, and I checked under the chair…yup…a valiant attempt at the airhorn under the chair. I removed the airhorn before sitting and made sure to set it off next to Debbie, Karen and Dee’s office to make sure they were awake (better than coffee) since now I had to vacuum up my desk. Later in the day my childish wish came true and the office assembled to eat cookie cake with me…which incidentally dyed everyone’s teeth dark blue thanks to the food coloring in the frosting…just like in middle school.
They had lovely cards for me in which they poked fun as if they had forgotten my birthday and I got a 24 oz box of peanut butter M&M’s wrapped in three layers of wrapping paper to keep me busy while they all laughed at me. They…got…me…good. So ole Eeyore brightened up and had a good time at the party…and ate his cake too…cookie cake.
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