Tag Archives: birthday

2427.  Birthday gift

Ross felt that the older his father got the harder it was to think of a decent birthday present for him. He had everything – well, everything he needed, and for that matter he had most things he liked – except of course for something fancy like a new expensive car.

It’s not that these days Ross’s family would spend much on birthday gifts; it was the thought that counts, and with the state of the economy it was getting more and more difficult to buy some gift that wasn’t simply a cheap plastic abomination.

Ross’s father’s birthday was on the coming Sunday. Ross had bought a birthday card with an envelope. He simply needed something relatively inexpensive to go with it. And there it was; tickets for a raffle and the prize was a brand new car! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if his father won that?

Ross tucked the five tickets he bought into the card and sealed the envelope. Five tickets at two dollars each amounted to ten dollars. A chance with five tickets was plenty enough for a birthday celebration! The raffle was to be drawn on the Saturday, the day before the birthday. Ross didn’t want to spoil the fun by checking on the ticket numbers before the birthday and then giving away something already useless. The envelope was well sealed!

And then the internet announced… the car had been won by a locally purchased ticket! Oh dear! Ross looked at the sealed envelope. It was a great temptation to have a peek.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, Ross’s father enjoyed getting the birthday card with the four tickets inside, even though he never won anything.

2395. Excuses excuses

Angus was a sales representative for a large chemical firm. He was constantly getting invited to attend this and that in the weekends by clients. “Come to dinner!” “We’re having a barbeque.” “Just a light Saturday luncheon with co-workers from the factory.”

Angus’ weekends were never his own. He had two children; a boy and a girl. He started by saying he could not attend because it was Algernon’s birthday or Gwendoline’s birthday. After several months of this he realized that that he had used seven or eight birthday dates for each child. What if the client repeated the invitation several months later? And which child’s birthday had he used for that client?  He could hardly have each child born twice!

There was only one thing for it; Angus began to keep a notebook. It worked perfectly.

These days he has six grandchildren. There’s no need for names. There’s no need for notebooks. It’s simply, “I can’t come sorry. It’s a grandchild’s birthday.”

2368.  Office staff

Of all the people who work in this office there’s only one I can’t stand. She’s usually over there. She’s usually the one with the loud voice that explains to Jacinta how to make blackberry pie but in fact she’s trying to educate the entire office staff. Well, she’s not really trying to educate the entire room; it’s more that’s she tries to explain why her blackberry pie is better than anyone else’s.

It all came to a head last Thursday. It was my birthday, and then out of the blue a big bunch of flowers arrived from my husband (he’s such a romantic!). They were absolutely gorgeous and it was such a surprise. Everyone crowded around to admire them and that’s when Rosie-Lynn asked in a loud voice (that’s the blackberry pie maker): “Is that all you’re getting?” She then proceeded to explain the meaning of each flower and its colour. By the end of her explanation, had I been more gullible, I would have been convinced that my husband was having an affair and was taking the house and the kids and moving to Bermuda.

And then last Monday – you’ve guessed it – it was Rosie-Lynn’s birthday. Did her husband send her flowers or what? Plus there was a beautiful diamond necklace. (I’m not too mean not to admit that, yes, it was beautiful). The whole world knew it was Rosie-Lynn’s birthday. They merely had to hear the oohs and aahs to know the reality. To cap it all off she turned to me and said, “Now that’s how you celebrate a birthday”.

I’ve always disliked her, but her undercurrent of supercilious needling and so on gets me down. In fact I have to make an effort to remain positive and pleasant.

Then just yesterday Jacinta told me a few things about Rosie-Lynn.  Rosie Lynn wasn’t married. She lived alone. She sent herself the necklace and flowers. And her birthday wasn’t last Monday – not unless she celebrates her birthday four times a year. I was a little bit relieved, not in a spiteful way but it was nice to know the place from whence Rosie-Lynn’s spitefulness emanated.

A group of us went out to lunch, but Rosie-Lynn didn’t come with us thank goodness. And when we got back to the office, Rosie Lynn was lying on the floor. She had “done herself in”.

2125. Shoes

It wasn’t at all a pleasant experience, as you, Dear Reader, are about to find out. Janice had had a lovely afternoon. It was her birthday, and her friend, Bridget, had popped around for a natter and a cup of tea. The visit lasted a lot longer than intended, and several cups of tea were produced over the afternoon.

They chatted about all sorts of things, but mainly (would you believe) about shoes. The topic was prompted by Bridget’s brand new shoes. They were quite ordinary, but nice enough. Bridget was still “breaking them in”. She had a little blister on her left heel, despite the shoes having been advertised as “comfortable”. Of course they talked about other things, but shoes seemed to be the main theme threading the conversation.

Eventually Bridget left, and Janice sat down to watch television.

About an hour later there was a knock at the door. Janice answered. There stood a man, tall and skinny, with a mask covering his face. He didn’t look nice. Suddenly, from behind his back he produced something; Bridget’s shoes.

“You might want these,” he said, and dropped them at Janice’s feet.

He sauntered off. He disappeared.

(This story was inspired by a story by Iseult Murphy).

2035. The secret agent

Mariana was a student at university. She was approached by a young man whom she had never met before. He asked if they might have a conversation in private and with the greatest confidence. Mariana agreed and said maybe they could go to the café for a coffee. At least other people would be about and she would feel more comfortable.

The young man was very pleasant; in fact quite charming. He was quite good-looking too Mariana thought. He agreed to the coffee and off they went. He said he worked as an undercover agent within the university. He only pretended to be studying myrmecology. He had no intention of becoming a myrmecologist. He needed someone, a complete stranger, to do a small task. Would Mariana be prepared to help?

Mariana said she would, depending of course on what the task might be and how time consuming. After all, she had her exams in edaphology coming up in a month.

The task, said Max (for that was his name), is simply to go to a particular student party, casually approach a specified person, and say a pre-set phrase. They would hand you an envelope. She was to bring it to this same café at eleven the next morning and give it to him.

That was simple! The secret phrase was “Do you wear pyjamas in bed or nothing at all?” and the specific person was a man.  He would be wearing a white shirt with rolled sleeves, light blue jeans with patches, and have one of those old-fashion windup watches on his wrist. The party was this evening.

The room at the party was quite crowded. Mariana wandered around the party-goers for quite some time looking for her man. It was quite difficult because there were a lot of students at the party that she knew of course, and they all wanted her to stop and talk about nothing. The trouble was that there seemed to be two men in the room with white shirts and rolled up sleeves, patched jeans, and a wrist watch. Mariana approached the one she thought looked the most like a spy.

“Hi,” she said.

“Hi”, he said.

“Do you wear pyjamas in bed or nothing at all?”

“WTF?” said the young man but not in abbreviated form. And then he repeated in a louder and cynical voice, “Do I wear pyjamas in bed or nothing at all?”

“Shhh! Sorry,” said Mariana. Clearly she had picked the wrong one of the two. It was rather embarrassing. She approached the second guy.

“Hi,” she said.

“Hi”, he said.

“Do you wear pyjamas in bed or nothing at all?” whispered Mariana.

They guy pulled a small envelope from his back pocket and handed it to her. It wasn’t sealed. “Make sure you read what’s inside,” he said.

Mariana took out the slip of paper inside the envelope and read it:

 “Happy 21st Birthday, Mariana!”

The whole room burst into “Happy Birthday dear Mariana”.

“We knew if we told you,” said Mariana’s friend Angelina stepping forward from nowhere, “we knew if you heard we were having your 21st birthday party that you’d say you had your edaphology exams coming up in a month. So we planned this.”

Then Max, the fellow who had initiated the whole scheme, announced that he didn’t wear pyjamas but would she like to meet in the café tomorrow at eleven anyway?

And that is how the myrmecologist and the edaphologist met and lived happily ever after.

1980. Warm teapot

Alannah hated tea. Well, “hated” might be a bit strong. She didn’t like tea. She never drank tea. She always drank coffee.

The first thing that husband Eugene did when he came home from work was to make a pot of tea. It was a little strange, he thought, that the teapot was already mildly warm. He never said anything, but he wondered why. A few days later the teapot was again warm.

“Have there being visitors?” asked Eugene.

“No,” said Alannah. “Why?”

“Nothing. Just wondered,” said Eugene. He didn’t want to give away why he was suspicious. If Alannah was “having someone around” he didn’t want to remove the evidence of a warm but emptied teapot once every several days.

After several weeks Eugene had had enough. “Look,” he said, “I know you have a visitor come every couple of days because you make tea. What’s going on? Who is it?”

“It’s no one,” said Alannah.

“Then why’s the teapot warm?” asked Eugene. “You don’t like tea.”

“I’m trying to grow to like tea,” said Alannah. It was clearly a lie. From then on the teapot was never warm. Alannah would rinse it with cold water.

Eugene’s birthday came. Alannah produced a special lemon tree growing in half a wine barrel. Eugene had drooled over it in the plant shop.

“At last!” exclaimed Alannah. “The truth can come out. They said to water it with cold tea.”

1941. Helmut’s special birthday

Well I wouldn’t call it a big party; just a dozen friends or so invited around for a few drinks. Helmut was invited. It was his birthday. He kind of knew the party was to celebrate his twenty-first birthday but no one was saying much.

Maree was at the party too. Helmut thought she was pretty sweet, and perhaps something might come of it. She was very friendly towards him at the party and Helmut wondered if he should invite her out on a date. In fact, Helmut knew most of the people at the party, or at least had a passing acquaintance with them. Roger wasn’t his favourite person there. He was always raucous and belligerent. At least Helmut thought so.

Over in the corner of the room, Helmut spotted a huge bouquet of flowers. In fact they were mainly sunflowers. Helmut liked sunflowers. Clearly they were intended for him when they made a speech and they handed over some little gift for his birthday.

The evening wore on. Then Roger tapped an empty beer bottle with a spoon. It was like a clarion call for everyone to shut-up. A speech was to be made.

“Thanks everyone for coming,” said Roger. “I hear that it is Helmut’s twenty-first birthday. Congratulations, Helmut. Maree and I just want to take this occasion to announce our engagement.”

Everyone applauded. Camilla, who clearly was already in the know, gathered the bunch of sunflowers and presented them to Maree.

Everyone went all goo-gar over the engaged couple. No one sang happy birthday.

1856. The fart cushion

Hilton was a little bit surprised when he opened his birthday present from Jude. Jude had been a life-long friend but lived far away. They still remembered each other’s birthdays and would send gifts through the mail. This year Jude had sent Hilton one of those trick fart cushions that you put on a chair and it sounds like someone farts loudly when they sit on it.

A fart cushion – or a whoopee cushion, whatever they’re called these days – was funny the first time; like back in 1842AD when Hilton saw (or rather heard) his first one. These days they were about as funny as a tetraplegic in a three-legged race. Why Jude had sent him one for his birthday was anyone’s guess.

Hilton wrote to Jude thanking him for his gift. Ha ha ha! said Hilton. It was great fun thank you. He fooled his three year old grandson who thought it was a scream. And so, Jude, it brought much joy on my birthday!

Hilton never worked out why Jude had sent him such a stale trick that was both useless and unfunny, and Jude never said. Which possibly explains why none of us, dear Reader, have the slightest clue either.

1779. The days were drawing out

The days were drawing out. Summer was approaching. Spring had not fully run its course, but the sun was definitely rising earlier and earlier. Soon it would be the summer solstice.

Young Grant was about to turn twelve. His birthday was on the last day of spring. “The start of a new beginning”, his mother would say. “Grant’s birth was the start of a lovely summer.”

Grant asked his parents if he could watch the sunrise at the solstice. “Of course you can,” said his mother. “What a silly question! There’s no school tomorrow.”

The next morning, the day after his birthday, Grant watched the sunrise. The day had dawned cloudless. It was a perfect start to summer.

Grant wasn’t the only one watching it. His parents were there, as was his older brother and younger sister. It was a family affair!

After the sun rose, Grant went to bed. He was dog tired having stayed up all night. The rest of the family were fine. They had gone to bed, had a good night’s sleep, and simply got up early.

1756. Maureen’s birthday celebration

Hello everyone. I’ve called this little gathering for drinks and nibbles of all the workers here at the factory as a way of thanking you all for your sterling work. It’s been a pleasure and an honour co-operating with you over the years. So many of you have gone over and above the call of duty.

Just one little announcement! Today is Maureen’s birthday! So happy birthday, Maureen! You get younger by the year! I might add that Maureen next April will have been with the company for thirty years. Thirty years! Unfortunately we won’t be able to celebrate that together as the factory is closing down. From tomorrow we will no longer be in production and your services will no longer be required.

So enjoy your drinks and nibbles because it’s all you’re going to get.