What happens when the birthday party you are hosting for your twin boys takes an unfamiliar turn?
Planning a party takes a lot of time. It costs a lot of money. As hosts, we can only do our best and hope all goes smoothly on the day of the event.
Things happen. Curveballs thrown. Bumps in the road. We must deal.
My life has been a bumpy one since birth so I’m always prepared. I’m accustomed to change. Misdirection. Adjustments. I can handle it. But this was different.
My wife and I had put together a backyard party for our boys turning twelve like we do every year. This was the 12th consecutive year to be exact. The boys look forward to the celebration and my wife and I try to create a nice memory for them as they reflect on their day of birth.
As they get older, the children’s demands become greater and the guest list inflates. Dramatically.
The very first year we threw the party it was simple. A few paper plates. A donut. Two candles and our parents. A cousin or a cheesy Uncle may have slipped through the cracks undetected. It costs $3.00 and everyone was happy.
Fast forward twelve years later and things have changed.
We try and give the boys a little more say and involvement as they come of age. After all, it is their party.
All was set and the party began.
This year we agreed to have a DJ play the songs of their choice. We asked them to supply a playlist. Seemed harmless.
Party was slated to begin at 1pm sharp. Having a plethora of local DJ’s to choose from I decided to take the advice of my Spanish buddy Jose and proceeded to hire his recommended talent. Entertainment was in order. So I thought.
12.45pm on party day there was no sign of the DJ. I began to panic. Party started at 1:00pm. I turned slightly and saw a faded rusty green Ford Explorer on the horizon sputtering down the road towards my home. It was 105 degrees, bone dry and the windshield wipers were pumping. I directed the vehicle into the driveway as they crashed into my retaining wall. A woman was driving with a litter of hungry children on her lap, breast feeding from her chin as she smiled and said “Hello sir”. The infamous DJ then emerged from the passenger side like he just had sex with Ricky Martin. I shouted, “What’s up amigo? You ready to party and play some music?” His response, “Sorry Mr., me no speak English!”. I froze for a minute and got my shit together and said “No problemo, yo habla espanol.” He grinned as a gold plated molar bounced off the pavement. Things were as expected until he proceeded to explain to me “Sorry Mr, me only have Spanish music.” Now this prick speaks English. Then assures me “Me no have Wifi or computer.” So my natural reaction was “What the fuck do you have and why are you even here?”
We threw him an IPad, some WiFi, hooked on phonics, a shot of tequila, a Dos Equis and this guy turned into a Grammy award winning artist. It was an adventure to say the least.
Ironically, the next fork in the road occurred when this musical genius had to leave. After playing every explicit rap song that had my grandmother bumping & grinding the sausage & peppers, the music died. Silence was upon us. A desperate quenching for a melody amongst the impatient crowd was apparent. I didn’t know what to do. I attempted to connect to all Wifi compatible speakers. Nothing seemed to work. Confusion settled in. I exhausted all options. Except one.
I remembered a cousin of mine named Joe Kennedy (who basically invented the 80’s) had a 16ft gray “Boom Box.” I hadn’t seen it since 1989 and the last song it played was something from Kurtis Blow. Joe happened to be invited to the event. (He slipped through the cracks somehow.) I glanced towards Joe and asked, “Do you have that Boom Box?” He jumped up like he just won a lifetime supply of Aqua net and replied, “Yes I Do”. As much as I did not want to accept technology had failed us and allow Joe the opportunity to save the day, I was backed up in a corner. I mumbled, “Get it.”
Any other human being would get up. Go inside. Retrieve the device. Hook it up. Move on. Not this iconic 1980’s warped minded soul. He seized the moment to let all in attendance know his ancient artifact saved the day. With the assistance of his girlfriend who still believes she’s sandwiched between Jon Bon Jovi and
Richie Sambora, they found a signal an hour later and a song had magically played. Within two minutes WiFi came back and we threw the radio along with Joe and his girlfriend in the pool. Their hair never moved!
In the end it was a great day. Kids had fun. Made some unforgettable memories.
Whether it’s a party, work, family or simply life as we know it there will always be unexpected situations we
must confront and deal with. As long as we have our health, all the rest of
the bullshit is irrelevant.
Until next year!
Would love to hear some of your party mishaps!