The Problem of Birthdays

My eldest son’s birthday occurred the other day. He is now a year closer to obtaining his driver’s license, acquiring firearms, drinking alcohol, voting, and getting married. That’s a somewhat unsettling thought. Hopefully, when that day comes, he will not become intoxicated, acquire a firearm, go out driving and end up married, all on the same day. Voting, of course, is irrelevant to my concern. One can vote, inebriated or not, and the end result seems to be basically the same.

Anyway, due to his patient insistence, we caved in and took him to a very interesting establishment for his birthday evening. I will refrain from specifying the exact name of the place for legal reasons. To give you a clue, though, if the place existed in France, it would be called Charles E. Fromage. However, I doubt it would be allowed to exist in France. Anyone wanting to build a Charles E. Fromage there would probably be either executed on the spot or stripped of their citizenship and slapped about the face.

When we entered the building, I was impressed by the overwhelming number of lights. They blinked, flashed, strobed, stuttered, and crescendoed and decrescendoed in rapid succession like a thousand sunrises and sunsets played back at hyper-speed. I was sure my children would immediately start experiencing seizures, but they proved to be immune. The place was also filled with a great deal of noise. It sounded like a subway station at rush hour if you had suddenly introduced several dozen rabid weasels in order to enliven the crowd on the platform.

Oddly enough, my children enjoyed the experience. I’m always pleased when they’re having fun, so, afterward, I promised them that we would come again in about ten years time.

6 thoughts on “The Problem of Birthdays”

  1. Just look at it this way: as a person connected with farming, you should appreciate every opportunity you get to whack gophers/moles over the head. Unless Charles E. Fromage has moved on from Whack-a-Mole, which would be a shame.

  2. I must confess to allowing birthday invitations to this fine food establishment to go missing until just after the date… I have a dim memory of eating there once and I never escaped the idea my pizza was actually oozing neon. My third son just took me to a birthday party wherein parents are imprisoned for two hours in a dimly lit warehouse and subjected to horrific music at piercing decibels while their children bounce from the ceiling. We’ve always had cake at home with friends – my son felt so deprived upon discovering other children are allowed to torture their parents for their birthday!

    1. Wise move to misplace the invitations. However, in which level of Dante’s inferno was that birthday party you attended located? Honestly, though, it’s all gotten a bit silly. I’m not a fan of child-centric parenting, and the modern birthday party seems to be a bizarre manifestation of that philosophy. Mostly. Always an exception along the way.

  3. If you are invited to anything with Jump or Bounce on the logo and have to sign a waiver on the invitation – RUN!

    I’m glad you remind me there is always an exception along the way – I judge too harshly.
    Perhaps parents think this is somehow a requirement – lavish parties?
    Must say the party had the same effect on Ben as Turkish Delight did on Edmund; he needed more.

    1. Perhaps one should, upon birth of a son or daughter, sign a waiver that blankets the child’s entire life? That would only make sense, though, if God was the one wanting the signatures, and I doubt He cares much about lawsuits.

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