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5:46 a.m. - 2005-11-07


Andrew's birthday party was a huge success ... unlike our recent stabs at throwing parties.

Under the rules set by Pump It Up, when you rent the place out, you're allowed 25 kids plus the birthday kid for your party.

We had 25 kids plus Andrew.

While this constitutes a "success" for us as parents, we didn't really factor in that 25 kids inside an inflatable paradise for 90 minutes equals 90 minutes of intensely loud squealing.


And crying.

Out of 25 kids, I'm guessing I saw about 24 of them crying at one point or another.

Why the crying??

Well ... when you're jumping around on an inflatable surface, it's inevitable that you're going to fall eventually.

And if you're near another kid and you both fall at the same time, chances are good your skulls are going to connect with one another in a collision usually reserved for NASCAR tracks.

We had two little girls wandering around in a daze holding ice packs to their faces.

We had one little boy who had tumbled out of the obstacle course face first to the carpet below whose face got a wee bit skinned up.


The kid looked like Freddy Krueger after falling out.

"Thanks for inviting me to the party, Andrew! I had a swell time! Other than the hideous disfigurement of course!"

While the kids were supposed to play for 90 minutes, at the 75 minute mark, all the little girls were crumpled in a heap near the door, having been sufficiently worn out.

Most of the boys were as well.

Andrew had thrown in the towel at the 60 minute mark.

"Daddy, pick me up," he said, reaching up to me.

I picked him up.

"I need a nap," he whispered in my ear.

The kid has NEVER volunteered to take a nap.

I snuck him in to the party room and showed him the big inflatable throne.

"That's YOUR chair," I said. "We still need to sit in that chair so you can be Birthday Boy."

"I need a nap," he repeated.

"Look at the cookie!" I said, exposing the Great American Cookie From Hell that had enough sugar in it to kill several diabetics in one sitting. "You still have to eat some of that cookie."

"Nap, Daddy. Nap," he said, eyes barely open.

"What about all these presents?" I said, showing him this huge bin on wheels overflowing with gifts.

Suddenly, naptime could wait.

"Presents?!?" he said, jerking his head off my shoulder and having it spin on his neck. "What presents??"

That woke him up.

The 45 minutes we had to eat cookie, open presents, and make so much noise that Helen Keller would have yelled "Hold it down you little assholes!" wasn't enough time to open all the presents.

So a few came home with us unopened.

Bad move.

Two of the presents didn't have tags on them to say who they were from.

And there were only 24 presents.

So there was one kid who didn't pony up a gift.

This isn't a problem. It's not like Andrew needs ONE MORE PRESENT.

But when I was writing out the Thank You notes last night, there came a dilemma.

I had Barbie, Davey and Walt's notes left to write.

Two of these kids gave Andrew gifts. One didn't.

And those two kids ... I had no idea what they gave him.

So I wrote "Thank you for coming to the party and for my awesome gift!" for all three of them.

One of them is going to take this note home to their mother who will read it and say "What a sarcastic little shit! I didn't have the money to buy a gift and they're rubbing it in my face!"

While the other two mothers are going to read it and say "What an ungrateful little bastard to not even acknowledge what I spent my hard earned money to buy him! Screw that damned Andrew kid!"

Susie's suggestion was to wait on filling out those three Thank You notes and just asking the parents the next time we saw them at daycare.

Yeah right.

"Hey, Walt's Mom! Can you tell me what you gave my kid for his birthday?"

"I didn't give him anything. We're poor and could barely afford the gas to come to the party."

"That's right! I forgot ... you're poor! Now I can fill out your Thank You note appropriately! I hope that beat-up piece of shit you drive cranks up so you can all enjoy that broth down at the Soup Kitchen tonight!"

I think my way of addressing the problem causes a little less embarrassment for everyone involved.

Saw the weirdest thing at the club the other night.

This beautiful girl was in the club and was obviously the apple of every guy's eye in the place.

She sat there with her friends near the dance floor and kept getting asked to dance by dozens of guys.

And she danced with each one of them.

That gal loved to dance.

Only problem was ... this girl had ZERO rhythm skills.

Now, I'm not trying to offend any of you ugly skank chicks out there ... but I've never seen a beautiful woman who couldn't dance.

I think when God blesses women with good looks, He automatically tosses dance skills on top of them. God's good that way. He knows that good looking chicks are going to get asked to dance a lot at seedy bars and he doesn't want to embarrass them on the dance floor. God's cool that way.

But not this gal.

I can't really describe her dance skills but I'll try.

She bounced. A lot. Constantly.

Don't confuse bouncing with jumping. Basically, she just lifted herself on her tippy toes once a second.

She would occasionally stretch her arms above her head and touch her fingertips. And by "occasionally", I mean once every ten seconds.

Bring 'em up, take 'em back down. Wait eight seconds. Do it again.

And about every 15 seconds, she'd whip around in a circle so that her hair would trail behind her and rest on her shoulders after the twirl.

At which time, she'd stare seductively at her dance partner at the time while doing a sexy grin.

Now ... imagine all these steps done with the grace of a freshly shot three-legged moose.

The most amusing part of all this (for me anyway) was watching the guys ask her to dance, getting out on the dance floor ... and then as the guys got their rhythm going, they found out Hot Chick had none whatsoever.

So they had to "dumb down" their dancing.

I'd watch them start off with rhythm.

And as Hot Chick spun around them like her armpits were on fire, they'd try to match her rhythm, fail miserably and end up just kind of shuffling slowly back and forth on their feet while swinging their arms slowly no higher than waist level.

She ended up leaving with one of the guys.

I have no idea if they had sex at the end of the night.

But if they did, I bet that guy was hugely disappointed.

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