... parties, that is! The Writer's Cramp contest, Jan 25, 2021
|"Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you…"
Though shockingly out of tune and with random, inappropriate words added, there was no doubting the enthusiasm of the 8 guests. Our son's birthday was a roaring success so far. His eyes sparkled in the reflection of a 'Porky Pig' cake and its candles, surrounding a number 8 candle.
Nicky's special day couldn't begin immediately his eyes opened, it being a regular school day when every moment between wake-up and boarding the school bus was rushed and most precious. It took a little convincing before he agreed the birthday should start when he arrived home in the afternoon. He knew a mate was coming for a sleepover in a tent we'd hired. The size was no surprise as he believed his older siblings would be sharing the night. He was such a believer in whatever we told him, trusting us implicitly never to lie to him.
"Uhrr, except those 'white' ones about Father Christmas." Hubby couldn't resist a smirk and a "Gotcha!"
"AND the Easter Bunny, AND the Tooth Fairy." The 'white' lies were coming thick and fast all of sudden. "Guilty conscience for all the pale fibbing we've been doing lately about his party, do you suppose?"
Nicky didn't know the best surprise — 8 of his mates would be partying AND sleeping over — NOT his siblings at all. When they started to follow him off the school bus, our sentimental little fellow was so overwhelmed, he almost cried. Bet he would have, if he'd not been surrounded by an audience. Couldn't let your mates see any weakness… NO WAY!
When the grand moment arrived to blow out those candles, hubby and I exchanged glances and a wink. We had no doubt what his wish would be, having been bombarded for months with unmistakable 'hints' (if that's what you could possibly call a heavy-handed nudge-nudge, wink-wink (Subtlety is NOT a strong-point of kids). It was ALL about cricket at that stage of his young life.
Because our son was besotted with our latest litter of pigs, I'd decided to make him my version of a 'Porky Pig' cake. Three varying sizes of sponge cakes were sandwiched with strawberry jam and cream and stacked upon each other. The whole lot was then to be decorated with pink icing and facial and other details added, using lollies. BUT. Not being a cake-decorator-extraordinaire, I'd made the cake icing a bit sloppy (and run out of icing sugar… and our farm was a considerable distance from reinforcements). The only solution I could find was to pile on the coconut—to hold it all together, and to camouflage minor shortfalls (no pun intended!). My 'band-aid' treatment caused its own special disaster.
A great huff and puff from the birthday boy and the room was momentarily plunged into darkness. When hubby turned on the light, a collective gasp went up from all in the room, and a loud "OH NO!" burst from my mouth. The table, empty plates and small amount of food left undemolished, plus every kid around the table, were covered in a layer of coconut. These days, such a whoosh is deeply frowned upon, considered totally unhygienic—and the disastrous happening of this one sort of proved that point—however, it WAS a long time ago when we were all unaware and unaffected (strangely enough) by such dire dangers.
Maybe a different age group would have been less forgiving. These 8 clowns and their leader, the young man of the moment, all but fell off their chairs with hysterical laughter — especially after one creative character declared it an 'Attack of the Killer Coconut Gang'. Fortunately, all agreed it tasted great, even though another bright spark observed it was "nothing like any pork I've ever tasted".
When the party-goers finally retired to the tent after a few hours of fun and games, ending with much activity and hilarity with torches after dark, we had a bizarre dream they would succumb to exhaustion — soon? After not TOO long… uhrr, eventually? P-L-E-A-S-E?? Realistically, we suspected the snacks and fizzy drinks they'd needed to take to bed with them after all their activity, WOULD occupy more than a little time… two can dream, can't they? The singing and joke-telling took considerable time as they 'egged' each other on to greater efforts.
The quality and decency of the jokes deteriorated quite rapidly. Boys will be boys, I told myself. When one of them wondered what they might do next, another suggested, "Let's swear and see who knows the most." And they did. And this mother cringed, having had no idea the depth of knowledge of this subject all these fine young fellows hid behind cherubic faces.
It might appear we were lurking outside their tent, if we could hear so much, but this was not the case. Our farmhouse was an L-shape surrounding a lawned area where the 'sleep-over' tent was erected. Our bedroom occupied the end section of one wing, and our window was directly in line. On a warm night like this, it needed to be wide open to catch the gentle, cooling breeze—such a bonus for exhausted and aching bodies from the day's activities. Despite the seemingly never-ending party shenanigans, I began drifting into the welcome relaxation of the lightest of dozes. UNTIL…
"I know what. Let's have a Fart Fest!" Amid a hearty roar of approval, they began their repertoire, each one trying to outdo the others.The sounds were one thing, but when the heavily laden atmosphere inside the tent became too much even for them, they came tumbling out, coughing and spluttering and mopping eyes.
Greater love hath no parent than those who quickly but quietly close their window tightly and choose to swelter half to death, rather than be asphyxiated.
A party to remember, that one.