Thursday, April 20, 2023

Birthday Mullings

Let’s talk about birthdays. It’s not mine, or anything, I’ve just been thinking about them.

Some people don’t like their birthdays. They don’t like being reminded that they’re getting older and another year closer to death. Me? I love it!

When I was young, I wanted to be old. My father was about twenty years older than most of my friend’s dads, and I wanted to be like him. I wanted to have nearsightedness and gray hair too. And the good Lord in his infinite wisdom provided me with both. At some point, I got LASIK, but the hair will always remain its natural color. I could shellac it with shoe polish, but I’m not Ronald Regan.

Clowns must have a love-hate relationship with birthdays. It’s their bread and butter, but they also have to deal with annoying brats who would rather have video games, or at least a decent magician. It’s honest work, but I doubt it impresses. You don’t see mothers at the country club bragging about how their son is the most successful birthday clown in the state. It’s probably a non-starter at singles bars at the bar as well.

Once, as a teenager, I was a singing cowboy at some rich kid’s birthday party. It was a last-second request, and I was horrible. My hat was a big, floppy hippy affair my mother owned, and I wore sneakers instead of boots. I played some silly songs on my guitar and got a few laughs. But for the most part, I’m sure I was the worst singing cowboy ever. But I look on the bright side. Somewhere, at this very moment, I’m sure there’s a guy in his forties performing standup with a story about how I made his eighth birthday a catastrophe and was the root of all his psychological issues.

I hope someday he thanks me.