Saturday, June 23, 2012

Flawsophy's semi-fictional universe© presents the only way to plan the perfect surprise birthday party ...

It just struck me that there is only a limited amount of sensationalism you can create with a surprise birthday party.

Let me get the first things out of the way. No one knew the day when Jesus Christ was born. That's because Gods didn't give a damn about details like these compared to the transcendent moral illuminations they were busy putting together for us. Clearly, birthdays are a human thing. Another proof for that is that the festival of Christmas celebrates the birthday of Jesus whose date (December 25) itself is adapted from the rival pagan traditions to coincide with the southern solstice (the day the sun starts to ascend up from the tropic of Capricorn towards the equator) thus showcasing the human preference for any amount of extravaganza over the inconvenience of a factual accuracy. Moving on …

Its nearly midnight and here we are, chattering impatiently on a moonlit night at the lake on a humid midsummer night waiting for both of them to show up. Where are these people? They haven't still come. It's his birthday and she was all agog. She came up with this grandiose plan of throwing a surprise birthday bash at the lake. We would all be at the lake about 10 minutes before midnight; she would somehow trick him and bring him to the lake. And at the exact stroke of midnight, we would all pounce upon him shouting "SURPRISE" scaring the bejeezus out of him. In her head, it was truly a hilarious idea. They just met and it's his first birthday ever since they have been going out together. In this graduate student subculture, the first birthday is always the real big deal. It's your first public chance to dazzle him away. I must grant her my respect for she went quite far in putting this whole thing together gathering about 20 of us at the lake, coordinating everything over the phone including the fetching balloons and the cake. If she put the same interest in her operating systems course, she might as well scored an A- instead of the present B+.

The ice-cream cake has started melting and still no sight of them. Who the hell even orders an ice-cream cake in humid summer? "Oh … no … he loves the ice-cream cake flavor". The breeze started taking a little more active interest in blowing away the flame off the candles on the cake. Some dedicated chaps are constantly lighting them up while discussing some state-of-the-art techniques on how to block the winds from extinguishing the candles. I am standing among peals of laughter because this wise-crack is entertaining us with his joyous commentary on life's recent events. The less interested have their smart-phones out and are busy doing whatever goddamn thing that these people with smartphones usually do. Over all, we were having a good time under the serene moonlight. Meanwhile, someone playfully burst a stray balloon which caught everyone's attention. I glance towards my watch to realize that it's now less than two minutes to midnight and yet they are still not here. I give her a call. She takes a little while to answer but starts speaking in a whispering tone so as to not make him suspicious, perhaps. She tells in a husky tone that they are still looking for Bazooka, their cat. Apparently, the goddamn cat has gone missing. The cat? What about the melting ice-cream and the molten wax from the burning candles that is dripping off into the melted ice-cream converting the cake into a semi-edible organic mass. Knowing about the general reputation of a typical cats' ability for explicit affection towards their owners, I can confidently say that it doesn't give a rat's ass about his birthday. To be fair, its unreasonable to expect a cat to really give up any part of a rat or a mouse especially after what they mean to them ("Yumm … ") .

Then I understood what the heck could have happened. She must have told him, "honey, lets celebrate your birthday quietly at the lake. Lets leave all those tasteless weasels and those insignificant friends who would just boorishly bash you with Hawaii chappals in the name of birthday bumps and rub all the cake on your sweet face … blah blah … quack quack … purr purr … squeak squeak …. " -  something like that. He would have seen it through. All her surreptitious phone calls since evening, her timing of the suggestion for the lake getaway would have clearly given away the fact that she is up to something. Now armed with his brilliant intuition about what could be going on, he must have thought it would be doubly funny to screw around with her a little bit with a plan of his own which was to search for Bazooka around midnight. Without a modicum of concern for all of us who are waiting around the lake to take part in this "amazing ritual" of surprise birthday party, there they are playfully trying to outwit each other choosing this very opportunity to act out one of those cutesy, romantic team-building exercises listed in "The idiot's guide to healthy dating and coalition governments". My face turned a little grumpy realizing all this but no one would have noticed it because of an OBVIOUS LACK OF SUNLIGHT AT THIS RIDICULOUS HOUR. No one even can see a balloon over a lake at midnight and yet there she is, another friend sincerely trying to contribute by inflating one more balloon for the party … and there they are searching for a goddamn cat … Ooh la la …

Here's what I think: some of us are trying way too hard to plan the perfect birthday party surprise. First of all, there can't be such a thing as a surprise birthday party. For the simple reason that the he/she knows the date of birth. Timing is a huge part of any surprise and WHEN the surprise's gonna be is already fixed. Not just that, they obviously know WHO is in charge of the surprise. Therefore, all we have left to work with is a single-dimension of  HOW the surprise ought to be. If you really want to really throw a maverick surprise, why do it on the birthday? Do it a day before or 2 days later ... I don't care ... It's your guy/girl ... Just by altering the day of the surprise, you now have two flexible dimensions - "HOW" and "WHEN". I'd bet my whole Barbie doll collection if that won't get them off guard. If that is not enough, let's take it a little further. In fact who says you have to even be there. Make some random stranger wish her a birthday in her home 3 days before the actual birthday, that way the surprise is in 3D -  "WHO, WHEN and HOW". Try this and see if this doesn't get you an ear-load of compliments, in fact many more than what you may be expecting.

Besides, don't you think I know that all these surprises are part of the insurance policy in case of future arguments:


Therefore, if a girl comes over to ask you to help her plan a party for another guy, don't be flattered. It's never about you in the first place. And if the girl you have a crush on comes up with the proposition, I am glad to report that you are simply screwed.

Forget all this. You wanna know the best birthday party I have ever been to ? This one starts normal  - in a room, under a roof with our faces well lit by those energy-saving, long-lasting soft-white light bulbs. The birthday girl is cutting the cake and we are all singing the birthday song. Soon, someone volunteers to smear a piece of cake to her cheeks and she tries to sheepishly avoid it. As the playful struggle ensued, a whole bunch of that moist cake accidentally lands on her hair. Now, that's crossing the line for she is the type of girl who cares about her hair texture more than issues like climate change and scarcity of food. There is no way she was going to let anyone get away with that. She grabs a whole piece of cake and runs after him to avenge the pasty cake on her hair. And … Yada Yada Yada … pieces of cake are flying through the air, we are all in midst of a cake-fight … everyone is flinging cake at one another making sure we all have the cake on each other's faces. In every party, there is one professor kill-joy who as a matter of principle refuses to take part in anything mischievous like giving the bumps or cake-smudging. The best fun was chasing him down and plaster a piece of that cake on his entire face.  By the time we took the photos, all the walls were splattered with cake, chips, soda and all of our faces look as if we are the cast of old Charlie Chaplin comedy scene enactments. It was the most hilarious food-fight - something I have always wanted to be a part of. The best part was that nothing was planned. It's was a pure action and reaction sequence spurred on by raw instinct - just like how life ought to be. None of those corporate style of planning-coordination-team-work-execution nonsense. I say shove those upper middle-class professional attitudes from your social life and live it up with a some spontaneity !!!

5 comments :

The Regular Joe said...

LOL! :D Totally enjoyed this piece

Tejaswi said...

:) Good one. I once got a surprise "30days before ur Bday" party. Gift was I could chose and do watever i wanted in my Bdat month.

Vasu said...

As always, out-of-the box.


If you really want to surprise someone, don't throw a B'day Party.

or plan the next day of B'day.

Now that's more than a "SURPRISE"
"SHOCKING" B'day party :)

Sash! said...

@ Regular Joe: Thanks, buddy !!!

@ Tejaswi : wow ... really? I was only goofing around ... It works, doesn't it?

@ Vasu: hehe ... an invisible party is the best idea of all ...

Twilight Musings said...

You have to separate the concept of 'surprise' party with the cheesy implementation though. Surprise parties never worked for me, because who really wants to bump into a bunch of people while expecting to be left in peace?

Having said that, I did throw a surprise birthday party. But the surprise was limited to finding the b'day cake instead of an extra pizza, and a personal home video montage instead of movie.

May be everyone likes a party with elements of surprise, instead of party being a surprise.

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