Monday, 16 March 2009

The "Hawpy" Birthday Fail...

Birthdays eh, why have they become so difficult? The celebrating of a chum's or a family member's birthday should be a fairly simple thing to organise and execute - book restaurant, invite friends, turn up, sing appropriately dull song when the fat man brings out the candle covered cake. When done right everyone goes home feeling a little younger, with one obvious exception, and a whole lot smugger. Simple. But why oh why do some people make it more complicated than the invasion and subsequent pacifying of Iraq? Why? Why? Why?

slice it into 20 please..

If it's not odd requests for his favourite meal when he was a wee lad, I mean what the fuck is chicken a-la-bloody king anyways?, it's requests for the music of the birthday celebrants formative years. Now this ain't so bad if the person was getting their rocks off in the 60's or even in the 70's but it become less amusing if the birthday boy was breaking hearts along to Whigfield or god forbid the Pet Shop Boys.

Bleurgh.

But the most annoying and all together brain crushingly loathsome aspect of working a table when someone is celebrating a birthday is the ballachery associated with the birthday cake itself. For a start they are almost always hideous, quite often offensive, and regularly disgusting. I mean nothing says, "happy birthday and we are glad you are here with us grandfather, father, husband and brother", more than a £2.99 Chocolate Sponge from fucking ASDA(WalMart).

There was one the other day for a grandmother who had, wait for it, survived cancer, a stroke, a car crash (a fucking car crash mind?), the saddening death of her life long companion and husband (I assume it was the same person, if not she's a fucking albatross of a woman) and made it all the way to her 80th birthday only to be treated on the special day by her ungrateful children to a filthy little jam filled abomination with icing more akin to bird shit that barely covered the sides of the cake and with a picture of a too cute by half puppy on it. She was mortified and more than a touch hurt, I could tell. I think it was the way she was crying and asking for more brandy that exposed her true feelings.

But it's not just the cake, even good ones come with problems. There is the birthday cake ritual/wink-a-/nod-thon to be got through before you even get to the sing song bit. This is all very very bothersome and takes up way to much of my time when I could be standing or slouching or even drinking tea whilst slouching. But instead there I am every Saturday night at about half ten playing the winky/noddy game with a fat lass from a council estate waiting for my cue to proceed with the cake. One has to wait for the appropriate moment before setting off in full song with a cakified inferno. I mean doing it once is bad enough but having to repeat the performance because Uncle Bob was having a pee is just not conducive to a happy evening. So you wait for your cue whilst your face slowly melts from the 30 candles they insisted you put on the tiny cake.

Now, I like to start the table in the traditional singing of Happy Birthday to You but like a good catholic I like to withdraw before the climax leaving it to the recipients friends and family to finish it off. And they normally do. But by fuckity it's not cool when I am the only one singing. I mean I have the voice and general physique of a manatee. Having me lurching over you whilst dripping with sweat from your 45 birthday candles as I belt out birthday wishes is not what anybody asked for as a present. No sireee bob.

This is what happened last night.

I had just set the cake down in front of Stacy, she looked like a Stacy, and was just working my way through the second line of the birthday song with what seemed like the full backing of her 15 friends when...

"Hawpy birthday til you..."

"Haaaaaaawpy birthdaaaaaaay dear...", I ejected at this point to leave it to her friends to finish the song of but instead of following this line up with "...dear Stacy, Hawpy birthday til you" we instead got...

"Fuck her, Im nat singing for thon one", from the other end of the table. It was as clear as day and as loud as my underwear. Oooooh I had to step in quick sharpish with my dulcet tones and quick wit and finish the song off before the hair and teeth went flying. Nice way to end the night I can tell you, ten women in the toilets with a weeping Stacy whilst another five defended their position from the birthday table. But why come? Seriously? Why were they invited? If you cant sing the birthday song, don't go to the birthday party.

Also if you do bring a cake to a restaurant bring enough cake for everyone, and I don't just mean your guests. If you expects the waiter to cut your cake then you can expect him to eat it, so get the big cake eh.

34 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Babaduck said...

And that is why we always leave the dessert up to the restaurant. A scoop of icecream & a candle go a long, long, long way!!!

Manuel said...

babaduck: which is why I keep candles in my pocket, for the nice people.......honest I do.....

silverstar98121 said...

And I just love being humiliated in restaurants that bring the entire staff over to sing their proprietary birthday jingle. Much prefer a cupcake with The Boyo and then sex.

Manuel said...

silverstar: crikey...there's nothing I can add to that!

ellie said...

For my 40th friends took me to dinner, they side stepped the cake dilemma by bringing along a candle which they asked the waiter to put in my dessert, unfortunately I ordered the cheese selection!

Manuel said...

ellie: ha! good to see you back again......Listen I've put a candle on a irish coffee and in a creme brulee.....it's all do-able!

wendy said...

Fuck the cake... just bring me the bottle.

..and wait til I'm done to sing so I can sling it at you. I'd hate to waste any if you began before it was empty.

Then, of course, we can Blumenthal everywhere right before tea.

Manuel said...

wendy: hahahaha! blumenthal? quality......

Christine said...

Didn't you at least get the scoop as to why people were so pissed off at Stacy?

What is interesting in the states is that some restaurants do have their staff sing but they can't sing Happy Birthday because it is supposedly copy write, Because of this, the bigger chains have invented their own little diddies to annoy the staff even further.

I doubt doubling as an entertainer was in the job description.

daisyfae said...

i would rather put out a birthday candle in my tear duct than have a public birthday event of any kind. i do not allow them. nope. never.

fuck stacy. she wasn't going to share the ugly cake...

Old Knudsen said...

I went to a restaurant for my last birthday. The people going in and out hardly had any spare change and then the manager moved me on. It was my birthday damnit. Lucky they have shatter proof glass.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

I had a cake brought in by a table tonight as big as a house for 10 people. When this happens they cut their own cake and I just bring the plates , knife , and forks. We don't sing either.
For birthdays we just promo an ice cream cake dessert and put a candle on it when bringing it over. Pretty simple.

Jimmy Bastard said...

No comment available.. I'm too busy wiping the pish up from underneath my chair.

Holy mother, what better way to start the day than with a Manuel post.

Killer said...

Birthdays are one of lots of things that I hate!!!

Le Nord said...

Ach poor Manuel. Singing in itself is traumatising enough!

Trekkie said...

Thank gawd I've never inflicted a birthday party on a poor, defenceless waiter. Even this year, when I've got to cater an 18th, a 40th and an 80th birthday party, you can rest easy as it'll all be done in the privacy of my own home.

aoife mc said...

Woah!!! Hilarious post. That birthday party sounds harsh.

It was my birthday yesterday actually - I stayed at home and my closest friends came over with gingerbread men and cadburys chocolate fingers and wine and we watched Harvey. It was really lovely.

I don't like going out for birthdays. As my mum said to me anyway, it's really her that should be celebrating my birthday as she did all the feckin' work.

Sassy Sundry said...

Stacy's "friend" shall burn in birthday hell, where manatees warble through "Hawpy Birthday" and she'll never be able to blow out the candles.

Manuel said...

OH MY! Three o'clock in the afternoon and not a comment reacted to. time has slipped away from me.....I shall respond later.....must go to work now.......it;s not that I want to, they make me do it.....sake.......til later

Manuel said...

actually I should have ended that with, see you waiter! ha.....christ I shall never use that phrase again....ever.....

MJ said...

Haven't you learned yet not to mention cake around me?

But an entire post dedicated to it?

*resists urge to post cake linkage*

ninetyninewords said...

Why not just say "After 3 ...." and let them get on with it, or not?

As you can tell I couldn't manage a smidgen of that false sincerity for the umpteenth time this week. You have both my sympathies and respect.

Jennynib said...

LOL! Love the accent. When I lived in Dundalk I knew a lady who would just SHOUT every single word and call me Jinny. Grrrr!

She couldn't pronounce the name 'Hugh' either. Most odd.

Medbh said...

There will be no singing at my table this evening.
Past the age of 10 it seems kinda silly.
I may indeed eat some cake though.

Native Minnow said...

Exactly, why bother showing up at all if you're going to refuse to sing b/c you despise the person so much. That's my strategy.

liederess said...

My birthday is next Wednesday and if you were in America, I'd treat you to a luscious piece of cake, especially if you sang to me in dulcet tones. I don't think I've had that experience with anyone yet.

fmcgmccllc said...

Who the fuck would take a cake to a restaurant. This is just so wrong. Tacky, tacky, tacky.

little miss manuel said...

I'm still waiting on my birthday cake from August!!

Boxer said...

for my 18th birthday, my only wish was that no one sing happy birthday to me.

They didn't.

Manuel said...

awh man, there's too many now and I'm soooo tired.......

ninetyninewords said...

Wuss.

Manuel said...

99 words: I'll wuss you matey.....

Red said...

"leaving it to the recipients friends and family to finish it off"....disturbing....

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