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?
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.
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.