Thursday, November 10, 2011

Robert's 11th Birthday Party.

Okay, it got changed from Friday night to Saturday, I'm sure because she found out I was planning to leave town to go hunting for 3 weeks right after his party, on Friday.  Regardless, I go to the his school because the first half of the party is running RC cars all over the schoolyard.  Hey wait, where are all the other parents going?  What? It's just going to be me and her alone with 8 boys.  Oh sweet and fluffy L-rd, spare me.  Well, I'll just do my best to avoid her and concentrate on the boys and the cars.  

Which goes pretty well until the batteries die and it's time to head to Gino's East for Pizza and Cake.  Presents, I'm informed will be opened at her place.  Yep, I'm going to have to go into the belly of the beast.  Better get uparmored, as this going to suck.  But, for my son, I'll pay any price including playing nice with the  WINO*.  So we divide up the boys between the two cars, and naturally I manage to find a parking space close to Gino's East, while the WINO, of course, passed several perfectly good spots and parked half a town away.  So me and 4 boys get to Gino's East first.  Now, it being Halloween, we're greeted by these two.  The Valkyrie and the Referee.

Okay, I tell the Valkyrie that I'm here with (last name) party of 10 or so.   I'm informed that because we're 5 minutes late they "gave away our reservation".  Now, in front of the podium in the picture is a bench and on this bench is a woman about my age with her young son, waiting to be seated.

So, I ask the Valkyrie "Does that costume come with a shield and a sword?"
"What?!? ...... No.

"To bad.  Because in about 5 minutes my ex-wife is going to come through that door, and you'll get to walk through the gates of hell and tell her that you gave away her reservation.   It won't be pretty, once she's done with you.  I've dealt with her for years, so I'm just going to sit over here and watch the carnage.  May G-d have pity on your soul."

All said with a smile and final laugh. 

The lady on the bench was "surprised" , yeah, that's a good way to describe the look on her face. Both the Valkyrie and Referee blanched.   The boys were over by the video games and I went and sat down with a view out the door and on the boys. Smiling.

Suddenly the Valkyrie and Referee huddled up and start scribbling on the podium.  I continued to smile.  I looked over and smiled at the nice lady waiting for a table.  She was still in shock.

Sure enough, about 5 minutes later the WINO walks in with the other boys, looks at me and I point at the two hosts.  She says her name and that she has a reservation for 10 people.  "Oh, right this way."  says the Valkyrie.  The nice lady still waiting for a table starts laughing.  I, again, smile at her, and get a WTF? look from the WINO.

Anyway, we eat pizza, drink soda  and have a piece of birthday cake.
Then it's time to get the boys to the WINO's place.  They are having a sleepover, so I tell the boys to stay up to at least 4am and 5am would be better.  They agree.  Party all night long!!!

So once there, it's time to open presents.  Robert opens all the ones from his friends (his gift from his Mom is the party), and finally he opens mine.
Yeah, I'm big on wrapping paper.  I'm a guy, okay.

What did I get him.?  A framed copy of Rudyard Kipling's Poem "IF" to hang on his wall.  I was surprised and amazed that all the boys sat still and quietly listened as he read aloud.  


IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; 
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim; 
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster 
And treat those two impostors just the same; 
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken 
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, 
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, 
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, 
And lose, and start again at your beginnings 
And never breathe a word about your loss; 
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew 
To serve your turn long after they are gone, 
And so hold on when there is nothing in you 
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch, 
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, 
If all men count with you, but none too much; 
If you can fill the unforgiving minute 
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, 
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, 
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

I think he understands.

*For those of you playing along at home:  WINO=Wife In Name Only.


  1. Oh Wow such a Great Gift!

    Also liked the funny story about the "Wino".

  2. Well played Sir, WELL played!!!

  3. I can picture that in my mind...the reservation situation that is. Awesome poem/gift!