So it’s my birthday this week.

I’m not saying this because I want attention. I’m saying it as a warning. Please, don’t ruin my week.

See, birthdays haven’t gone so well for me. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about this week that always makes me feel like a deckchair on the Titanic.

It might be genetic. My dad had terrible birthdays growing up, too. He was the youngest child of tired old farmers, and they didn’t have a lot of birthday pizazz left in the bank for him. One year, they got him a bottle of Sprite™ in a paper bag (I wish that was a joke) and a promise to “take him down ta’ town and get him something next week, if they had time.”

Statistically, my birthdays have been pretty awful. I think there have been at least three birthdays that involved eating too much pizza and throwing up at Chuck E. Cheese (I will not reveal how recently these instances happened).

In fact, throwing up is sort of a common theme. One time in junior high school, some of my friends threw a party for me and this girl whose birthday was a day before mine. This girl also happened to be cute. We all went to her house and played night games, which should really just be called “games that are almost as fun as games you play in the daytime, except sometimes you run into low-hanging tree branches with your bare eyeball.”

Anyway, we were playing night games, and I was chasing her, and then I was chasing her some more, and then, for a change, I chased her for a while. It wasn’t a problem until I realized that (a) she didn’t want to be caught, (b) she was a trained cross-country runner, and (c) all this running was going to make me york all over the yard. Which, consequently, is what I did.

That birthday was pretty awful. But thinking back specifically, there was one birthday which really took the cake (which also happened to me once on my birthday): my first birthday in preschool.

In preschool, it was my birthday, which meant that it was my special privilege to get my parents to bring a treat for everyone else in class. This was back before kids were allergic to things like nuts, strawberries and competition. Wild days, they were.

Anyway, my parents sent me off to school whistling contentedly with a box of Zingers™ under each arm. Have you ever had a Zinger™? They’re like little fatty torpedoes of happiness. One box was chocolate, the other raspberry. Ooh, I was so excited to share my Zingers™ with the class.

The teacher helped me pass the treats out, and once we were all finished, I realized there was a special birthday treat in store for me: One girl was absent! That meant two Zingers™ for me! Life could not be better.

I slowly devoured the raspberry Zinger, then unwrapped the chocolate one. I was going to savor it, this extra cake-like dessert product of my dreams. The other kids watched me enviously.

At that moment, the door to the preschool opened. In walked the absent girl.

I had a choice to make. I could either do as my teacher was asking and hand the chocolate Zinger™ over to this girl, this late girl, or I could carry on in my present course and enjoy the Zinger™ surplus that was to be my birthday.

“Kory, you need to hand her that dessert,” my teacher asked.

I looked at my teacher. I looked at the girl. And I shoved the entire Zinger™ inside my mouth.

I had to have it explained to me what I had done, and I ended up not only being forced to apologize to the girl (I still don’t know why), but also being put in time-out until my parents came.

In my defense, I had been promised two Zingers™ but had only received one. It didn’t matter. What an awful birthday.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy your spring break. I know I will once I can get past this birthday nonsense.

And then, oh then, I will eat my weight in chocolate Zingers™.

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