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Happy Birthday, Dickwagon – Part 1

October 23, 2012

Well, here it is.  It’s my birthday, October 23rd, and I figured I’d get into some birthday related stories.  The best, wildest, weirdest birthday I had came on my thirtieth… at a time when most people are settling down and chilling out on the whole birthday party thing.  Not me though.  I was making up for lost time.  Truth be told, I didn’t really celebrate my birthday much from the time I turned seven until my twenties.

The Seventh Birthday

I have, when discussing my past, glossed over some of my childhood in North Carolina.  The truth is, I loved it there, and dearly miss it.  But, between the time I lived in a suburban neighborhood in California at age 4, and the time I lived in a suburban neighborhood in Charlotte at age 15, I lived way out in the country.  I lived in Iredell County, North Carolina, near a tiny town called Troutman.  When I say “near,” I mean as the crow flies… by road it was a windy meandering pain in the ass to get to my house from town. I lived on the edge of a state park, and only had a handful of neighbors.

Which is probably why my seventh birthday party was an utter disaster.  I invited every kid in my class to come to my house for a birthday party.  But, at the time, none of my classmates lived anywhere near me.  So, as the day of the party arrived, I sat and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  About ten minutes past the time the party was set to begin, I heard my mom whisper to my dad, “what if nobody comes?”  About half an hour later, I gave up waiting for others to arrive.  I invited the WHOLE class, and nobody came.  At the time, the fact that I lived in the middle of nowhere didn’t occur to me.  What did occur to me: fuck birthdays.  Or, you know, the 7 year old equivalent to that sentiment.

And that, really, was it.  I didn’t put forth any effort to have a big party, and refused my parents offers for parties from that point on.  I pretty much blew off all the big events: the tenth (double digit) birthday, the thirteenth (you’re officially a teen) birthday, the (sweet… though it’s a bigger deal for girls) sixteenth birthday.  Oh, and then there was my twenty first…

The Twenty First Birthday

Okay. Sure, I celebrated it.  Who didn’t, right?  Well, okay… I think before I talk about my twenty first, I need a bit of legal disclaimer.  Here goes…

The CrakGenius does NOT condone underage drinking in any way, shape or form.  And, if at some point my children read this, know that I hated every minute of underage drinking, because it’s horrible and not fun at all.  Don’t look at me like that!  I’m totally serious.  Totally.  Seriously.  Serious.  Moving on.

So, there was this bar.  Some might call it a “dive” or “shit hole.”  To me and my friends, it was our regular watering hole.  And, since I was only 20 at the time, I was the designated driver.  Which meant, as we hung out at this bar, and the waitresses came and asked our drink orders, I would always SAY, “I’m the designated driver, so just Coke for me.”  Which was an enormous cop out.  And then, someone even younger (by a year) joined our little group… and he had a nicer car than I did.  So, naturally, he became the driver.  So, at some point (I’m not entirely sure when), the waitress heard I wasn’t driving, and I was brought a beer.  And then more beers. Every night we spent at this bar, I’d chat with the bartender, or the waitresses, or whatever, and drink.  AND NOBODY EVER CARDED ME.  Was it my fault I was drinking underage?  I think I can hardly be held accountable for the irresponsibility of this one dive bar (my story… sticking to it).

So then, on the night of my twenty first birthday, I was at that same bar.  Only, this time, they had a new bartender on duty for the first time.  And when he carded me, I proudly presented my suddenly legal ID.  Only, as he was inspecting it, the regular bartender walked up.

Regular Bartender: Oh, he’s fine.  You don’t have to card him.

New Bartender: Oh?  You already carded him?  Sorry about that… but hey, happy 21st birthday, man!

Regular Bartender: . . .

Me: Uhhh… heyy… thanks, man.

Regular Bartender: LET ME SEE THAT!

Oh. Look at that. Happy birthday, dickwagon.

After he looked at my ID, he looked at me, and shook his head.  He didn’t actually SAY “For shame, Todd.  For shame!”  But it was there, in his eyes.  So, I had broken a sacred trust: the trust between a man and his bartender.  If you’re out there, Scott… or… Sam… Gary?  Was it Gary?  Well, if you’re out there, bartender dude from Elizabeth Billiards in Charlotte, NC circa 1994-1995, know that I’m sorry.  And that I know I let you down.  And know that, as punishment, the gods of bars and alcohol saw fit to arrange things so that I would spend the night hopping from bar to bar until my really good female friend (you know the one who always beat you at pool?  Yeah, that one) would proposition me sexually, and my momentary “what the fuck” pause would not only leave me un-bed that evening, but permanently screw up a really good friendship.  Long story short… Karma.  She’s a bitch.

Throughout My Twenties

After my twenty first birthday ended in sexual frustration, bartender disappointment, and shattered friendships, I ended up sleeping on the couch of a friend (the designated underage driver) and reassessing my whole relationship with my own birthday.  Was I self destructive?  After all, I could have invited the kids who DID live near me, instead of my classmates, when I was seven.  I could have gotten back on that horse, instead of quietly shrugging off the suggestion of a birthday party from that point on.  I could have been honest with the waitresses and said, “I’m not old enough to drink, but I like to hang out and play pool. Is that okay?”  Nah, the underage drinking thing wasn’t my fault.  BUT I could have seen the whole proposition coming and maybe not hesitated, one way or the other, instead of making a big uncomfortable moment of unnecessary silence occur.

So, I made a decision.  It would no longer be “fuck birthdays,” but rather “Fuck yea! Birthdays!”

And the celebration of my birthday became an epic event, each year’s celebration more outrageous than the previous, until that one, utterly insane, 30th birthday party.  The one you’ll have to wait until part two to read about.  Until then… see ya in the comments, my blogbabies.


On a completely unrelated side note: THANK YOU @AnalogyQueen… I appreciate the award and will be doing my Liebster post soon!

  1. Karyn/@analogyqueen permalink

    Ha! Well done my friend and happy birthday! Excellent post . Hurry up and publish the rest of it!!!!!!
    I actually just stopped by to see if your homework was done 🙂
    The Leibster Award post is due! Can’t wait to read THOSE questions and answers.

  2. Ahhh. Still waiting patiently. *taps fingers incessantly* Great birthday post too. Happy Birthday!

    • And you thought you were finally going to get the gay bar story, huh? Soon, my friend. Sooooon…

  3. Oh… birthdays.

    I never had the big childhood party, so I go completely overboard in my 30’s. One year I even jumped out of a perfectly good airplane.

    I can’t wait to hear what happened.

    • So… wait… the plane wasn’t on fire and about to crash? Something doesn’t add up…

      Seriously, I’ve never had the balls to go skydiving. And I live in the skydiving center of the world… the shitty little town in Arizona where more people learn to skydive and more people skydive on an annual basis than anywhere on earth. I don’t know… if I was in the air looking down on this crappy town, I might be inclined to just hang out in the plane anyway. I’d be all, “can we fly somewhere better before I jump out? Please?”

      • Actually, I was super depressed. The skydiving made me incredibly happy to be alive.

        So it worked.

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! :o) I hope it was better and that everyone showed up. I have a constant fear that no one will show up if I had a bday party. Which is probably why I haven’t had one since the age of 7… When my dad got drunk, flipped the snack table and yelled at all the kids to go home. But that my just be the mental scars talking. ;o)

    Double Birthday Hugs!


    • Yeahhhh… that might be the scars. That might be….

      Seriously, though, if you threw a party now and just invited bloggers who live in your area of the country, I bet you could count on a pretty packed house.

  5. Congratulations on completing another journey around the sun! I’m glad you eventually got out of your anti-birthday funk…and am very curious to hear the 30th party story!

    • Thank you! It feels like I accomplished something when I consider that, since my last birthday, I’ve managed to travel 940,000,000 km at a rate of 108,000 km/h. Pretty sweet. Preeeeetty sweet.

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  1. Happy Birthday, Dickwagon – Part 2 « CrakGenius

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