Friday, May 16, 2008

"ap irha" to you, "ap irha" to you!

It was Toasty’s birthday last week. I had promised my folks that we would come see them for Mother’s Day (they live about 2 hours south of here. 1 ½ if I’m driving), and Toasty gets along well with my parents, so he agreed to come along. We had a birthday dinner Friday night here in Seattle (thank you, J and C) with his kid and kid-in-law, then on Saturday morning, headed down to the ‘rents.

Being the thoughtful girlfriend and daughter that I am, I asked my mom to make Toasty a birthday cake (thanks, Mom!). On Mother’s Day. OK, this maybe wasn’t the best course of action, making my mom bake on her special day, but I couldn’t exactly bake one while he was sleeping, smuggle it into his car and have it still be a surprise by the time we got there, now could I?

The weekend was great, we had nice weather for tromping around in the woods, did our usual portion of liberal ranting which had Toasty longing for his “apathy” bracelet, ate too much, the usual. I think the only problem Toasty has with going to the ‘rents house is that it is House O’Naps. Mr. OCD would be fine with that if it were House O’WetNaps, but it isn’t. That house is a giant sleeping pill. You walk in, the fireplace is roaring, there are boring magazines piled six deep on every flat surface, the TV is murmuring in the background, they have something like eleven hundred couches, zzzzzzzzz. Toasty doesn’t nap. My family has medalled in the NapO’Lympics. But I managed to stay awake this time, though dad did go down for one of his sleep apnea’d, gape-mouthed snorefests after lunch on Saturday.

What this is actually all about is the birthday cake. My mom made some chocolate-cherry thing, and if you know my mom at all, you know it gave her some pain to do it. Mom is all about the healthy eating, and she’s been dieting since the mid-70s, I think, so chocolate cake (with no trans fats, btw) isn’t exactly high on her list of Things to Feed My Family. But she made it, bless her low-fat, clog-free, hyperhealthy little heart.

The problem was the candles.

It was my “job” (since I’d done little else) to light the candles in time for the singing and general merriment. My folks have a pantry just off the kitchen where the cake had been stashed in secret. Mom had bought these candles that spell out, conveniently, “Happy Birthday” –each colorful, wax letter attached to a toothpick. After dinner was over and the dishes cleared, I went into the pantry, placed the candles, and started lighting them. And that’s when everything went horribly wrong.

The candles were really little, and they burned like wildfire. By the time I got to “day,” “Hap” was already burned out. So I tried to relight “Hap,” but the candles were burning away like crazy in a giant, multi-colored conflagration. At one point, one of the wicks came away from its candle and stuck to my match. I was desperately trying to keep up, lighting an “r” only to find that both “a”s had gone out, and most of “Happy” was melted in pools on top of the cake. I just wanted a window with all of them lit long enough to leap out of the closet, throw the cake under Toasty’s nose, sing the Birthday song in quadruple time, make wishes, blow out tiny fires, happy frickin’ birthday.

It never happened. By the time I got out, “ap irha” was all he had left. The whole family got in on it, trying to light “candles” that were really just a wee bit of wax clinging to a toothpick by now. Dad tried to light matches and prop them up against the remaining candles, but that made the air a bit acrid and we made him stop. To make matters worse, Mom had festively decorated the top of the cake with pretty little colored sugar things that were the exact same colors as the candles, so distinguishing wax drops from decorations wasn’t easy.

But at least we laughed like the last 30-seconds of a family friendly sitcom, and the cake tasted good despite the wax. Don't know what Toasty wished for if he had time to wish at all, but I wished for sturdier candles next time. And a pony.

See below: (and click on the pic to see the carnage up close)


NuclearToast said...

Definitely one of the top five times on the "Hardest Raggs Has Ever Laughed" list.

And the cake was good!

DK said...

The picture looks like a new form of art - seriously. Things spelled out in candles and slightly melted. Genius!

CJ said...

I also have a napping family. At my parent's house there's some kind of magnetic force that makes you end up laying down on the couch. Glad to hear we're not the only nappers :)

The cake was really a nice thought, and that's what counts, right? Happy B-day Toast!

stag62 said...

holy-shizzle-that's-the-funniest-thing-I've-read-in-weeks! Where's the Kleenex... I'm tearin' up. At work. It's embarrassing. I mean, I'm SO sorry about the experience but, wow... just wow... that stuff usually only happens to me! Thanks for sharing the love on this one. I needed it today.

Lynn Sinclair said...

The candle letters are a great idea -- if they worked. They say it's the thought that counts, and I believe the surprise cake counts big time.

Happy (belated) Birthday, NT!

Ash said...

Sounds like fun! You should see my family after Thanksgiving. My Aunt has an L-shaped couch and everyone falls asleep on that thing.