Sunday, August 15, 2010

Another Friday the 13th Birthday Behind Me....

I just hate, hate, hate when my birthday falls on that accursed Friday the 13th, because it means something really, really annoying is going to happen that's going to disrupt what should have been an otherwise pleasant day of fun and frollic. So I decided to head it off by starting the day off with a birthday present to myself... I went to iTunes and downloaded Lewis Black's Stark Raving Black CD, which finds the explosive comic at the apex of his hilarious indignation of the human condition. In his examinations of the foibles of people both high and low, I believe he is now at a comedic level where dwell such performers as George Carlin, Robin Williams, and Bill Cosby at their peak. His incredulous pairing with Vince Gill and Amy Grant at a charity show made me pee my pants just a little.

Armed with a burned CD to play in the car as I headed to work, I thought, "This day is going to be great! I'm gonna get everything finished early at Subway, maybe Jeannie will even let me off a little early, then I'm heading home, grab Deena, and we're heading to the movies to see Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World! I'll show Friday the 13th! I'm going in with a better attitude!"

And, ya know... I should have realized from that moment that thinking all that stuff, I was just setting myself up for a fall. I should have just brained myself with a 2X4 in the garage and laid there unconscious until Deena found me. It would have been far more pleasant than the following six hours and forty minutes.

Now, to be fair, Jeannie got me a really funny birthday card, which further deluded me into thinking things were going to come out well. Almost immediately after that, things started sliding. The breakfast rush got so that I barely had time at the prep table to finish the food slicing before lunch began. We fell a bit behind on the bread baking. Then we had one obnoxious customer right after another... and then, in handling the hot soup pan coming out of the microwave, Jeannie spilled a nice puddle of it on the counter.

The day dragged, the dishes got higher, the prep list got bigger, but we did manage to get most of it all caught up to just before I was ready to clock out... and then, as if on cue, about two dozen customers, one right after another, showed up to order a jillion sandwiches. I was 40 minutes late getting out of there, forcing Dee and I to go to a later showing.

Later that night, a nice young man on Tony Isabella's bulletin board wrote me a birthday greeting and advised me to ignore the Friday the 13th superstition, that, as far as he had researched it, it was a "relatively recent invention of the 20th Century."

I wrote back, "Ah, so that was a relatively recent invention that's been kicking my @$$ all day today, spilling hot soup on the counter, making me and Deena late to the movie! You know, he was standing right outside Wal-Mart, actually paying people to go in and throw crap on my day. I met him as I was going out and I said, 'Hey, Relatively Recent Invention! Thanks for putting the screws to what was supposed to be a worry-free day!' He said, 'Not a problem! Hey, here's a rash! Don't say I wasn't thinkin' about you on your birthday!'"

So, we decided to go get some eats at Grindstone Charley's before I absolutely fell over from insulin shock and catch the later showing. It was worth the frustrations... if you fuse the best of John Hughes' teen angst movies with the crazy-ass energy of a Jet Li action flick and the classic video games of the 80's and 90's, the result is absolutely the world of Scott Pilgrim. Edgar Wright, the director of great British comedies like Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, has reached a whole new level of energy with this film.

The rest of the day, thankfully, went uneventful, and the Sweet One and I settled down to a couple of hours of good television before letting my 54th birthday slink off into the dusk.