Marco: The big four-oh, Charles!
Dora: Oh!! It's your 40th!
Marco: Are you planning a
Charles: Nah, I never
celebrate birthdays. I don't see why this one should be any different.
Dora: Why not?
Charles: First, you know me, I
can't be bothered with the hassle. It's my birthday but I'm supposed to do all
the hard work – contacting people, finding a venue, organising food,
worrying who will show up. No, thanks.
Marco: Ah, someone's angling for
a surprise party, eh, Dora?
Charles: Marco, stop! Even
worse. Having to pretend to be delighted 50 people just sprang up in your
living room when you thought you were coming home to put your feet
up. Probably having a heart attack at the shock.
Dora: Note to self: never
to organise you a surprise party. OK then!
Marco: You've got to do
something, though, Charles. It's your 40th.
Charles: Why? What's so great
about getting old?
Dora: Er … still being here
to have your birthday?
Marco: Yeah, 'Ageing is
better than the alternative', as they say.
Dora: Yeah, and it's true
– so why not celebrate?
Charles: You guys can have
parties for your 40ths if you like. I just don't go in for that kind of
Dora: Wow, that's a bit
harsh! I had a huge bash for my 30th. And you came. And enjoyed yourself
if I recall. Are you trying to say I was just doing it for attention?
Charles: Not exactly … but …
well … at least a small part of you must have been.
Dora: Remind me not to
invite you to my 40th then, so you won't have to put up with my huge ego while
I feed you and provide free drinks all night because I thought we were
Charles: I meant, er, I mean,
not all attention-seeking is bad. It's just not my style is all.
Dora: Whereas it is mine?
Marco: Anyway ...
Charles: I didn't say that!
Dora: Er, yes, yes, you
did. You said celebrating birthdays is self-indulgent and ...
Marco: Guys, guys! Who knew
birthdays was such a touchy subject? Speaking of which, I have to sort out
my nine-year-old’s party the weekend after next.
Charles: Now, that's a party
I'd love to organise.
Marco: Really? It's a nightmare.
It's not like when we were kids. Now you have to take them all rock-climbing or
hire a make-up artist to come and teach them how to look like a zombie or a
film star. And there'd be trouble if someone else in school had the same kind
of party and your kid gets accused of copying. That fear you said about no one
turning up? It's a million times worse when you're scared your kid is going to
have no one turn up.
Charles: Is there that much
Marco: Yeah, it's crazy.
Last year, I got it right with a cinema trip. Simple, but always a winner. But
we can't do the same thing again apparently. It says it in my 'Official Laws
for 9-Year-Olds' book.
Charles: That's a pity. I've
got so many fond memories of birthday parties as a kid. Party food and games
and watching cartoons until your parents arrived.
Marco: Trust me, your
parents were stressing out!
Dora: At the risk of
restarting the argument, when do you think you stopped enjoying birthdays then?
Charles: I dunno really …
somewhere around moving away from home and getting a job and being a grown-up.
I don't mean birthdays are immature. I mean, it takes a while to make new
friends and so birthdays just become more low-key and it's drinks with a couple
of friends or dinner or something. And I just got out of the habit, I guess.
Maybe I just need to have a kids-style party like we used to have! Play musical
chairs and eat pineapple and cheese on sticks and all that.
Dora: Very retro. I bet
people would love that.
Marco: Yeah, they would.
Well, I would anyway. And maybe it'll catch on with my kids and it'll start a
new party trend.
Charles: You've got me
thinking … it's not a terrible idea. Maybe I will have a party this year!