Happy Birthday, Momo
IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY FOR THIS EARLY IN THE YEAR. The sun is shining and the temperature is in the low 60s. If I didn’t know better I’d call it a Spring Day. I like it.
The only dark cloud on the horizon seems to be that it is getting to be time to take the Toyota in for its 30K mile checkup and an oil change.
“Open your hood, stick out your air filter and say ‘Ahhh’.” The mechanic grabs the fan belt and says to hit the turn signals and cough. Rotate those tires.
I don’t expect there to be any major problems. It seems to be running just fine. It goes forward when I step on the gas and it stops when I hit the brakes. Beyond that I don’t ask for much. It’s a car – not a financial advisor or a podiatrist.
We have a few trips planned in the next few months and I just want to know that the machine is up to it. When it comes to driving I hate surprises. Actually I’m not a fan of surprises of any kind in my life.
If you want to throw me a surprise party for my birthday I demand a three week notice. When someone says “surprise party” to me I flash back to a scene in the movie “Get Shorty” where Momo opens his door and thirty people scream “Surprise!” Momo grabs his chest and hits the floor face first. Instant Planking, rapidly assuming room temperature. I don’t want any surprise parties at my age.
I’ve been on the other side of surprise parties too – jumping up from behind the sofa and yelling “Surprise!” at a person with a heart condition and a concealed weapon. Things came very close to being an episode of “Quincy – Medical Examiner.” Uncle Paul was never the same after that.
About the only time I don’t mind being party to a surprise is when my doctor takes my blood pressure and says, “120 over 70 – now that’s a surprise. I figured you’d be dead by now. I guess I don’t win the pool.” He’s got a dark side that bothers some people, but I don’t mind. He unknowingly gives me a lot of material for this blog.
I don’t care for surprises when it comes to movies or books either. I don’t like them because they usually don’t make sense or are really just a cop-out.
“Cop-out” = Ancient Greek theatrical device called “Deus Ex Machina” – where the plot gets so twisted and confused that the playwright resorts to having the gods descend from Mt. Olympus to straighten things out.
Dr. Who is as close to that as I will accept without having me talk back at the television. “Unexpected” I can swallow, but it has to be plausible.
I looked up the etymological origins of the word “Surprise” and it fits into my experiences quite nicely.
According to my dictionary the word comes, linguistically from Old French in about the 13th century, meaning “An unexpected attack or seizure.” Yeah, that sounds pretty accurate. They must have known about people like my uncle Paul even then, grabbing his chest and reaching for his Smith & Wesson at the same time. It’s one of those childhood images that that is seared into my memory.
Surprises and I just do not agree and I don’t care what people think. I have standards – they may be low, but they’re mine.
I really never thought much about “Surprises”. I don’t believe I was ever surprised on or near my birthday. I don’t remember ever being surprised at much of anything, especially nowadays. There was a birthday party, I think it was for me too) a couple or three years ago, in conjunction with one for a Great Grandchild. I got one of those cellophane Charlie Brown trees with the words “Happy ..th” on the branches and another pair of lounge pants.
Enjoyable reading this morning, John. Thanks.
A. Charlie Brown tree? How surprising.
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