Have you ever had one of those days? You know the one when you step out from your elevator and are greeted with an arm around your throat and the soft whisper of a voice from behind you saying, “Don’t make this more difficult than it has to be.”
That’s how my Saturday began. It continued with me hog tied in the back of a van, sack over my head and the occasional jab from my captors for the next fifteen minutes. As soon as the driver stopped, the sack was replaced with some masking tape; I was then dragged out of the vehicle and literally strung up against the van door. The tape was kindly removed from my freshly shaven skull and before me stood three of my best friends in the world grinning at me through clenched teeth.
Most of my peeps were out of the country for my 40th birthday and Saturday had been arranged to be my celebration. The theme was ‘payback’. You see, I am a little notorious for putting my friends through some hellish games, events and fun as a way to celebrate their birthdays. Payback was gonna be a bitch.
Two of my friends poked and prodded at me and the third held up his tablet. On it was playing possibly one of the greatest flicks of the ‘80s – Lethal Weapon. The movie had been fast forwarded to the scene when Martin Riggs was being tortured by Joshua and Ndo.
Oh no! I could see where this was going. As my friends attached a booster cable to the car battery, stripped off my shirt and soaked me with water, I had to wonder how far this little prank was going to go. The padded dowel between my teeth and light show as the two ends of the cable were connected were a good play. I was scared! (Seriously!) By the time the water soaked sponges were pressed against my drenched chest, I was pretty well convinced that I was in for a shock. However, the shock came a few moments later.
It took my friends a minute to compose themselves after scaring the piss out of me. (Almost literally.) But when they did I was greeted with the most amazing of surprises – a bottle of 16 year old Laguvolin, my favorite single malt. We sang our credo (A little cultish, I know.) and popped the bottle. It was only 10 in the morning so I opted for a smallish dram. And then the real shock came. They made me fill the rest of the glass with Coke. (NOOOOOOOOO!)
After being untied and allowed to get get dressed again, the four of us then sat down for a friendly game of Texas while we waited for a couple of other friends to join us.
The six of us spent the rest of the morning doing a modified Amazing Race. I had to compete against my five buddies in a dance off (Kinect Dance Central), driving at the local driving range, and batting at the cages. Each event that I lost (which were most of them) came with the penalty of a shot.
The ku de gra, however, came in the form of pizza and beer at the end of the afternoon. I had to battle the others in a pizza eating contest. My challenge was to finish one piece of pizza and a slab of radish-jello before they consumed two pieces of pizza. Oh yea, but my pizza and ‘goo’ were loaded with hot peppers, canned squid, pig stomach and something else of which I only know tasted like bile. I was beaten by all but one of my friends. Yea! Four more shots for me. Oy! Nevertheless, I devoured everything without puking. (It was close, though!)
The beer drinking contest seemed a little fairer until they pulled out the bucket full of creamed corn and mayonnaise in which my beer bottles were immersed. I was able to retrieve the bottle and chug most of my beer before four of my buddies. Yea, only one more shot for me. Oh yes, and the sight of mayo dripping from my face caused one of my friends to vomit. A definite moral victory.
After that, we all went home for a shower and a nap. When I awoke, my wife was home getting dressed. We still had an evening of partying ahead of us. And what a party it was. I was floored when I walked into our friends’ home. About twenty five of my peeps were there dressed in their 80’s best. The house was decorated with old pictures of me, old movie posters onto which they had photo-shopped my face, balloons, and streamers. 80’s music filled the air and it was all for me.
A poker game was held in the basement where winners were given coupons as prizes. The coupons entitled the bearers to give me a shot, make me do 50 pushups or have me wear an article of their clothing. (One of my friends bequeathed upon me the underwear which he was wearing that night. I wore them proudly.) The poker game was interrupted briefly by an embarrassing video of old pictures created by my loving wife.
After the game, the night moved onto an 80’s trivia challenge, another dance off and finally a night out at the clubs. Needless to say, by the end of it all I was a bit of a wreck.
As I write about this epic day, I am reminded of the beauty of true friendship and the lengths friends and family will go to make you feel special. I have been privileged enough to gain an extended family here in Taiwan that continue to blow me away with their love, kindness and warm hearted generosity!
Sexy and I know It, by LMFAO, was the song to which my wife made the video. It is unlikely that many people will ever see her creation. All you need to know is that it pays tribute the true Leo in me.
Even though it is Tuesday and I am still recovering from the party three days previous, I am warmed by the love that I felt and continue to feel. More than ever, I am able to say, “I am NOT to old for this shit!”
Sexy and I Know It youtube link