Surprisingly depressing: The truth about surprise parties

Who thought that attempting to make someone soil themselves in fear and shock on their birthday was a good idea?

When someone jumps out from behind a corner and screams at me, I don’t think its fun – I feel like stabbing the jerk! But for some reason screaming “SURPRISE!” as the birthday victim unknowingly walks in the door has become a tradition.

I type this column two days before my birthday. My girlfriend has been hard at work organizing a surprise party for me.

Obviously, I’m fully aware of this, but I’m being a good boyfriend and pretending like I’m stupid enough to believe that all 417 of my friends (and Billy, my half-friend) happen to be going out of town two weekends after Spring Break.

I’ll even pretend like I’m surprised when I walk in the door to a shower of confetti and fat kids trying to hide behind the couch so as not to be seen.

Don’t get me wrong. I do appreciate the effort, but a surprise party doesn’t work for a few key reasons. First of all, jumping out from behind a door and yelling at me is a good way to get yourself an express ticket to punched-in-the-face-ville. But I have to say that most importantly, I’m disappointed in all my friends; in fact I don’t think they deserve my friendship after putting forth such a dismal effort in surprising me. Consider this article as your official demotion. (All gifts are non-refundable.)

The out-of-town excuse only works for the first three people, but tends to get suspicious by the fortieth person. Where’s the creativity!? The best excuse I’ve gotten so far is “My grandma died.” That’s not even that good of an excuse – even if it was true, who cares about dead grandmothers; I’m turning 21! I want to hear about exciting things like car-wrecks! Or how about murder!?

That’d be a surprise! “Joe can’t come because he got stabbed to death after an altercation with a fast-food employee over the proper way to cook a Whopper.” Now that’s a story!

Not only will I be surprised to find out he’s at my party, I’ll be even more surprised to find out he’s alive and I mailed a macaroni card to his parents for no reason. It’s like two surprises in one!

On the plus side, this has given me an opportunity to have fun at the expense of my friends (that’s the best kind of fun!). How far are people willing to go to keep the fun of a good surprise alive? Here are some ways to find out.

Cancel my own party.

“Since it seems that no one will be able to attend my birthday party, I’ve cancelled it. Instead I’ll just spend my weekend at home with my family. We’ll reschedule later.” The fun comes in when people try to convince me to stay without blowing the big secret surprise party. How are they going to that gracefully?

Use it as an excuse to not have enough food and beer.

“Oh sorry, you guys said you’d be out of town” I only bought enough for me.” This one’s going to save me a lot of money because my damn friends will stop mooching off of my beer and food and go get some of their own for a change. In fact I hope they’re all reading this right now, because the only thing more fun than lying and screwing people out of money, is taunting them after you do it.

Force embarrassing excuses upon people.

“Hey, I heard you won’t be able to come to my party because your uncle just got arrested for indecent exposure. I just wanted to let you know there are no hard feelings. I understand this is a time you want to be with your family.”

The person either has to own up to having an uncle who gets his thrills by exposing himself in public, or ruining the surprise. Then I’ll just laugh as they awkwardly stammer and try to figure out which option to choose.

Stage a heart attack.

Since everybody seems to think it’s such a great idea to scare me, I think it would be great to scare them. As soon as they yell “surprise”, I’ll fall to the ground clutching my chest. Everyone will be real surprised when they find out I was kidding. Part of me thinks they’ll be upset, but since they love surprises so much, how could they be mad?

Now that I’ve found some ways to entertain myself, I just have to practice my surprised face and work on not crapping myself during the moment of truth. I better get some expensive gifts”

Colby James ([email protected]) accepts late gifts.