My coworkers think I'm taking the day off today because I just wanted to goof off on my birthday.
Don't tell them the truth: It's really because they're awful singers.
Have you seen the movie Office Space? There's a scene where the boss has a birthday, and the cubicle-dwellers shuffle out to sing and eat cake.
Their gloomy rendition sounds downright lively compared to the folks around here. They finally had to resort to buying a birthday candle that plays a high-pitched version of "Happy Birthday" when you light it. Unfortunately, blowing it out didn't make it quit; they didn't figure out how to turn it off until it spent half an hour chirping away in a co-worker's drawer.
Normally after dissing my colleagues' singing abilities, I'd say something like, "ha ha, but seriously," and segue into something else. But really, seriously, they can't sing. So I'll escape on my birthday and seek out some seventh-graders at my daughter's school and get them to sing; kids will do anything (except their homework) if you give them cake. And I'm not above bribing children to sing happy birthday to me.
The price perhaps will be to make me feel even older, but it'll be worth it not to endure another office funeral dirge.
OK, OK, just kidding. They're on to me anyway; they just catch me before or after the big day - which, as you get older, isn't quite so big any more.
As far as actual celebrations go, I've finagled around the past four years to go to an Augusta GreenJackets game on or near my birthday. This year, the event just happens to coincide with Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Night (and Fan Appreciation Night) Saturday.
It should be a great evening, as long as Hurricane Ernesto stays away. Best of all, it's the day after opening day for most of the county's football games (the best game will be Harlem at Evans, but I'll take in Lakeside at Aquinas; I'm a band dad and go mostly for the halftime show), and Saturday is opening day for the Georgia Bulldogs, an afternoon game that will end in plenty of time to make it to Lake Olmstead Stadium.
Indulgent though she may be, I think my wife will draw the line if I try to watch the NASCAR race on Sunday.
New party HQs
Even though it's my birthday, I can't goof off entirely. So I should probably at least pretend to comment on politics or something.
In that regard, a couple of recent things struck me as funny.
First, Columbia County's Democrats have opened a party headquarters on Washington Road in Evans. It's in a building that not long ago housed a used-car business; insert your own joke here.
The county's Republicans established their party headquarters a couple of months ago, but it doesn't have the visibility of the Democrats' place; instead, it's hidden in an office park off Davis Road.
Speaking of Republicans, the party breakfast a couple of weeks ago featured a funny little scene, adroitly played by Superior Court judge candidate Bill Williams.
All four candidates for the judgeship, which would replace retiring Senior Judge Bill Fleming, were at the breakfast. At the end, the party drew raffle tickets for a couple of gift baskets.
Williams won, and got his choice of baskets. The conundrum: One basket features coffee, the other wine. Do you pick the wine and have some people criticize you? Or pick the coffee and get accused of being a goody-two-shoes?
Williams instead donated the choice to the Greater Columbia County Republican Women and its president, Sherry Barnes.
Who promptly picked the wine.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.