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Why You Do Not Want Me To Celebrate Your Birthday

I work in a very small, close knit office where we make a big deal about everyone's birthday, anniversaries, baby showers, children's weddings, personal achievements, etc. Sounds great, right? Unless you're the person who gets into the office first most days. Because if you're that person, and I am, you get the luxury of answering the phone to hear all the many reasons why people are late, excuses for not coming in altogether, getting up ten times to answer the door when half the office has forgotten their keys, and preparing for forgotten birthdays, anniversaries, personal achievements, etc.

I would say that a good third of the time I spend when I come in early to get something done before the phones and the rest of the office starts bubbling over is spent doing some last minute thing I never expected to be a part of my job responsibilities. Never expected to be part of ANYONE'S job responsibilties for that matter. "Can you clean off table in the conference room and put the candy away? I have people coming at 9:00," or "Is there any chance you can go through the piles on my desk and find X document I forgot to bring with me and then take it downstairs to give it to me as I drive by so I don't have to stop and go inside for it," and the ever popular "I forgot it is Aging Coworker's birthday... can you put a sign on the door?"

It's that last one that happened this week and I got about ten minutes' notice before Aging Coworker was due in the office. I started off with a simple sign that said Happy Birthday and had a funny/happy clown on it. But the template I scared up to save time had spaces for three more pictures and I couldn't find another picture of a clown on my computer. So I went to my trusty Google Images for that and then... well... things got out of control as you can see for yourself.

(You're gonna have to click to embiggen this in order to read it, I'm afraid, Blogger doesn't love the big photos.)

When I was a kid I never really had a phobia about clowns, per se, (although after looking through this list, maybe I should) but I was pretty lukewarm about them in general. I didn't get the appeal. And then I read Stephen King's It when I was in high school and that was enough to put me off of them for life. A couple of years later they made a mini-series from the book and the image of Tim Curry's creepy clown has been indelibly burned into my retinae.

One time I made an off-hand comment to a friend about how I just don't get clowns and later that year he made me a birthday cake with dismembered and dying clowns all over it that said, "I hate clowns, die clown, die." I wish I had a picture of this cake today, because I would have taken it to a local baker and had him reproduce it for Aging Coworker's birthday cake (which we also do without fail on everyone's birthday). Too much?