If an alien race is currently studying human social interactions, then the notion of a surprise party must be a baffling one.
ALIEN #1: “All hail Xeurp! I found that humans, through a web of deceit, lure an unsuspecting human to an area where the human is ambushed by a group of other humans. Instead of being destroyed by the mob in the ambush, the human is given praise and gifts...or they just bring a covered dish. They call it a surprise party”
ALIEN #2: “All hail Xeurp! It’s a joyous ambush? This confuses and angers me. Have you been eating those forbidden Earth mushrooms again?”
Yes, us humans may be crazy to throw a surprise party, but we do it anyway because…well...uh...
Anyway, after returning from a surprise party last year, I was about to exit the car when my wife suggested that I throw her a surprise party. The idea stunned me in my place as I was trying to figure out how a requested surprise party is logically possible.
An hour later, my wife came back out to the car and said, “Nevermind, but you should throw your mother a surprise 70th birthday party.”
Now, that was something I could do, but really didn’t want to do.
It wasn’t because I didn’t want my mom to have a nice birthday surprise party, but because I once attempted to throw a surprise party for my brother when he had two weeks leave from the Army while he was serving in Iraq.
The plan was to have a local social club decorated and ready for the arrival of my brother and me as I took him to a movie; after the movie, we would go to the social club for wings and — “Surprise!.”
However, when I suggested going to the club, we started fighting because he wanted to go somewhere else for wings, and at one point, he yelled at me for having a disturbing psychopathic obsession with the club’s wings.
That went on for half of the car ride until I finally blurted out that I was doing it because I was throwing him a surprise party. The other half of the ride was spent with him yelling at me that I shouldn’t have thrown him a surprise party.
But, since I had incriminating information on him, he acted surprised at the party and said afterwards that he did have a good time, that ungrateful little...
Anyway, you can see why I was hesitant to do it again.
My brother and I and our wives spent weeks telling people face to face, over the phone and making Facebook events out of it. I even suggested that we tell only four people about the party and then post all of the party photos online afterwards, so that way, we wouldn’t just surprise my mom, but surprise friends and family. My brother said that was my dumbest idea since I threw him a surprise party.
The plan was to have the guests arrive half an hour early, and I would bring my mom to the park, telling her we were invited to a graduation party, and as we would approach, everyone would have their backs turned to her and then, when we were close enough, they would yell “surprise!” and throw live chickens at her, the latter of which was also one of my many rejected ideas.
The surprise went off well, but someone forgot to mention to the guests that when they had their backs turned to her, they could continue talking until we were close enough.
So, yeah, it was odd to see a group of people standing in a pavilion with their backs turned to us while in complete silence, staring at the park’s trees.
It looked like we stumbled upon a cult suspended in meditation or medication or a group of bird enthusiast in awe silence of a rare Black-backed Oriole sighting.
I told my mother maybe it was the graduate playing spin the bottle or something, but my mom was delightedly fooled and had a great time at her party.
With that, I’m 1:1, and will begin planning a surprise party for my wife; however, don’t say anything to her about the now-published intention to throw her a surprise party that she suggested that I throw for her.
I want it to be a surprise.
According to Hofmann is written by staff reporter Mark Hofmann of Rostraver Township. He hosts the “Locally Yours” radio show on WMBS 590 AM every Friday. His book, “Stupid Brain,” is available on Amazon.com.