Birthday Party Blasts!

Sigh.  The guilt.  The knot in my stomach.  The heartache of knowing that I am an inadequate mother.

No, I didn’t forget my child on the roof of the car.  I did not sell him into child pornography or child slavery.  I did not force him to converse with me only in Pig-Latin so that his classmates would laugh at him when he started school.

Nope.  I failed in a much more important way.

Birthday parties.

Maybe it is just that I became a parent too soon.  Maybe there is still time to discover a spacial anomaly that will allow us to remedy the situation.  So that we could once again hold our heads high with the other parents who hosted birthday parties for their equally indulged children. Sigh.

We had fun.  Or so I thought.

When Jacob was young, we had a swimming pool.  And so we had lovely gatherings for dozens of friends with everybody in the pool.  I was young enough then to even appear in front of my friends in a bathing suit.

As he aged, we progressed to other types of parties.  We had one at an indoor playground with tunnels and ball pits and slides and pizza.  We did bowling and laser tag.  All with pizza.

It’s true that unlike a classmate of Jacob’s in 1st grade we did not hold his 7th birthday party in one of the fanciest hotels in Geneva, Switzerland, as did one of his classmates.  It was quite a doo, actually, with waitresses in little French maid outfits carrying silver trays full of, yeah, pizza.  (I’ve always wondered where they’ll hold her wedding.)  But Jacob is a boy, and didn’t care a hoot about fancy-schmancy.

Once we had Jacob’s birthday party at a skateboard rink; helmets and pads were required.  We indulgent parents want to keep everybody safe, and bubble wrap tends to be somewhat suffocating.  We served Pizza, natch.

We only had one real disaster.  And that was when the day before Jacob’s 13th birthday party, which had been postponed, John was called out of the country for an emergency meeting.  Jacob has never recovered.  “Dad missed my 13th Birthday Party,” he sniffed, just this evening.

I thought that was the worst possible child’s birthday fiasco imaginable in an age where parties aren’t done at home, and really all parents need to do is write a check.  It’s hard to go too wrong unless the check bounces.

I thought that until today, anyway.

That’s when I learned that there is a whole new type of kids birthday party that will, well, blow away the competition!  And we missed it.  Sigh.  We were simply born too soon.

And, of course, as in so very many things, Texas is leading the way.  You see, a Texas gun range will be hosting birthday parties for children as young as 8 years old!

“I don’t know whether anyone has ever tried this before,” said David Prince, who is building the indoor gun range.

Personally, I myself, cannot imagine why no one has ever thought of arming children with lethal weapons, filling them with soda and candy and pizza and letting them go at it.  What could be more fun?

Mr. Prince did mention that lots of staff will be around to “help parents supervise.”  Boy, that’s a relief.

Because supervising kids parties isn’t really as easy as it sounds.  That bowling party Jacob had when he was 8?  There were heavy balls falling too close to kids feet, there were shoe rentals (and the fact 8 year olds never know their size) the drinks and snacks to be ordered and kept off the special floor.  It’s complicated.

“We’re not just going to have kids running around waving loaded guns and shooting at piñatas,” said Prince, an accountant and gun enthusiast.

Yup, staff assistance will be available.  This is handy, natch, when lethal weapons are involved; I’d say it’s worth at least an extra $5, easy.  Perhaps an extra $20 if no one dies. 

But you know, I imagine that the release form will be a bit intimidating for the parents who actually like their kids:

Yes, I agree to hold Bubba’s Bullet and Billet harmless, in the event that someone blows my 8-year-old child’s head off.

Nevertheless, I think that it’s good to know that entrepreneurs are developing better ways for parents to get a bang for their birthday bucks.

I just hope the staff is good at distinguishing between pizza stains and blood.


Filed under Conspicuous consumption, Gun control, Health and Medicine, Humor, Hypocrisy, Law, Stupidity

72 responses to “Birthday Party Blasts!

  1. Pingback: The Voice of the Problem | FiftyFourandAHalf

  2. Jeez! I wouldn’t trust a bunch of 8-year-olds with paintball guns! This is just In. Sane.


  3. BTW, I clicked on your “I write like …” link and it said:

    I write like David Foster Wallace. Proof:

    I hadn’t heard of him. Very interesting when I looked him up.


  4. I see nothing wrong with the guns, Elyse, as long as they limit “sugared drinks” to 16 ounces! hehehe

    Now that would be irony at it’s finest.


  5. Now…I’m not shocked about this party theme in Texas. Don’t they have brothel parties in Nevada?


  6. Now this is something unexpected. A birthday party at a gun range. I would love to see the parents who want to send youngsters to this kind of a celebration. The world is getting stranger.


  7. On the other hand, you can save a few bucks by not getting the pizza sliced.
    Surely an 8year old with a fully automatic weapon has the skill, presence of mind and accuracy to slice his pizza with gunfire?


  8. You just can’t make this stuff up … the thing is? It will probably be very successful — so … what does that say? OMG



    • I think it means that we might as well get rid of the car safety seats, the bike helmets, the other safety gear we’ve adopted over the years to protect our kids. Because stupid people with guns will just get them anyway. Or stupid parents.


  9. GOF

    It just makes me sad…..I hear on the news all too often of the children shot and killed in schools and colleges in your country. Fortunately we have quite stringent gun laws here.

    I’ll bet Jacob will always fondly remember the birthday parties you organised for him.


    • Yes, the prevalence of guns in the U.S. is a terrible scourge. They really aren’t good for much other than killing. And 8 year olds? Lord.


  10. To be honest, it took me 27 years to cut a birth day cake with my own hands and that to make my close friends happy. 🙂 In my family, we do not celebrate birth days. We just seek blessing from God and elders of our family and just have a get together with family and close friends. And my birthday falls in between summer vacation. So I do not have much ideas about birth day celebrations, as I do not usually go to their birth day parties, rather I wish them out side. So it’s quite unusual for me, when I see people search for a new innovative way to make that day special. 🙂


    • Here in the US parties have really gotten out of control I think. VERY competitive. But a shooting party? Really?! Way over the top.

      I remember your recent birthday post, Arindam. It was a lovely cake and I think that your family does celebrate what is important!


  11. Holy CRAP!
    When I was little, a birthday party was a Sunday afternoon, where you grandparents and aunts brought you little presents, and you had a cake. Period.


    • We just didn’t get to have any fun in our day, did we. But the cakes were homemade :)!

      Then again, I wouldn’t have wanted to shoot my aunts or grandparents. Some of the cousins, however, might have been in trouble.


  12. I am grateful my two sons (step) are grown and both I and my wife-in-law are sensible aging hippies. Of course, we all live in Texas (woe is me) so some day it will likely be necessary to save our grandchild from one of these birthday parties. But that is okay, his other grandmother is also an aging hippie. He only has one grandparent with azzhat written on his forehead, we will beat him down if he interferes.


  13. the curtain raiser

    Sure puts my pass the parcel and musical chairs parties to shame. At least all children were returned breathing and with all body parts intact! Merde!


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  15. Wow! Who the hell thinks this is a good idea? I wonder if parents include a liability waiver in with the invitation to the party.


  16. cooper

    guns…bah! herd them all into a 50 x 50 steel cube and give them each a 2-liter bottle of coke and a bag of reece’s cups.
    Then arm them all with tasers.


  17. Kids parties are a big deal but mostly to the parents. I don’t recall having but one myself, so in that case, it wasn’t a big deal to mine. Just wait until the grandkids start having their parties. Grandparents then become like honored guests.


    • I agree that up to a certain age it is just for the parents. But these days, kids expect a whole lot.
      I’m looking forward to being a grandparent (not YET JACOB!!) because I love the contact/no responsibility aspect. I have a great niece and a great nephew and it is wonderful to be an important family member with few responsibilities!

      But hopefully, if the parents don’t get it, the grandparents will say, ummm “guns at a birthday party are stupid!”


  18. Every now and then, when I read something like this, I just shake my head…..


  19. bigsheepcommunications

    You know, I saw that article and thought about writing a post about it, but I couldn’t put my thoughts into any coherent arrangement. After this catches on, I’m betting the next big thing for kids’ birthdays will be taxidermy parties.


  20. Fantastic idea! It sure tops the Coal Mine party I threw for my son’s second birthday.

    I’m annoyed that it’s limited to 8 and up. Now that I’ve read this, I really want to throw my son’s third birthday at a gun range. There’s got to be someplace in Texas that has no age limit, right?


    • Hey perhaps if he survives this themed 3rd Birthday party, you can combine them for his 4th — you know, you can have an exploding mine party. Who-hooo. What a blast!


  21. Well .. leave it up to Texas.


  22. That is crazy. If only they could allow a shooting range combo Chuck E. Cheese deal, in the off-chance that obnoxious mutant mouse would finally get what’s coming to him.


  23. This sounds perfectly reasonable. What could possibly go wrong?


  24. Just when I thought stupidity had limits…..wishful thinking on my part. Dear Lord..where the hell is the mom?!


  25. They should really combine these parties with the evil stalker clown birthday parties (


    • I’m so glad you sent that link! How bizarre. Perhaps we can kill two stupid ideas with one kids’ gun party — just invite the evil stalker clown to stalk the kids first!


  26. That is just inexorably sad! I mean kids playing with water guns is easy to digest!
    And Bang Bang has always been one of my favorite songs. It’s just so nice to listen to but so heart-breaking at the same time.


    • The other thing about it is, well, when you play with water guns, you can interact. How are the kids going to interact with each other at a shooting range?


  27. Yet another reason to be happy that my kids are all grown up!
    Oh. My. God.
    People are too stupid to believe. How are we not extinct?


  28. Oh good grief! I am so glad the UK gun laws are different.
    Great post


    • Thanks Dory. I wish we’d learn from reasonable gun laws like yours — there is something about guns that brings out the “stupid” in a whole mess of folks.


  29. Hi,
    Who ever thought that a shooting range would one day be the “in” place for kids to have a party, my mouth is still hanging open, I just can’t believe it.


  30. I hope they provide the kids with bullet-proof vests…


  31. Michelle Gillies

    I am speechless. I am also relieved that I will never be faced with being the person to say, “No you can’t go to Johnnie’s gun’s and bullets birthday bash”.


    • Isn’t it amazing? The pressure on parents to let their kids do things is immense. There will be some who go along with this. I imagine we will be reading “tragic” news stories about things that wouldn’t happen if people weren’t so stupid.

      Michelle, you may have commented before I changed the song to “Bang Bang” by Cher (couldn’t find a YouTube of Sonny & Cher.


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