So y’all may remember how Keaton gave me all that shit for telling other people my birthday was coming up back in November. (Just a reminder: my birthday’s November 8th lol.) It’s almost as though Keaton thinks it’s gay to have a birthday at all, which is kinda lameass since everyone’s got one.
His birthday is January 25, which was last Friday.
I clearly had to do something about it.
The gayer the better lol.
I decided to strike right at midnight. Keaton was working, so he was vulnerable to any kind of public shit I could throw at him. I also had both Dani and Miguel to help me. They were working that night too, and even if they’re not friends with Keaton like I am, they liked the idea of giving him shit. The thing about Keaton is that, yeah, he really is a total badass…but he’s sometimes not as badass as he likes to think he is.
Remember Splash Mountain?
So back in November he got the whole bar to sing Happy Birthday to me, after he made a big announcement about how gay I was being about my birthday. I’ll give him credit: Keaton didn’t tell anyone his birthday was coming up. But since birthdays are a big thing in the Block family, I made a note of his when he let it slip when his was. He told me after we turned a cool double play. I did a great job with Sumter’s “easy to 2nd” rule and he said I should have saved it for his birthday on January 25.
So last Thursday night we waited until the stroke of midnight, then Dani got everyone’s attention by ringing the cow bell the keep behind the bar.
“Listen up, guys. El Guapo has a special announcement to make.”
(I’d have killed Dani if she’d used my Hickory nickname. It’s cool for her to call me Heartthrob, but I don’t want too many other people doing it. As for el guapo, I’m used to it by now…and I reckon it makes sense for me to have a Spanish nickname in Southern California.)
Keaton was standing at his usual place by the door and had one of those WTF? looks on his face.
“Hey y’all,” I said. “It’s just passed midnight, which makes it somebody’s birthday. Who can the special birthday boy be??”
Miguel got the lights, and Dani pulled out this big ole flashlight and started scanning the room with it.
“Are you the lucky boy? Or you? Or you…naah, I know when your birthday is, Dave.” Dani kept the light moving. No…the special birthday boy is….” Miguel used his hands on the bar to beat out a drum roll.
“Security dude Keaton!!!”
Everybody applauded. Then I did the “make some noise” thing they do at ballgames.
When the lights were back on and everybody quieted down, Dani spoke up.
“I’ve invented a special shot to celebrate Keaton’s birthday. And we’re selling them 2 for 5 bucks. It’s vodka, cream of coconut and grenadine.” She’d made one and held it up. It was totally pink. “We’re calling it a Penner Punch.”
“But first we gotta sing Happy Birthday,” I said.
“And if you don’t sing, I’m gonna come over and mess you up,” added Miguel.
“One…two…two and a half…”
And everybody sang. Way louder than they sang for me.
“Speech! Speech!,” called Dani from behind the bar.
Keaton was the color of a strawberry donut from Donut Man in Glendora. And trying hard not to laugh.
“I am so fuckin gonna get you for this, bubba,” was all he could manage to say before his cool façade fell apart and he burst out laughing.
I thought about getting him a gayass tiara or hat or something and putting it on him, but I realized that was going too far and he wouldn’t think it was funny. It’s one thing to give a bouncer shit every once in a while…but you don’t want to embarrass him in front of a bunch of people who are supposed to be intimidated by him. Of course all it’d take is one jerkoff and one punch for everyone to forget how Keaton looked in a birthday tiara…but that’s not a position you put a buddy in.
I wasn’t entirely finished. I had Friday off, so we went to the IHOP after he was done working…and I brought along a candle for Alicia to put in his pancakes. And I got her to sing. Not Happy Birthday, though. She sang that Mexican birthday song. Which goes on a lot longer than our Happy Birthday.
It was just a bummer that the place was as empty as it was. When you got your buddy on the birthday ropes and the waitress is singing to him in Spanish, you want people turning around and looking at him.
When Alicia was done he was red like one of those strawberry donuts all over again.
“Remember how I told you to start sleeping with one eye open after the turkey bowl?”
“Yeah. You know, you still haven’t gotten me back for that Block block.”
“That’s why you should sleep with both eyes open from now on.”