Monday, April 30, 2007

Two Surprises for the Price of One

Last July the Singles tried to do a double-surprise party for Fluffy and Cap'n Disaster and me with limited success. This past Friday, we tried for another double-whammy, and were met with much more satisfying results.

It all started with the return of Cap'n Shack-Fu from his latest disaster deployment the weekend before his birthday. We had already planned a group game night for the following Friday, so the girls came up with the idea of turning the game night into a surprise party for Cap'n Shack. However, the real twist came into play after a discussion on birthday's revealed to everyone that Li'l Dill had been able to become The Grey Man long enough for his birthday to slip by unnoticed a few months back. The girls decided that this would not stand, and so the surprise party was expanded to be a surprise belated birthday party for Li'l Dill as well.

Now, since there was a group activity already planned, trying to find a way to convince the two guests of honor to show up wasn't going to be too much of a stretch, but in order to insure their arrival (not to mention throw Cap'n Shack-Fu off the scent), the ingenious plan was devised to tell each of them that Friday night was going to be a surprise party for the other. So, a few days beforehand, Cap'n Bubbles, who was hosting the party, sent out three separate email invitations: one to everyone but Cap'n Shack-Fu talking about the surprise for the Shacktackular One; one to everyone but Li'l Dill talking about the surprise for Pickle Boy; and one to everyone but the two birthday boys entitled "The Real Invite!" The plan was for everyone but the targets to get to Cap'n Bubble's house around 6:30, with the unsuspecting targets arriving around 7:00. We weren't going to do the traditional hide-and-yell-surprise move; instead, we were just going to start up a game and then have someone come out with the birthday cake baked by Squiggly.

When we got to Cap'n Bubbles' house, we found that her roomie Brown-Eyed Girl had invited Cap'n Shack-Fu's friend Fearless Leader Juliet* down from Oklahoma at the last minute; when we finally got word that Fluffy and Cap'n Shack-Fu were on their way, FLJ hid in the back with the cake, since seeing him there would have definitely given away the surprise on Cap'n Shack-Fu's end. But, it was quite a while before that happened, as Ol’ Slack-Fu was taking his sweet time getting there. Li'l Dill, on the other hand, was not in Lazy Bum mode, arriving right at the appropriate time, despite having taken a Lazy Bum nap after he got off of work; consequently, he was suffering some post-napping grogginess when he first arrived. As we sat around waiting for our final guest to arrive, Li'l Dill asked the room "So, is it still a surprise?" I had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from laughing as I responded "Oh, yeah, it's still a surprise" -- pretty sure I'm not the only one who had trouble keeping a straight face.

After a while, Peanut and PigPen decided to run over to our place to pick up some game supplies we had forgotten; of course, as soon as they walked out the door, they ran into Fluffy and Cap'n Shack-Fu in the front yard. Hearing the commotion which always results when PigPen and Cap’n Shack are first brought into proximity of each other, I headed outside to greet the arrivals as well; while shaking my hand, Cap'n Shack-Fu looked over my shoulder and hollered out "Hey there, Li'l Dill!" I turned to see Li'l Dill standing in the doorway, a slightly dazed look in his eyes as his mouth worked silently for a few moments before finally spilling out a very subdued "Hey." Cap'n Shack-Fu got a very puzzled look on his face, and I explained that Li'l Dill was suffering post-napping lag. A couple of minutes later Li'l Dill pulled me aside to explain that he had actually been on the verge of yelling out "Surprise!" but when nobody else yelled, he was suddenly at a loss, and could only conjure up the "hey." I almost wish he had yelled it out, just to see how Cap'n Shack-Fu reacted, but that would have thrown off the actual surprise, so it's for the best that he remained silent.

Once we finally got everyone inside, and PigPen and Peanut got back from our place, Cap'n Bubbles dragged Cap'n Shack-Fu and Li'l Dill up in front of everybody; they both had the slyest little smiles on their faces, as they prepared for the other one to get surprised. Then out came Fearless Leader Juliet with the cake, which totally floored Cap'n Shack-Fu; Li'l Dill was busy reveling in Shack's surprise until he realized that his name was on the cake as well. The realization that they had both been played hit them like a ton of bricks --definitely the best surprise party I've even been involved in.

*No, I still haven't come up with a good nickname for him since the Paintball X-mas Party