Paulie turned four yesterday with much fanfare at the Paragon Carousel. After attending a birthday party there last year, it was the only place he'd even considered celebrating his 4th. We like it there too -- it's a quick hit -- 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., ride the carousel, sing Happy Birthday, pack it up, pack it in. Like always, however, the Nantasket rotunda was a house of joy and pain. First, it was the swampiest day of the year thus far -- 90 plus degrees with all manner of species swarming toward the beaches, spawning clusterfucks at every turn. Second, there was some kind of car show going down right in front of the Carousel which hogged up parking spaces, created a detour, and brought an audience of what one party parent described as "a giant mid-life crisis in a mesh trucker hat." Lots of full-body tattoos and blaring of the Scorpions. Anyway, to make matters worse, this party was organized by the inept Jimmy & Kathy show. As we unpacked the car --Spiderman cake, popsicles, coolers full of water and juiceboxes, etc. -- we realized we'd forgotten the Spiderman paper plates, utensils and napkins. James and SAC quickly scurried to scrounge some generic, institutional replacements off nearby Nantasket vendors. Luckily, the beach traffic and car show detour delayed the party guests a good 30-40 minutes so they wouldn't be forced to eat with their hands. But that quickly became irrelevant as the pizzas we ordered didn't show up until after the party was over. Needless to say, by 11:45 a.m., many of us were looking for something stronger than Poland Spring. The popsicles melted, the cake was a bit congealed, and many parents experienced sweaty vertigo after too many go-rounds in the humidity. But, beneath the shady rotunda, all the kids were completely unaware of the MF mania going on behind the scenes. They came to get down. To them, it was all about riding the carousel until they couldn't see straight. They couldn't have cared less about solid popsicles and utensils. Once again, a lesson in Zen from a group of four-year old sages.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PAULIE!