Trying to be an up to date kinda’ guy, I didn’t send this to Fearless Leader Bob last week, and sent the more current story about the now famous “16 July” typhoon. But then I realized that now my Birthday story was no longer timely as it is now late. Damn I don’t even know why I try…
For those who are my friends on Face Book you will understand what I mean by My Trip Around the Sun, between our Birthdays the earth will make one full trip around the sun at 24,000 MPH (Which means your speeding even while you’re still parked) with all of us hanging on for the ride. This July I’ve completed my 67th trip. I always ask them on Face Book if it was a good trip for them this year when I send a birthday wish.
I guess I could just say Happy Birthday but then that wouldn’t be me, would it? I’ve said this before, but it was a while back when I explained that my father had a theory that when our first birthday came, there should be 72 candles on the cake (that being at the time, the average US lifespan for males.) And every year there should be one less candle until your cake is empty or slick of candles, then the goal is to have as many slick cake parties as you can until you shuffle off this mortal core. Because if you’ve lived past the 72 year mark, you’ve won!
My point being that at 1:47 AM at the Carney Hospital in the Dorchester section of Boston Massachusetts on a Sunday 13 July 1947 I entered this world kicking and a screaming, as it was the day of my birth to William and Grace Thompson. A most blessed day for them both. I had two older brothers and later two younger brothers but then, none of them were “Paul” I sure don’t hold myself in high esteem do I?
Over the past 67 years I’ve had Birthdays in Boston, Cape Cod, California, Florida South Carolina and Virginia. While traveling they have been in many places in Europe and my favorite was in Denmark but that’s a story to tell over a beer or two.
Next I’ve had a few in Puerto Rico, Central America and one in Peru. Later in life mostly here in Asia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Perth Australia (That was a good one too)
But the absolute best has been here in the Philippines, with family and friends. My buddy Tommy has his Birthday on 13 July also, but this year even though he is home from his job (Merchant Marine First Engineer) we decided over cocktails to have just family celebrations and forgo the normal blow out. Eight or nine of my Birthdays have fallen on a Friday the 13th, but as I said, this year it will be on Sunday. But I do find it funny that two years from now my 69th will fall on a Friday the 13th.
Last week, Sunday 13 July 2014 we drove over to Angles City in Pampanga to have the best Sunday morning brunch in the Philippines at the Clarkton Hotel. Mayang, YoHanna, Colleen and Chris, Ymir Thea and Jaden and yes they invited me.
My best advice to anyone going there is to show up hungry.
Two hours of food, and the wait staff sang me Happy Birthday, and I’ll dare to ask; “Is anything more embarrassing then that?”
On the way into the restaurant we passed through the lobby and there in a chair was a giant stuffed elephant. The reason I even bring this up is because Jaden, who was walking beside me was now gone, little feet beating a hasty retreat. Who knew that he suffered from Stuffed Elephant phobia? I took a picture of the creature and showed it to him the rest of the day if he didn’t behave. Oh the therapy I’ll caused him in later life.
Breakfast was over, where to go now? The SM Mall in San Fernando was the choice from all females at the table, Chris and I shrugged and gave in. Jaden just didn’t care as long as elephants weren’t involved.
In the SM department store I asked my granddaughter Colleen if I could buy her a pair of Levi 501 skinny jeans. I’ll let you imagine her answer. The jeans cost over P 3,000.00, she hemmed and hawed and finally asked if she could go to another section that had “Hot Kiss Jeans” and get three pair at P1, 000.00 each instead of one expensive pair. Of course she could. There is just something about the smile on my 12 year old granddaughter’s face that will make me so happy.
That’s when I noticed that once more Chris was gone, leaving me stuck in the middle of shopping hell. I handed over vast quantities of money (My Birthday remember) to Mayang and the girls so they could shop, and hot footed it for the exit. As luck would have it I was wearing a pair of Converse “Chuck Taylor’s” All Stars so I was swift of feet, similar to Jaden and the elephant…
There at a coffee shop I found Chris, I was ready to say something angry to him, until I remembered an old sailor who explained to me years ago, that during an emergency; it was everyman for themselves.” I would have done it to him if the roles were reversed.
Now for the absolute funniest thing of the day, I went to Ace Hardware and was going through the Auto Accessories section. Something shinny caught my eye. A display of Windshield wiper “Wings” for the sole purpose of holding the wiper firm to the glass during (I’ll assume), gale force winds as in my 50 plus years of driving I’ve never seen one lift off and take flight. But that was not the funny part at all; it was made in China, and the installation instruction were classic. They read: “Do not attempt to install while wipers are moving” I went over to the China made lug wrench to see if they warned me to never attempt to change a wheel on a moving car.
It was a long day, and we returned home about 17:00, Two weeks ago we (Tommy and I) were suffering from Tanduay 12 year Superior Rum withdrawal, as it was “OUT OF STOCK” for 3 months. Until Tommy called and told me he had just found two cases in a store and did I want one. Did he really need to ask?
So I cracked the case open and poured myself a well earned “Boat Drink” while sipping it down I reflected on my Birthday, and deemed it a good day after all. Oh and thank you Tommy, and Happy Birthday to you too.