Generally speaking, I am not a huge fan of kiddie birthday parties.
Any parent of young kids reading this will know whereof I speakâ€”they’re almost always in some sort of overpriced play gym; they are required to include small slices of pizza, watered-down apple juice and a cake with a frosting picture of either Spider-Man, Buzz Lightyear, one of the High School Musical cast members or a Disney princess. The parties last for 1 1/2 hours, and as the kids run around and listen to some I-loathe-this-f—ing-job-but-I-need-the-dough-for-gas-and-cigs “spirit leader,” the adults congregate in a corner, munching on lukewarm Lender’s Bagels and carrot and celery sticks while struggling through awkward conversation (“Oh, your son has Mrs. Lee, too?”) and hoping to be struck down by a large chunk of space debris.
Today, however, was different. I took my son Emmett to the 3rd birthday party of his good pal Andrew, who lives up the block. Andrew’s parents held the party in an upstairs room at the Yonkers Stew Leonard’s, a nearby supermarket that morphs the worlds of Costco, Discovery Zone and Whole Foods. It was a very nice affairâ€”the slices of pizza were hot, the bagels were lukewarm, the conversation was pleasantly awkward (“Oh, you’re from Mahopac. Do you know so and so.”)
And then, it happened.
Without announcement or warning, the door to the room opened and in walked Wow the Cowâ€”the store’s mascot. (Well, someone dressed as Wow the Cow.) Within secondsâ€”whooooooosh! Kids running left, kids running right … all desperate to escape Wow’s potentially lethal grasp. I’ve never seen such a look a horror/dread on Emmett’s face. To be blunt, he was scared shitless. It was soooooooo funny, I just stood there, cracking up, soaking up the moment.
Clearly shaken, Wow left the room, never to return.
He was a good cow, just in the wrong room at the wrong time.