The Captain Receives One Hell Of A Surprise

“Barring any unforeseen surprises, my birthday should be a low-key affair.” – Captain Raoul, September 3, 2008.

That wife of mine, she’s a crafty one.  I was pretty convinced that she was not planning a party for my Thirtieth.   I figured that if there was a secret party, she would throw it Labor Day weekend.  Instead, we had a family party over brunch on Saturday and spent the rest of the weekend chilling out with the dog.  The evening of my birthday, we enjoyed a nice, quiet dinner at Lucas Park Grill down the street.

She gave me my birthday gifts, family and friends called and wished me well, and we had some birthday cake.  Seemed like a done deal.  Apparently I am more trusting than I realized.

On Saturday, I was sitting around the loft and realized that I didn’t really have anything planned for the evening.  This being the first time in about a month I had a weekend nite free, I called a couple of buddies to set up a poker game.  Strangely, no one else had any plans either….

Bill, DJ and Jamie came downtown and we headed up Washington to grab a bite at the Dubliner before breaking out the cards.  On the way there, Bill dragged me into Flamingo Bowl much to my chagrin.  Two steps in the door and I was completely dumbfounded.  There sat a large group of my friends with big-ass grins waiting to yell “surprise.”

And what a surprise it was; I had no idea.  Not only did my wife do a fantastic job organizing my hard-to-gather group, but my friends actually managed to keep a secret for once.  I was flabbergasted for approximately 60 seconds, and then I was immediately overjoyed.

Hey, a party for me, with most of my close friends, at a bowling alley within walking distance from my place!  I need a drink!  Luckily, there were plenty of drinks to go around.

More than anything, I was excited that so many people turned out to celebrate my 30th.  The guys made it

As did the girls

The Springfield crew

My sister’s crew

And the evening even featured a rare Bigfoot-like appearance by Kingston.1

I really felt the love from my friends, and it was much appreciated.  And along with good people came some good times.  Flamingo Bowl is simply amazing; good food, good drinks, great atmosphere, and bowling!  Here’s my lovely wife single-handedly bringing down our teams’ score.

She’s more of a bumper-bowler.  Despite her performance, I managed to bowl the game of my life.  I managed to bowl a 135, which isn’t particularly high but was still better than the other nine bowlers!

I even bowled a frame with DJ’s awesome-looking-yet-barely-functional Bud Ball.

After a full ten frames and about as many cocktails, we had a few people over to the loft for an after party.  It was an amazing nite, definitely the highlight of my thirties thus far.

Thanks to all of my friends for coming out to help me celebrate; I am lucky to have all of you.  And big-ups to my tremendous wife for planning such a marvelous evening.  The only thing more surprising than the party is how I managed to land such a righteous lady.

I guess Thirty ain’t so bad after all.

Ciao,

The Captain

1.  Seeing Kingston is like a seeing Sasquatch both in its rarity and for its extreme dirtiness/hairiness.

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