Bill Kirby

Online news editor for The Augusta Chronicle.

Use prank to avoid birthday song

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I am not young enough to know everything.

Video: Kirby's Augusta
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– Oscar Wilde

If you’re like me, you hate it when anyone at a restaurant plays or sings Happy Birthday for you.

The worst is probably when they make all the waiters and waitresses and a couple of cooks and the bartender come over and join in.

They don’t like it. You don’t like it.

So here’s what you do.

We had a family birthday dinner over the weekend. (OK, it was mine.)

My younger sister was proving still to be a pest, even though she is now a grandmother/triathlete.

We were at this fancy restaurant, and my sister got the guy at the piano to play Happy Birthday so everyone in the crowd would turn and look at me.

She figured this would embarrass me and might in some small way gain a bit of revenge for many childhood slights (which should have been long forgiven, I might add).

Well, you know what happened.

He started to play. Everyone looked around and soon focused on our table, attracted by the group size in addition to my sister doing some sort of “victory dance” in her seat.

I did what any humble, polite and experienced older brother would do.

I stood up, as if to acknowledge the crowd. Turned to my mother seated beside me. Pointed at her and began to applaud her while stepping out of the limelight, deftly deflecting the happy dirge.

Others joined in.

My mother simply shook her lowered head until the music stopped.

Everyone else seemed to have a good time.

PRIDE AND PROGRESS: Dr. Ricardo Azziz, of GHSU, will speak to Tuesday’s 7 p.m. Pride and Progress meeting at University Medical Center South, 3121 Peach Orchard Road.

Local students, police and firefighters will be honored, also.

YOUR MAIL: Lamar and Ruth Garrard, of Lincolnton, send a postcard from Asheville, N.C., where the “mountain air is refreshing.”

Sandra, Shirley and Jaqueline Johnson sent along postcards from Chattanooga, Tenn., and Rising Fawn, Ga.

TODAY’S JOKE: Seth Benson, of Millen, shares this one:

At the banquet of their 40th wedding anniversary, Tom was asked to give his friends a brief account of the benefits of a marriage of such long duration.

“Tell us, Tom, just what is it you have learned from all those wonderful years with your wife?”

Tom responded, “Well, I’ve learned that marriage is the best teacher of all. It teaches you loyalty, forbearance, meekness, self-restraint, forgiveness and a great many other qualities you wouldn’t have needed if you’d stayed single.”


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