These are the songs they play at a kid's Saturday afternoon, roller-skating rink birthday party
In his weekly column, award-winning goofball Shea Serrano, whose recent exploits include Bun B's Rapper Coloring and Activity Book, writes about his life and times.
Among many other things, my twin six-year-olds sons think I am Manu Ginobili when the Spurs play basketball on TV, the model for the Georges St-Pierre action figure, which we gave my wife for Christmas one year; Paco from Bloodsport, and the guy inside the blue Power Ranger costume. They think all of these things because I told them all of these things, because when you're a dad you can just lie about shit and your kids will believe you.
With tiny humans whose brains are nearly empty living in your house, you can be whomever you want. Did you know that I once got into a fistfight with Thor? Or that I taught the Pope how to pray? That I have the muscle density of a gorilla? Or did you know that I invented cars, and also lightning? Fact, fact, fact, fact and fact. There is a trade off to all this lying, though? Know what it is? Motherfucking birthday parties.
The thing they don't tell you about being a dad is that you're gonna spend basically every day of every weekend of your dad life at some kid's birthday party because your kid got invited. The scene at my house every Thursday:
Son: Daddy, I got invited to a birthday party this weekend!
Son: It's for Terry.
Son: Terry. From my class.
Me: Terry? Oh, the boy with the dirty face. How's his face dirty at 7:30 a.m.?
Son: No! That's Terry R. This is Terry M. Can't you tell the difference?
Me: I CAN BARELY REMEMBER YOUR NAME.
That's how we recently ended up at a skating rink at 4 p.m. Time stamps:
3:54: We are here at a skating rink. (We = Wife + me + the twins + the baby.) I can't imagine it'll be too long before one of us has a broken bone of some sort. Hooray for broken femurs.
4:01: Actually, I kind of don't hate the skating rink. I used to go there a lot when I was in middle school. I remember going to the late-night skating session with my two ugly friends and one handsome friend. We'd go and try and talk to girls, and I'd go home mad every time because no girls would let me get fresh in the back corner. I imagine this party is going to end the same way. Such is life.
4:14: The best thing about this skating rink is that they have a DJ, plus an arcade area and concession stand. Time skipped right over skating rinks. Way to go, America.
4:19: Oh, snap. The DJ opens this children's party with "Dark Horse" by Katy Perry and Juicy J. That was cool at the Grammys when Katy Perry thought that she was the Corpse Bride.
4:24: There are probably fifteen or so kids here now. If they play anything by Young Thug, you can fully expect me to start bowling over little dudes. I'm always the toughest guy at a birthday party.
4:29: One Republic's "Counting Stars." I want to hate this, but two little girls know some of the words and are singing it. That's pretty adorable. I wish I had a daughter. Not too long ago I was changing Boy C's diaper and a AA battery fell out. I don't know how it got in there or what he was planning to do with it, but it tumbled out onto the floor. Hand to God, maybe twenty seconds later, one of the six-year-olds came wandering downstairs, saw it sitting on the floor (where I left it while tossing the diaper), bent down, picked it up, then popped it INTO HIS MOUTH. I really wish I had a daughter.
4:35: Most kids here are pretty terrible at skating, but one boy is kind of good at it, strutting around and stunting on everyone. I might have to check this kid into a side rail soon if he doesn't chill out.
4:40: Lorde's "Royals." It's like the DJ walking down the Top 100 chart.
4:40:15: Ay, but "Royals" is good to skate to. The little skating boy is killing it to this song, dipping his shoulders on beat and stuff. Respect.
Son: Daddy, why aren't you skating?
Me: Because I skate so fast that one time I reversed the rotation of the Earth.
Son: Oh! Is that bad!?
Me: Yeah. REAL bad. Everyone would probably die.
Son: Oh! Okay! You better stay sitting here then, Daddy!
Kids ain't that smart. Spy Kids was a total lie.
4:51: At every birthday party, a group of sad dads is standing in a circle talking at each other about nothing. When I very first started going to kid birthday parties, it was like how in the movies where some young guy is talking to a Vietnam vet, except all these vets have on jean shorts and tuck their sunglasses into the back of the collar of their shirts. Sad dads are the worst. Never go there, never be that.