Smokey the Magnificent

Failing the Turing Test since 1986


It is 10:30 on Sunday night, eight and a half hours since the commencement of the snortlepig’s birthday party, and I feel like I have been lightly beaten with a ham and left to steep in an outhouse. That’s not me being poetic – it’s a strangely specific sensation.

The good news is, the party went off successfully, causing Helpdesk Man and myself to feel like we have Won at Life. There were no tantrums (excepting a brief moment when I was icing the cake and Miles was under the table having flashbacks to ‘Nam, but Helpdesk Man cotted him and he was fine); only one kitchen disaster (me leaving a perfectly cromulent batch of pizza muffins in the oven to heat up for an hour and a half); none of the guests showed up early, a fact which always inspires devout thanks in a Smokey; and most importantly, they liked the cake. The pig, who has had Manners drilled into her head all week, said “thank you” nicely regarding her presents and did not suggest opening them before the arrival of the later guests more than half a dozen times. Tiny Miles kindly refrained from indulging either of his two favourite pastimes, weeping and Death By Chunky Bit, and played cutely with balloons instead.

The bad news is that I have been living a frantic, fervid, twitchy list-making life for the past week, and it has done a number on my already precarious sanity. Even now that the party is over and done, my eyes keep jumping back to the fridge door, and I have to stop myself leaping out of my chair to make meringue mushrooms. Consuming a hundredweight of cream cheese icing this morning probably didn’t help. In the interests of therapy, here are the lessons I have learned:

-Never throw out a cookbook you only kept all those years for its one decent recipe, without checking to make sure you didn’t previously cull said recipe from your handwritten recipe book to avoid double-ups.
(Fortunately, the internet is a wonderful thing.)

-Do not spend several hours the night before the party hand-sewing ribbons to homemade scrapbooking paper party hats; no-one will wear them.

-Those flourless peanut butter cookies everyone makes are pretty good, considering.

-Boysenberry puree colours and flavours Swiss meringue buttercream less than you might think.

-Fondant water-lilies should not be placed on a jelly pond in the fridge the night before. They will melt and go all ooey. Fortunately, the resulting oo can be blotted up carefully with a paper towel, and disguised with fondant ducks, placed there at the last minute.

-A triple recipe of a 9-by-13-inch banana cake is more than ample, even for 25 people. More than ample. Helpdesk Man could barely lift it.

-Cutting drinking straws down to a cuter length and putting them in a jar with scrapbooking-paper flowers is a sweet idea, until they blow all over the yard for the fortieth time.

-I really need to hem my beastie cloth. I’ve had it for what, six years now?

-Helpdesk Man has never heard of fairy bread. He is a successful entrepreneur, pushing thirty and author of more than one self-published book. How can he not have heard of fairy bread?

Can’t sleep. Cupcakes will get me.

  1. Mara

    Photos? Photos of the cake, please? It sounds SO AWESOME!!!

  2. mother

    It was a perfect party. I can’t believe my camera batteries died before I could capture The Cake!

  3. Betty Scandretti

    Oh no. The Cake is still at large?

  4. Jess Bosgra

    The party was amazing! You did a wonderful job. I was way more than impressed. I even considered hiring you for my next child’s birthday party – then at least said child would get a half decent party!

  5. smokering

    Aww, thanks! Hey, do you mind if I put some photos up from the party containing Elliot? Very few people read this blog, if that’s any consolation. :p