October 22, 2011

The Laser Tag Birthday Party

Several months ago, one of the popular flash sale websites sent me an offer for a laser tag party package. For $100 (1/2 of the regular cost), the company promised me that a guy would come to my house, construct a makeshift army bunker in my backyard, and let a herd of boys play laser tag for an hour.


There were a number of things about my boys birthday party that I knew was going to be a surprise, like the number of party guests. Since very few people called in to RSVP, I was expecting between 7 and 22 boys.

I also wasn't sure how many parents were going to stick around. Despite my encouragement to drop off/pick up, several of the mothers who did RSVP told me flat out that it would be weird not to attend their eight year-old son's birthday parties. One even asked me if it would be all right if she brought her poodle. Evidently the dog urinates on the carpet if it is left home alone.

I was surprised and happy that 17 boys (and only 7 parents) showed up for the party.

I was equally surprised and considerably less happy when the laser tag guy didn't show up for the party.

At least not on time.

Five minutes after his scheduled arrival time, the laser tag guy called to tell me that he was stuck in traffic 30 minutes away.

My husband and I looked at each other in panic. Then we dragged out every bat and ball in our garage. "Let's play a quick game of soccer!" my husband suggested.

Half of the boys cheered and ran onto the grass. The other half crossed their arms and pouted.
"I don't like sports!"one boy cried as he plopped down on my driveway.

I had to think of something fast.

Cameron screamed bloody murder when he saw me grab his industrial-sized can of bubbles.

"This is fun," I suggested as I blew a huge bubble. The non-athletes looked at me like I was clinically insane.

"Do you guys want to play with sidewalk chalk?" I tried again. "Anyone want to learn to say something in Latin or Old English?"

The mothers in attendance began to murmur ugly things about me under their breath.

I sent my daughter inside for the Oreos and Doritos. "But those are for my Halloween party at school!" she whined.

"Do it!" I hissed.

Around that time, my husband started sending me distress signals from across the yard. "Hurry!" he mouthed, as if I could will the laser tag guy to drive faster.

I began to regret my decision not to let the woman bring her poodle to the party.

By the time that the laser tag guy arrived (45 minutes after the party started), I felt like I had been pecked by a hundred hungry chickens.

"He's here!" I screamed in jubilation when the van pulled up. I clawed at the laser tag man as if he was Jesus at the Second Coming.

"Sorry 'bout that," the man said as he passed out the laser guns. "You want one?" he asked me with a knowing smile. "You can shoot me if you want. I'll totally understand."


Amy said...

Hey at least he offered you a gun and you didn't have to raid the stash in desperation!

jeorgee said...

LOL! I booked a "fishing"party for my son one time and the day before the party the "kid" man called and said we had to change the date of the party. WHAT? Is all I have to say. Instead, this crazy mom (me) changed the time instead. However, I didn't realize hardly anyone stays anymore at 6 year old parties. I had kids jumping in the river trying to swim (instead of fish). It was the only party that I never had one single picture of my son! BTW the kids thought it was the best party EVER!--As for the party helper-kid man, well he was like a big kid and couldn't wait to delve into the pizza, eat the cake and run around with the kids! HMMMMM?

Amy~ Hamlet's Mistress said...

Not to laugh at your pain but I giggled throughout this whole thing and about died when your husband told you to hurry up! At least the guy seemed to understand the predicament he put you in.

Rachel :) said...

What a nightmare!!!

I totally would have taken him up on his offer to shoot him.

Anonymous said...

I always think its weird when parents stay for birthday parties or play dates, especially when the kids aren't little anymore. I don't know whether I should put them to work.

Mal said...

Well, he sounds like a nice enough incompetent man. I love your offer to teach the kids some Old English and Latin phrases. I'm sure they were enthralled!

My Songbook said...

Gah! Are you kidding me?! I am so sorry. And I was so mad the Jimmy John's I had delivered last night wasn't "freaky fast."

Mum on the Run said...

That's just cruel!
And a tad amusing too.
I will now have panic attacks before every birthday party I throw!!

Mom of 12 said...

Obviously a guy without any kids!

Anonymous said...

was the guy at least cute? :)


Sheila said...

LOL @ anonymous re: cute. My 8yo just had a laser tag party too :)

KS Photography said...

Um…that's another reason on the Long List why we don't do friend parties (only a few during their lifetime.)
I've had other Mormon mommies claw my throat out because we buck against the norm, but our fam is MUCH happier because of it. Instead we invest in something the birthday child would like to do together as a family.

hlcc1024 said...

Oh boy, what a disaster!

A Musing Mother said...

Space Center. $110. I have no idea who will really come. At least I drive to the space center and they darn well better be expecting me.

Or I'll find a laser gun and start blowing bubbles. Watch me. I will.

Emily said...

My little sister told us about your blog this weekend while visiting AZ this weekend . . . we stayed up for hours laughing!!! Thanks for the entertainment and for making us feel like crazy is normal!!! We love your blog!

Anna said...

How wonderful the other moms in attendance uttered things about you instead of offer to help in some way. Love it.

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