Birthday wisdom from Emma, aged 12

Birthday wisdom from Emma, aged 12

What better time than my 32nd birthday (well, truth be told it was yesterday but I was too busy getting massaged and visiting the cinema to write a blog post. Actually, why has no one ever combined those two activities?!) to tell the story of my 12th birthday, a whole 20 years ago – an eagerly awaited visit to Sizzler restaurant, followed by all the fun one could want at the Time Out Entertainment Centre. A twelve year old me’s dream (these days I’m far more cultured, darling) about to come true.

Much to my dismay, I developed a bad cold just in time to threaten my enjoyment of all you can eat “food” and machines that eat your tokens and make loud noises. At times like these, a girl needs her Mum and her magic remedies. Out came the garlic and horseradish pills and we were on our way to good times in Wairau Park. I felt so proud taking my best friend out for such an impressive celebration.

We dined like queens at Sizzler (only the finest for this Westie) and loaded up on treats before walking over to paradise – Time Out. Ca-ching!

Having made it past the grumpy teller, tokens in hand, eyes on the prize and snot under control, we set out to dominate (and take silly-cute photos in the photobooth). Before getting very far I had an unpleasantly sudden urge to use the facilities. “I’ll be back in a second” I said to my friend.

I made it to the toilets and chose the very end one in the row of four. I’ll keep my description here brief – bum wees. Excessive BW.

Simultaneously traumatised and relieved, I stood up and flushed. Turns out I had hit the birthday jackpot on this machine. What was inside rose, and rose, and rose until it was no longer inside, but rather covering the entire floor of the row of four loos.

What to do? I was only twelve so didn’t have the best life skills for situations like this, although let’s be honest – twenty years on I’m still coming up short.

I considered my options, of which there were only two. Tell a staff member and then leave. Or just leave.

I went with the latter and ran out of the toilets, found my friend, cried and called my parents to come and pick us up. I was so mortified. That poor grumpy teller’s day was about to get a lot worse.

My friend was supposed to stay for a sleepover but had to go home because I was sick. Worst birthday ever – struck by a stomach bug.

Or so I thought.

Until about 10 years later when this story was retold and Mum confessed that she had given me a waaaaay higher dose of garlic and horseradish than was recommended.

What’s the moral of the story? Snot is definitely the preferred excretion for birthday celebrations. You’re welcome.