Parents, kids, medical professionals, so glad you could make it today! I know the invitation was a little vague, so I’m thrilled that some of you went ahead and brought your swimsuits and others—thanks, Chuck—brought a stretcher, oxygen mask, and portable defibrillator. It’s going to be a blast—literally, sometime in the second hour, so watch for any flying debris. Our first team of children is plugging the bouncy castle into an ungrounded outlet near the water hose as we speak, so we’re just about ready to begin. Now, who has the peanut allergy? Yes! You’re in a perfect position right under the piñata.
As you may know, Riley is a big fan of princesses, horses, and trips to the emergency room. So we’ve put a tiara on this pony here, and left our gardening equipment scattered around the yard. And just to stay with the pony theme, we’ve got hats for every child, made out of real hay—wait, wait—I need everyone’s help right now! We need to pull Colin’s head out of the pony’s mouth, on the count of three. One, two—
Great, everyone’s still breathing, which means it’s a perfect time to bob for apples. We want to make sure that everyone can qualify for the highest level of EMS certification, so we’ve mixed three piranhas in with the apples, and, also, one of the apples is a replica grenade. Wait, what does replica mean again? In any case, be very selective as you dunk your heads in there. If you don’t end up with an apple, please don’t panic. Anyone who panics, Glen, you read the instructions on the tranquilizer darts, right?
We know it wouldn’t be a birthday party without cake, and we’ve got four cakes—gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and nut-free. But where would the fun be if we told you which one is which? We don’t even remember ourselves, though maybe that’s because we drank too much of the fruit punch. Please note: the fruit punch is 100% pure grain alcohol, dyed red. It is only for decoration. Do not drink it. The ladle and stack of cups near the punch are also purely decorative, and the pile of straws are not even decorative at all. We have no idea where they came from, what they’re made of, or why they’re moving. Please, just stay away.
We promised a pool, and what would lifeguard certification mean if we didn’t have a pool for everyone to potentially drown in? The water—oh, wait, I should say liquid instead of water—is warm, toxic, and ready to give our burn team a real challenge. We had pool toys, but it appears they’ve completely dissolved in there. Wow, those folks at the Party Supply-n-Disaster Preparedness Store were not kidding around.
Okay, now, before you leave—and good luck trying to leave, because we’re completely closed in here and the barbed-wire fence is not going to be easy to scale—we do have a treat bag for everyone. A box of crayons, a princess coloring book, and special surprise here—the bag is literally on fire. Chuck, you remembered the fire extinguisher, right? Okay, great, so everyone—STOP, DROP, ROLL, and SING—Happy birthday dear Riley, happy birthday to…no, no, let’s keep the pony away from the fruit punch, please!
Illustration by Thyra Heder