Jane Haddam’s WordPress weblog


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So, it’s the 13th of July, and that means it’s my birthday. 

I’m not in general very fond of my birthday.  It has tended to be a day on which Bad Things happen, and if they don’t  happen on the day, they happen near the day.

This year has been no exception, but there’s no point in going into all that, because on this year my sons and my friends are going out of their way to beat the jinx.

And that helps, it really does. 

But what I want to comment on here is the now week or two long conspiracy between  my two sons to get me a cake.

Now, I really like cake on my birthday.  In fact, I mostly really like cake.  Costco has this multilayered chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate shavings that’s about the size of Iowa that I’m very fond of, although I don’t get it too often, because it’s so large that it tends to stale before it gets eaten.

Unless Greg gets to it, in which case it’s gone in a day.

I remember being 19 and able to eat anything and everything and still not being able to gain weight.  Or even maintain it.

I want those days back.

Anyway, the point about the cake for today, it seems, is that it isn’t supposed to be a regular ordinary cake from the supermarket or even a great big superduper enormous cake from Costco.

It is supposed to be some kind of speciality cake from a local baker, made to order, to be picked up somewhere off in town in the middle of the morning somehow.

This sounds to me to be expensive, which is interesting, because I know exactly what money they have this summer and exactly what their bills are.

Leaving that aside, though, there is the immediately larger problem–I am not supposed to know they are doing this, but I do.

I know because my sons are to keeping secrets what Harold Stassen was to winning presidential elections.

THERE’S a cultural reference for you.  I wonder how many of you get it.

Showing my age.  That’s what this is.

Anyway, the boys will be going off to pick this thing up in a little bit, and I’m supposed to sit  here with Beethoven and a book, or a book and Apollo 13, and pretend I don’t know about it.

This includes, I expect, not making jokes about how obvious everything they’re doing is, never mind how obvious their little hastily erected code language is. 

There are better codes in cereal boxes with decoder rings.

I am working very hard to play the game here, but I have to admit that I’m tempted to advise them both NEVER to go in for careers as spies.

It’s not a bad way to spend a birthday, although if I keep biting my tongue like this I’m not going to be able to eat that cake when it gets here.

Still, it’s nothing to complain about, and  I’m not going to complain about their cooking.

I’m  not going to complain about that even though I know that when it gets here, Greg is going to have figure out a way to batter dip and deep fry lettuce.

I’m going to go off and listen to Beethoven’s 9th, which seems to have the right sort of theme for the day.

Written by janeh

July 13th, 2013 at 8:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized

6 Responses to 'Conspiracies'

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  1. Happy birthday, Jane, and may the jinx be jinxed.


    13 Jul 13 at 8:57 am

  2. Happy jinx-free Birthday, Jane. With cake!

    Yes, I got the Harold Stassen reference. My husband tells a story of a co-worker who excused never having heard of Laurel & Hardy with “They were before my time.” My husband responded with “So was the Civil War…I suppose you’ve never heard of that either?”

    Your sons and their inability to put one over on you are terribly endearing. Code language!? Hilarious.


    13 Jul 13 at 1:29 pm

  3. Happy birthday, and I hope you have no jinxes and a superb cake.


    13 Jul 13 at 3:05 pm

  4. You can teach them codes, but good spies are glib liars, often with a weak sense of self. That doesn’t sound like the boys as you describe them. You might want the boys to be analysts, which requires clear thinking and integrity. No doubt they can be taught security procedures.

    Anyway, happy birthday!


    13 Jul 13 at 3:16 pm

  5. I’m from Minnesota, of course I know who Harold Stassen is. Was. Happy birthday, and I hope your cake is excellent! I usually get by the too-large thing by buying Ron’s birthday cakes at Byerly’s, which is a local fairly upscale supermarket with an excellent bakery, which means no crappy decorator’s icing made of powdered sugar and Crisco. It’s all real buttercream. And they make a small 7″ round cake, which we can just about consume.

    Have a good day!


    13 Jul 13 at 5:13 pm

  6. Happy Birthday and I hope you enjoyed the cake. I also remember being 19 but those days are gone forever!


    13 Jul 13 at 5:29 pm

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