It was Mike’s 40th birthday and the surprise party invitation specified NO GIFTS – instead we were requested to write a dirty limerick in honor of the birthday boy – “the filthier, the better”. What fun! We anticipated hearing everyone else’s poetry at the party, then got inspired and couldn’t seem to stop writing our own – no less than 14 smutty gems, which we printed up into a little pamphlet just for the occasion!
My husband had met Mike while working one summer at Disneyland and they’d become best friends. When I met Mike 6 years later, I immediately adored him – in all regards, he was terrific; a great sense of humor, a superb musician, friendly, confident, ambitious, upbeat – he radiated warmth and positivity like the sun! He was a swinging drummer and played percussion equally well – his license plate read “MR TIMPS” and he’d been making real headway in his career in the studio scene. He was also VERY popular with the ladies and always a blast to hang out with since he enjoyed so many things, like the L.A. Dodgers, burgers and malts, listening to new music… so it was easy to come up with line after line singing his praises.
When Mike had initially brought his bride-to-be over to our midtown apartment, it was obvious she didn’t like us very much – she sort of sneered at everything and, as a sales rep for a book publisher, told us in no uncertain terms how poorly we were running our jingle company. Well, if Mike loved her, that was good enough for us! And we DID make every effort to engender her friendship, though it was an uphill battle.
We were especially intrigued by this party invitation since five years previous we had received a Dear John letter out-of-nowhere, informing us that Mike and his wife would no longer be friends with us because we were so fat, they were afraid we would soon die and they didn’t want to be around to watch anything like that, so… Sayonara, baby! The timing of this letter couldn’t have been worse, since we were going through a regrouping period of our lives, having just lost a cherished father as well as our jingle company dreams and were reeling from grief on both the personal and professional fronts. We had never contacted Mike and his wife after receiving that letter and so we wondered if perhaps they had reconsidered their decision to kick us to the curb and now might want to be friendly again?
When we got to the party, we saw a HUGE pile of gifts from all of the other guests on a table… and somewhat sheepishly added our nicely printed booklet of limericks to the pile. After the candles had been blown out, it was presents-opening time and we watched Mike open his lavish gifts (none of which contained limericks, of course!)… until he got to ours! He was speechless. WE were speechless. Everyone was speechless. Then “they all moved away from us on the Group W bench”, as Arlo Guthrie said in his song “Alice’s Restaurant”.
We’d been set up, and the limericks were the final nails in the coffin of this friendship. We beat a hasty retreat and drove home, and that was that.
But here, for your delectation, 20 years after the fact, are a few of the less smutty birthday limericks created for the occasion: