Today is Good Memory Day and so I’m going to share with you a story: around this time last year, it was the birthday of one of my numerous amazing friends. She is always very quiet about her birthdays, preferring a casual beach day with friends rather than a party – but she doesn’t even tell people the beach day is her way of doing something to celebrate. Consequently, most people showed up without anything, and it seemed like she had gotten away with another birthday of minimal fuss. Or so she thought.
Almost right next to the beach we inhabit is a shopping centre, and this is where we go to grab something to eat for lunch. On this particular day, the birthday girl in question had to meet a relative for lunch, and so the plan was she would separate from the group and then meet back with us after we had also eaten. Instead, we decided we would surprise her with a chocolate cake from Coles.
Only when we went to the supermarket, they had none left. No chocolate cake, no lamington cake and not even a plain sponge cake. So we improvised. With a pavlova. Which we decided wasn’t “birthday” enough, and decided would be improved with chocolate custard to substitute lack of icing (because, you know, chocolate icing would just be weird on pavlova…). This was then topped off with two punnets of strawberries, a crushed up flake chocolate and some crudely placed smarties, in my awful attempt to write a 16. We hid outside around the back of the building, and I set off to collect our victim.
I organized a time to meet her and waited, and it was around this time that our plan almost fell to shit.
However the turn of events was unknown to me, and I collected her as planned and walked back to the group. We rounded the corner and I could hear the chorus of “Happy Birthday”, as planned. We climbed the stairs and there was the smiling faces of all her friends…plus one security guard.
During the time from when I had left and when we both arrived back, someone had become restless, and had decided to use a nearby orange traffic cone as a megaphone. This had brought the attention of security: the only thing they saw was a bunch of teenagers loitering outside the fire exit of a building, doing apparently shit all. One came down to tell them to leave, and was met with what I imagine to be a most unbelievable story – waiting to surprise someone on their birthday. At least they had the cake. And so the security guard stuck around to assure the validity of our story, and I believe he was pleasantly surprised by the result. He joined in singing and even took a piece of the DIY cake with him, it was pretty great.
He was however pretty adamant that we leave the fire exit (fair enough) and so we ended up consuming this horrendous looking cake in the food court of the shopping complex, to the bemused looks of strangers, and perhaps more impressively, people we actually knew. It was strange and wonderful and definitely a good memory.
Happy Good Memory Day!