Melina Gunnett

June 18, 2011

Happy Birthday

Filed under: Stories — Melina Gunnett @ 12:05 PM

I found Jim on the back porch starring into his beer bottle as if it had somehow betrayed him.

“I was about to say ‘Happy Birthday’, but you don’t look very happy. Ya know, if think that poor little beer has it in for you, I’ll be happy to take it off your hands.”

He didn’t seem to appreciate, or even notice my joke. He just reached into an ice chest behind him, pulled out another beer and handed it to me.

“It’s not the beer, it’s the cake.” he sighed.

“The cake?”

“Yeh, Marsha is so made she threw me out of the house.”

“Because of a cake?” I ask.

“Sort of, it all started with the cake, it was right in the middle of the road, I should -.”

“Oh, I saw it when I pulled in. You want me to help you hose down the street to get Marsha off your back?”

“Not that one.” He frowned. “The other one.”

“There is more than one?” I ask.

“The other day Marsha and I had gone out shopping. On the way home Marsha was yammering on about something, I don’t even know what. She ask me something and I glanced over at her. It was just for a second, but during that second a man carrying a huge cake just appeared. * POOF* There he was, right in the middle of the road.”

“Did you hit him?” I ask.

“No.  It was close, but I slammed on the breaks and was able to stop in time. The guy was so scared he dropped his cake though. Right there in the middle of the road.”

I gave Jim a confused look. “That’s what Marsha is made about you about?”

“No. She didn’t blame for that. Well, not beyond saying I should pay closer attention to my driving. It was the guys fault for stepping into oncoming traffic after all.”

“So what is the problem?”

“Well, we got out and started talking to the guy. Or I should say Marsha talked to him. I just stood there staring at the waste of chocolate on the pavement. He had been taking it across the street from his shop, he apparently owns that bakery down by 4th and Pine.  Anyway, he was taking over to the church across the way. He teaches cake decorating and apparently he donates the demo cakes from his classes to them. So, of course, Marsha signed up for a class right there on the spot.”

“OK, I don’t see what this has to do with her kicking you out.”

“Oh, that was just the beginning. At first she was just taking the classes.  Then she started staying after to “help” Dave out.   Yeah, that’s his name, Dave, the cake guy. Anyway, after a few weeks she starts working there part time too. It seems like all the time we used spends together, she now spends with Dave. So I call her on it and tell her that I want her to spend some time with me for a change.”

“Is that why she’s mad at you?”

“No, she actually seemed happy that I wanted to spend more time with her. She said her classes were almost over and she would make sure to set that time aside so we could spend it together. Anyway, the classes are done now and we’ve been spending more time together and it seemed good, even if she was still working there part time. Then I came home today and found a note on the door. ‘Gone to bakery, be back later, dinner on the stove.’

“I couldn’t believe Marsha would just take off. I mean, it is my birthday; she should be spending it with me, not that Dave guy. So I went down to the bakery to give her a piece of my mind.”

“Ah, so that is why she is mad at you!”

“No, she wasn’t even there when I got there. I figured they would be back soon so I went to the bar down the street to grab a beer. Nice folk in there. One of the guys, Michael I think, ask me why I looked down, so I told him that I thought my wife was having an affair with the guy who owned the cake shop. He was a good listener. “

“Anyway, after my beer I packed it in and headed for home. I had let off a bit of my steam and had been feeling better. I decided it was my imagination. When I got home Marsha was there. So was that Dave guy. I walked in just as she was giving him a kiss.”

“Oh My!” I exclaimed

“Yeah, “Oh My” pretty much covers it. I lost it. I started screaming and hollering and told Dave I never wanted to see him near my house or my wife again.”

“That’s why she kicked you out?!”

“Uh, no. Actually that just gave her a fit of hysterical giggles. It took a while to sort out, but apparently not only are they not having an affair, as I had imagined. But, Dave is also gay. She was just thanking him for making a surprise birthday cake for me.”

“Oh, well it sounds like it all worked out. So why are you out here glaring at your beer again?”

“Because Dave brought the cake over to the house and when he went out to the car to get it, his boyfriend showed up. You remember the guy I met at the bar? The one I was telling my theory about the affair too. Yeah, that was Dave’s boyfriend. I guess he followed us and when he He saw Dave with my wife he ran his car straight at them. They were able to dodge, but my cake wasn’t. That’s the one that is out there now.”

“Ok, so why are you in trouble for that?”

“Because now Dave and his boyfriend are fighting and Marsha thinks it is totally my fault. She says I can come home when Dave gets to go home. In the mean time Dave has gets to sleep on our sofa and I’m not even allowed in the house. That Michael guy took off, isn’t answering his phone and is nowhere to be found. It looks like I’m going to be out her for a while. You want another beer?”

“Sure” I replied.

He handed me another beer, opened one for himself and raised the bottle. “Happy birthday to me!”

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