You know, Bamford, I was thinking recently that the world might want to know more about birthdays in our family. No doubt that the world wants to know everything about our family, as storied, admired and monied as we are, but given the particular event for which we are all preparing, it might be a nice bit of the ol’ thematics for us to focus in on one particular, birthing-related side of Buckford-Westington history. We shall save the story of the family’s fabled grapefruit spoons for another day, perhaps.
Birthdays for us B-Ws are a chance to look back on our history, and revel in the jolly good sport we can have when you get us all in a room together with fine liquor. We put our pants on just the same as everyone else (or so I’m told; I’m usually reading or smoking while the family pants-servants take care of it for me), and just like everyone else, we do like a good party. Consider a few highlights of family yore, revolving around celebrations of spawning through the ages:
- 1793: The first Buckford-Westington to have a birthday party was Phileas Letterford, over two and a half centuries ago now. There were many Buckford-Westingtons before him, of course, but due to a long flirtation with various puritanical religions, they never quite “partied hardy,” as they say (at least not in public). Phileas’ was a moderate affair, and the man himself feeble; the locals fashioned him a cake to which it turned out he was allergic. Thus was the first Buckford-Westington funeral held, too.
- 1801: Marcifus Muriel Buckford hosts a small gathering at the Southern Lodge on the family grounds in Wisconsin. A game of spin-the-port-bottle gets slightly out of hand, and before you know it an entire square mile of the estate has been annexed by Spain.
- 1829: After 28 years of peace with the “Spanish Mile,” as the annexed portion of the grounds came to be known, Thelonius “Flibberjib” Westington uses the occasion of his own birthday to declare that family’s estate must be reunified. The attempt is repelled, however, when the residents of the Mile soak the ground surrounding their habitations, and none of the raiding party wants to get their good pants dirty.
- 1810: Floribel Isthmus Ignatia Westington finds herself locked in the wine cellar on her birthday. The family record books all insist that it was for a good reason.
- 1889: Gunther Magnanimus Buckford, having been born on December 31st and also fed some bad intel by a psychic, believes that the year is actually 1899, and puts together a massive birthday-plus-turn-of-the-century swimming party. Nearly bankrupts the whole family buying “20th Century” branded beach towels, which gives the residents of the Spanish Mile the chance to annex the entire South Wing of our mansion.
- 1914-1918: All birthday celebrations suspended while the entire Buckford-Westington family joins forces to overthrow the encroaching Spanish Mile empire. Finally succeed by standing outside of their windows at night making annoying noises. To my knowledge, it is the most notable world event of that time period.
- 1943: Due to rationing for the war, Helena Taylor-Westington-Silvania is forced to hold a birthday party completely devoid of rubber. The books don’t say what the rubber would have been used for, but apparently it really was an inconvenience.
- 1986-1990: a period of years during which, due to the recent family acquisition of a company that made 8-track players, every family birthday party featured a soundtrack of the same Steely Dan album on repeat. No one much had any fun.
- 2000: Gunther Magnanimous’ descendants decide to throw him a proper, honorary birthday-turn-of-the-century party, in honor of the new millienium. It is broken up by an ambush by the descendants of the formed Spanish Mile, who it turns out had been hiding out in the garden shed all these years.
Truly a storied history of birthings, deathings, celebrations and Spaniards. Although no Buckford-Westington birthday has ever had a guest of honor quite so old, distinguished, or mysterious as dear old Uncle Chucky! No doubt his upcoming celebration on May 17th will be one for the ages, eh, Bamford?
Don’t answer, Bamford. That was rhetorical.