Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Eddie Pelkey
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Donald did have a surprise party

Escape with Eddie


August 22, 2013

Have you ever tried to keep something secret? Ever plan to spring a surprise party on someone? Have you ever been called upon to tell little white lies to keep knowledge away from somebody else?

Well, this past two weeks have entailed a major effort to keep secrets from Donald. Let me clarify.

My husband Donald, is experiencing his 80th Birthday this weekend. Liz and I decided to ignore his statements about NO PARTY! So, the pact was set, and the surprise was known to all as the BIG SECRET!

For starters, we decided to have both ham and turkey. Now, in my freezer resided the king of turkeys, a 23 pounder. I ask you, how do you cover up the fact that you have removed such a behemoth from the freezer and not have the empty space be noticeable? Not easy.

I piled several beef and pork roasts in front of the vacant space and threw some lesser items behind them. I was hoping he wouldn’t move a roast and discover air where a turkey should be.

Filling the empty space from the ham was a piece of cake compared to that. A big bag of Texas pecans filled that spot nicely.

Any time you are trying to hide something like a surprise party, the soon to be toasted individual comes upon you while you’re on the phone talking to the co-conspirator. Inevitably the question is asked, “Who are you talking to? Why are you whispering? What’s up?"

When you arrive at home from Walmart with some essential party supplies, there is a query, “What’s in the Bag?”

You’ve gotta be quick with the reply.

“I bought some new underwear.”

That’s one answer guaranteed to stop the questions. I mean, let’s face it, who wants to talk about underwear? Still, you do receive a kind of odd look.

However, when keeping secrets, there is always a time when you just know, the cover is blown!

Liz and I were in Ma and Pa’s Bakery to pick up the sheet cake. The baker was just showing off the top of the cake. As he was putting the cover on it, TADA! Who walks in the door of the bakery?

I know you don’t even have to guess. The Birthday Boy himself!

Fortunately, just before he opened the door, the cake had been covered with the tope of the cake box. The Baker, wise lady, observed Liz’s face, realized WHO the person coming in must be, picked up the box, and practically sailed into the back room of the bakery.

My eyes popped wide and I said, “What are YOU doing here?”

Then I thought, Oh, Lord love a duck! He’ll know what’s going on. But, bravely, I decided to make the best of it and said, “Wouldn’t you know it. Naturally you’d catch us yakking away, and drinking coffee and eating donuts!”

Fortunately he didn’t notice 6 dozen dinner rolls on the counter and he didn’t think about the cake box that was whizzed past his nose. I can hardly believe it!

In answer to what he was doing in town at 2:30 p.m. he replied, “I had to go to the pharmacy and the hardware store to buy rivets. Then I have a meeting at church.”

This explanation from a Birthday Man who never goes to town on a Friday afternoon, just blew my mind. Who could predict a meeting at church at 3 p.m. on a Friday?

When he walked in the door, I realized we needed a cover story, hence my stating we were having coffee.

I suddenly realized that I needed to be drinking coffee so I poured a cup just for pretense. I was already coffeed to the gunnels, but heck? What’s one more cup?

After he left we all just looked at one another. I mean, wouldn’t you know? What is there to say?

I told Liz I didn’t think he realized why we were there. She thought he did.

I can only say this. When he arrived at the party on Saturday and came walking around the house looking for us, then discovered some thirty odd people looking at him, HE WAS SURPRISED! I think for once he was speechless.

This whole event proves that if you are planning a surprise for someone, just be prepared to stretch the truth and avoid going to the bakery at the same time that someone craves a donut. Happy Birthday, Donald.


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