Ask Dayton 65 – HOLY SHIT! I’M STILL HERE!
Dear Mr. Ward,
By the time G & T’s 84th episode is recorded live, I’ll finally reach twenty-seven years of existence on this world. Birthdays have become less interesting to me as years go by, but they are at least celebrated with a nice dinner or two.
In the exciting and thrilling life of Dayton Ward (Novelist Extraordinaire), how are birthdays celebrated? What has been the best or most memorable birthday in your life? And has there been a birthday in your life that you find the worst (and would want to forget about)?
Thank you, and all the best.
First, congratulations on completing your 27th consecutive circumnavigation of our sun. Bonus points to you if you were able to accomplish this feat while still retaining all of your original organs, teeth, and sanity.
How do I celebrate my birthdays? Well, at this stage of life, it’s just not a proper observance unless it begins at dawn with a parade marching across the courtyard at stately Ward Manor. This normally is followed by the presentation of a special proclamation read by the governor, granting me the privilege of pillaging the neighboring towns and provinces. All of this, of course, precedes the grand ball held that evening, which features all manner of sacrificial virgins, lap dances, and Steel Panther throwing me a tribute concert. Death to all but Metal, bitches!
Oh, and you know it’s an open bar. All. Day. All. Night.
Wait…all that shit’s just in my head. Well, except for the lap dances part. Okay, not even those. DAMN.
Like you, birthdays have become pretty much “just another day” the older I’ve gotten. I mean, I’m a couple of decades away from being able to say, “HOLY SHIT! I’M STILL HERE!” whenever a birthday rolls around, right? I’m well past the point where big surprise parties and opening lots of presents is the order of the day. I’m happy if I get to sleep in that morning, get a cool hand-drawn card from my kids, and dinner at a favorite restaurant. If I’m really lucky, the wife will see fit to dress up like an Orion Slave Girl, or don the Princess Leia costume from Return of the Jedi. You know the one I’m talkin’ about.
Hold up. Wait. Sorry…fell back into my own head for a second there. Shit.
This isn’t to say that there haven’t been memorable birthdays. There was the year Rush came to town for a concert the night of my birthday. Then there was the time we flew to Vegas to see…you guessed it…Rush, and we even preceded that with a book signing at Star Trek: The Experience. The PR person there even set us up with the full ride and tour package, so we were able to get our geek on before heading down to Mandalay Bay for the concert. Then Kevin got hit on by a hooker, completing the whirlwind trip.
My 40th birthday was actually a pretty kick-ass day. My wife set up a whole surprise deal for me and a bunch of my friends where we all went to the Kansas Speedway and got to drive NASCAR racing cars around the track. As I recall, I was able to get the car out of second gear before time ran out.
The weirdest birthday I remember is due to what happened instead of what was supposed to happen. 1989: I’m stationed on Okinawa and people in my shop are planning a birthday shindig at one of our favorite off-base hangouts. All of that got cancelled because I, along with a handful of other people from our group, were pulled into an insane project which was part of a large, frantically evolving effort as U.S. military forces were preparing to evacuate American personnel from embassies and other locations in China in the wake of the all the shit going down at Tiananmen Square. None of that we were planning for ever happened, and everything we did to prep for it got shelved…the day after my birthday, so thanks for making me miss my party, you mother fuckers. To this day, I have no idea how many lap dances I lost out on.
These days? I celebrate each birthday wiht the realization of “HOLY FUCK! I’M NOT DEAD!” My plan for the time being is stick with that, because it seems to work. However, if anyone wants to do the whole Princess Leia/Return of the Jedi or Orion Slave Girl getup for me, I won’t complain.
Put your hand down, Nick.
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But, wait. There’s more.
He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
Despite all this, he still finds the time to write the words. Find out what he's doing here.
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