I forget exactly how the idea of a surprise birthday party came up, but the idea caught on like wildfire among our peers.
We debated various options, worked out details, and planned the event itself, all in complete secrecy. Only a handful of people knew entirely what was going on, but there were also cells of operatives sent out to accomplish small tasks... tasks which, in some cases, left the operatives no more certain of how their mission fit into the whole. (And I got to be puppet master! Mua ha!)
We even planned a red-herring birthday bash for the following Saturday (which happens to be tonight) so that a lack of plans would not make the extraordinarily clever birthday girl suspicious.
And somewhere along the line, we got the idea of having everyone at the celebration wearing matching t-shirts. I researched custom tee printing places (sidenote: Pierre at Daquin Sales is amazing!) and worked up the design myself... a logo of a fantastic statistics pun. We were the "Standard Deviants" who were "95% Confident"! How awesome was that??
All the planning came to fruition on Tuesday, Bea's actual birthday. The tees turned out marvellously, and a horde of 30+ multicoloured tee-wearers descended upon The Standard on Elgin to await the birthday girl and her husband. Brian was in cahoots with the plot, and so he ensured they arrived after giving us lot sufficient time to decorate. I had brought streamers and balloons (I love you, Dollar Store!), and we all got to work in setting up our tables.
With a successfully decorated section of the restaurant, I grabbed a much-needed champagne-mojito (mmm!) and waited. The couple was perfectly on time. We made a ruckus, all jumping up and yelling "SURPRISE!", and Bea was exactly that.
After laughs and hugs, she and Brian changed into their own custom tees (including a cool math-joke on Bea's... B=d/dx(30x)... B is 30! Aaaah, calculus...) and the party was underway. We had dinner and cocktails, punctuated by a hugely successful Bea-themed limerick competition. Mine was unspectacular, but got the ball rolling sufficiently well:
There once was a girl named Bea,
Whose cat climbed up a tree
Since she had her druthers
She bought another
And now, of cats, she has three.
Of course, the limericks needed to be read aloud to a large group, in a restaurant filled with other tables, so that (unfortuntely) prevented the naughtier ones from airing. Nonetheless, the competition was a huge success.
After dinner was drinking and talking, and then more drinking. For better or for worse, Jagerbombs were on special for $4 per, so the waitress was soon bringing tray after tray of those. Things got kind of nutty, as you will see from the Flickr photos, but incredibly fun. The restaurant brought in a DJ at 10:00, and we danced until about 1:00AM. Not bad for a Tuesday! ;-)
Wednesday was a little rough for most of us, though more for lack of sleep than drinking. However, all that planning and secrecy was more than worth it, as Bea herself told us that it was her best birthday yet.
I'm still beaming. :-)