Last week, I celebrated my 20th birthday.
Now, as a self-respecting cake addict, I generally think of birthdays as a yearly armistice from judgement relating to slice size, and therefore tend to get mildly excited about the occasion. (In other words, a manic gleam appears in my eyes at one minute past midnight on the 1st of March and conversations that don’t involve butter icing become less and less frequent as the month progresses.)
However, soon after The Reindeer Incident, my self-imposed booze ban became slightly more professional. It would seem that my dignity is protecting itself the only way it can – I am, apparently, suddenly allergic to alcohol.
At this point I expect you to be clutching the sides of your desk chair in horror. Allergic to alcohol. Allergic… to alcohol. “How”, you may ask, with your eyebrows dangerously close to your hairline, “can someone be suddenly allergic to alcohol?” Well, hang onto those eyebrows for fear of losing them forever: my extremely limited understanding of the situation is that it’s possible for any random person to randomly develop an allergic reaction to any random thing – including alcohol. My only advice is to drink up. You could be next.
Although cake is (obviously) a key component of typical birthday festivities, the day is normally arranged around the alcohol consumption that will accompany it and not the cake itself. Night out or night in; Champagne or Asda Smart Price vodka: it doesn’t matter as long as nobody’s completely sober. So once the prospect of drinking-until-you-simply-can’t-remember-how-old-you-are was removed, a whole day of celebrating my existence seemed excessive, unreasonable and more than a little bit alarming. Beneath the icing sugar and the wrapping paper, I was concerned that there might be something terribly sinister about birthdays.
The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. The moment the cake is brought in; candles ablaze to a cheery chorus of Happy Birthday; is actually a deeply disturbing ritual where everyone in the room spontaneously bursts into tuneless song whilst starring determinedly at you and encouraging you to put your face near fire. And don’t even get me started on balloons.
I probably would have spent the whole day in the foetal position had I not accidentally stumbled across the solution to birthday sobriety: yes, you guessed it, cake. Lots and lots of cake.
It seems that two full sized cakes as well as four different batches of fairy cake contain just about enough sugar to make you so high that you forget how old you are.