The Day of John

So, we’ve been planning a Day of John. John = Terry’s brother, he of kidney donation fame. The day? His birthday – or the day before it, to be exact.

You see, John has the misfortune of having been born on Christmas Eve. In addition to meaning that he gets less presents than other people, it also means that no one is ever available to celebrate with him on the day itself, everyone being far too busy wrapping up the Christmas presents they panic-bought just hours before, and putting out milk and a cookie for Santa. Oh wait, that’s just me, isn’t it? Damn.

Last year was a particularly un-birthday-like birthday for John. For one thing, it was his 30th. For another, he had only just been released from hospital, and was still drugged up to the eyeballs. For a third, he spent most of that day traveling to and from said hospital to visit Terry, who was still incarcerated, and who, as it turned out, wasn’t released until Christmas morning. So, all in all, probably not the best birthday John’s ever had.

To make up for all of this, we had a plan, a cunning plan, hatched by John’s girlfriend, Jolene, and tenderly nursed along by Terry, who’d kind of like his brother to have a birthday that doesn’t involve ripping a kidney out of his body and then drugging him. (edited to add: they actually drugged him before taking the kidney out, too. Just thought I’d make that clear.) I mean, it’s the least we can do, really. The plan? We would have a Day of John. This year, December would be magical again! (Also: expensive! But worth it!) What we’d do, we decided, was pick John up on the morning of his birthday. "Get you coat, John – you’ve pulled we’re taking you out," we’d say, before bundling him into the car and driving him to Edinburgh, where he and Jolene would take a helicopter tour of the city and the Forth, before returning to the ground. Terry and I would then join them for food, and also: alcohol.

Well, that was the plan, and indeed, still is the plan. The reason I’m able to write about it here, though, without fear of John reading this and the surprise being ruined? Well, the surprise has already been ruined. By the stupid helicopter company who, despite being told that it was all a huge surprise, and that they must not, under any circumstances, communicate The Plan to John in any way at all, went right ahead and did just that. Yes, they interpreted "Please don’t tell John about this," as "Please tell John all about this, by sending a boarding card to his home, addressed to him, with the full details of The Day of John with it." Gah. You just can’t get the staff, can you?

We will still have our Day of John, of course. It’s just that… John knows. Gah.