Shrunken Apple Head’s Birthday!

I’m on my horrible laptop, swiping power from a friend’s generator. The storm knocked out our electricity, and it might not be back for a week. (Fortunately, that’s all the storm knocked out. Our problems are trivial compared to the total insanity surrounding us. Good luck to everyone who was affected way worse.)

It’s around 10 PM Tuesday as I write this – just hours from Halloween. Of course, Halloween has pretty much been canceled around here. Parents were encouraged to put the kibosh on trick-or-treating, though I don’t doubt that we’ll still get a few knocks tomorrow. Kids have been waiting a whole month for this candy, and like the Whos of Whoville, nothing can put a damper on their holiday spirit. If there weren’t giant trees falling at every other street corner, I’d admire the romance.

I feel a little guilty writing anything at all, because man, we are surrounded by some awful shit. Anything I put here would seem trivial at best, disrespectful at worst. On the other hand, if I don’t do this now, Shrunken Apple Head will spend the next twelve months pouting like a mofo.

Today was his birthday. Not officially, but when you’re an apple, even a late birthday is pretty incredible. Shrunken Apple Head first appeared in a 2003 X-E article, and then several times more in later blogs. This year, he turned 9. Even after all of this time, he still looks like Doc Brown.

As you may recall, Shrunken Apple Head is big on birthdays – especially his own. You’ve seen his parties on more than one occasion.

Last year, the shindig was legendary. Wacky hats, oodles of guests – even music! Shrunken Apple Head desperately wanted 2012’s party to somehow top it, but Hurricane Sandy ended that dream in a hurry.

Harley was the only one who showed, because Harley is exactly the type to say “fuck you” to a growling super storm. It was better than having no guests, but only by a little. The truth is, even if I make a big fuss over Harley, he’s kind of an idiot. He’s obnoxious, he burps a lot, and not ten minutes goes by without Harley breaking something.

You can see the despondence on Shrunken Apple Head’s face. This isn’t the kind of woe-as-me attitude that makes me a proud parent, but at the same time, I hate to see my kid/fruit so upset on his birthday. I hope Harley can cheer him up in between the emissions.

Hey now, that’s a start! Can’t believe Harley remembered the cake. Sure, it’s halfway melted, but it’s still a Carvel cake in the style of a jack o’ lantern. I don’t deny that this is an imperfect birthday party, but with a cake like that, things could be so much worse.

Shrunken Apple Head’s look of shock is easy to explain. He wanted his slice to include the cake’s “pumpkin stem,” and couldn’t believe that Harley ignored such an easy request. It’s his birthday, after all.

Actually, the green icing stem was in there, hidden in the mound of ice cream goo.  Shrunken Apple Head would notice it not a minute later, and while I can’t claim that he cracked a smile, he at least stopped telling Harley to “go home go home go home.”

“Who’s Hariey?”

It took a second for Shrunken Apple Head to realize that Harley mixes upper and lowercase letters with total abandon.

“Oh, this is from you.”

Harley nodded up and down.

“What’s with the Christmas wrapping paper?”

Harley nodded up and down.

“Why did you use from instead of love?”

Harley nodded up and down.

Oh, sweet Jesus. Harley hit this one out of the park. It’s the complete Shrunken Head Apple Sculpture kit — the one with Vincent Price on the box! The elusive piece of ‘70s magic that inspired Shrunken Apple Head’s birth to begin with!

Now he could make a whole army of apple friends. Apple friends who won’t skip his birthday parties over completely minor natural disasters.

“Thanks, Harley. This is the best present I ever got.”

Harley nodded up and down.

“This set comes with the fake hair, right? It’s useless without the fake hair.”

Harley nodded up and down.

As Shrunken Apple Head continued marveling at the possibilities, Harley attacked the cake. He was determined to get a portion of the nose, eyes and mouth, all on one slice.

He failed. It was mission impossible.

Happy birthday, Shrunken Apple Head. Happy Halloween, too. Now stop being a brat.