No Rolling Stones? I’ll just have my free birthday dessert

By John Toth / Bulletin Publisher

It’s not every year that my birthday falls on the same day the paper is dated. Actually, it’s every seventh year.

So, this is one of those rare occasions. As you read this paper on Dec. 13, I am celebrating my birthday … sort of.

I’m not much of a birthday person. I don’t like surprise parties, and I never know what to tell my family when they ask me what I want for my birthday.

Like with Christmas gifts, I am lost. If I want or need something, I just buy it. I don’t wait for a special occasion.

Come on, Dad. What do you want? I don’t really know. Just don’t surprise me with a party.

I like to eat out on my birthday and celebrate with an adult beverage, but I don’t want the waiting staff singing to me, or putting some silly hat on my head. I do want my free dessert if the restaurant offers it to customers celebrating birthdays.

I have noticed that they never check whether you’re telling the truth. All they would have to do is ask for a driver’s license, but they don’t. I just tell them that it’s my birthday, and I get free dessert.

If I were a dishonest person, I could get free dessert every time I go out to eat.

If I had lots of money to waste, I would throw a big birthday bash for myself like rich people do.

Steve Schwarzman, the Blackstone Group co-founder and chairman, splurged $5 million on his 60th birthday celebration. Held at the Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue in New York City, 350 guests were treated to a performance by Rod Stewart, and Patti LaBelle sang, “Happy Birthday” to Schwarzman.

Now, this guy knows how to celebrate. I bet he doesn’t check whether a restaurant offers free birthday desserts.

David Bonderman, the Texas billionaire, had to outdo Schwartzman on his 60th by spending $7 million. Five hundred guests were invited to Las Vegas to celebrate it. Robin Williams was on hand to MC at dinner, and afterwards John Mellencamp and The Rolling Stones played live at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Sultan of Brunei’s 50th birthday bash cost $27.2 million. He made the Boderman and Schwarzman birthday parties look like a soup kitchen.

To celebrate the Sultan’s “golden birthday,” 60,000 guests received gold medals and wined and dined on champagne and caviar. A performance by Michael Jackson at Jerudong Park Amphitheater in Bandar Seri Begawan followed, topping off the extremely lavish, extremely expensive affair.

Simon Cowell knows how to be offensive to contestants who sing their hearts out for a chance at fame, but he sure couldn’t keep up with the rich boys when it came to throwing an expensive birthday party on his 50th birthday, spending only $1.6 million.

The Sultan wouldn’t even get out of bed for that measly little party.

On the night of Cowell’s gala, an enormous image of Cowell was projected onto the walls of the mansion chosen as the party venue, and guests dined on bread rolls and alphabet soup spelling Simon’s name. The Sinatra fan invited three Rat Pack impersonators (as well as Earth, Wind and Fire!) to entertain guests.

Please, I’d rather have the Rolling Stones, although they are getting a little up there. Jumping Jack Flash is now Slow it Down, Jack.

O.K., so what am I doing on my birthday? Probably working and then going out to dinner to get my free dessert.