I called Stefani to shoot the shit while I was doing laundry. When she picked up she said, “You called on the best day of the year!” I quickly scanned my brain. Earth Day? No. Flag Day? No. Summer Solstice? Nope. Wait, the 12th of June is her birthday! Man, Facespace was good for one thing and one thing only— reminding me of people’s birthdays. Other than that, I have no regrets about dropping it a year ago.
”Happy birthday baby girl!” I said as though I remembered. She put me on speaker phone in the car with her kids. I told them to be good to their mom and then started singing Happy Birthday. I didn’t make it to the end because I started having a coughing fit. Ever since last weeks Dodger game when I washed down a white-chocolate weed bar with 11 beers, my throat hasn’t been the same. “Take me off speaker phone! I don’t want them to know Uncle Jimmy is dying,” I said in between bronchitis barks.
I love her kids as much as I love my own nephews and nieces. One of my favorite posts ever was two years ago when I threw an impromptu birthday bash for her. Afterwards, we went to her favorite Mexican restaurant and I treated them to dinner. Her son, who was 4 at the time, ordered a shrimp salad with blue cheese dressing. I was amazed that he had such a refined palate even though he wasn’t 60. He was also very observant— like when the food runner dropped of our food he noticed the Band-Aid on his finger and asked, “What happened?” The runner, who spoke little English, blushed and disappeared behind the southwest style rug hanging from the door frame. In that moment he became my favorite. My little left-hander (which represents intelligence) still has impeccable taste. For his 6th birthday last week he requested that they have oysters and steak for dinner and the only thing he wanted for a gift was a new suit. Such a privileged tongue that one’s got. I love him! Max for president!