Friday, April 24, 2009

Cardboard Cakes and Elton John.

Last Sunday was Dennie's birthday. Dennie is the owner of The Monkey Wrench, a restaurant/music venue in Louisville that I frequent. He is in his 30's, yet already a Louisville legend, among those who care about our fair city. He loves all things Louisville, from Cardinal basketball to My Morning Jacket, and he cares about creating an awesome place to hang out. Atmosphere is important, as is good food and more importantly, good company. He's been working on the rooftop for years, and he finally got the green light from the city to open up.

The roof of the Monkey Wrench feels like Spring Break. I normally order a bourbon and soda, but when I'm sitting under the umbrella at the roof-deck, I want a fruity frozen concoction. I also to turn around and see the ocean, but the skyline of Paristown makes me smile anyway.

Friend-with-a-Truck and I showed up to celebrate Dennie's birthday on Sunday, along with my parents and a handful of other good friends of Dennie's. Chris was a one-man mimosa factory, pouring Champagne Supernovas, aka Mimosas with Grand Marnier and some additional fruit juice. All was well, until we realized there was no cake.

So FWATruck and I rushed up to the Homemade Pie & Ice Cream up the street and spied the perfect cake in the counter display. It was frosted with pink icing and said "Happy Birthday Princess." Perfect. We asked the 16-year-old behind the counter what kind of cake it was, and he looked at us cock-eyed.

"Um, it's made of cardboard."

FWATruck and I giggled. Then he asked the boy, "How much for it?"

"What? You can't eat it. It's just the display."

"I know, but what'll it take for you to sell it to us?"

At this point, the teenager understood and was amused as well. He asked his manager, who said we should make an offer. I offered five bucks, and he giggles and puts it in the tip jar.

We bought two pies (both edible) and went back to the rooftop of the Wrench with our Pink Princess Cardboard Cake and two mischievous grins.

The "cake" was much more entertaining than trick candles.

After we ate, we all sat around the piano while I played pop tunes and we had an impromptu singalong with everything from "Tiny Dancer" to Sweet Child of Mine." We may have forgotten to sing "Happy Birthday," but it was still a perfect afternoon. And I think that kid at the pie shop is still telling the story of the folks who bought the cardboard cake.

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