My brother, James, has always been very loud and rowdy. He used to hate it when I called him an ape when we were kids, now he just laughs at me. So for his thirtieth birthday, I decided to get together with some of his friends and throw him a Tarzan party.
When we were kids, our dad helped us build a really cool tree house in the backyard. It had two rooms with a small balcony and a rope bridge connecting it to another tree. I thought I would have to repair it a lot before it would be usable, but for the most part the tree house was in good shape. The roof didn't leak, the floor boards were stable, but it was a lot smaller than I remembered it.
I sent out invitations to all his friends and family. They had a cartoon Tarzan swinging from a vine on the cover. Inside I wrote all the party details including encouragement to dress up and keep the party a secret from James. Mom and dad told him we were all going out to dinner to celebrate his birthday and he should bring Melinda to their house so they all could go together in the van.
On the day of the party I arrived at my parents' house to decorate the back yard. We stuck about a dozen Tiki torches into the ground around the patio. Real and artificial plants were placed around the edge of the patio screening it on three sides. Mom was busy in the kitchen chopping up chicken, beef and vegetables for the skewers dad would be grilling on the barbeque. Mom made a giant Caesar and fresh fruit salad to go with the shish kabob.
When Melinda and James arrived, but no one was there. She told him they must have been a little early so she had time to give him something she bought it for him to wear tonight and he should open it right away. Inside was a Tarzan costume that she wanted him to wear. James didn't want to put it on, right then, but Melinda convinced him to try it on. While he was changing she put on her Jane costume. He asked her what she was up to and he didn't want to do anything kinky in his parents house. Melinda just giggled and led him into the dark back yard. As he came out of the house he said, "We can't, not out here. Someone will see."
Someone switched on the CD of jungle music and turned up the torches to illumining the back yard. Everyone yelled, "Surprise!" and jumped out of our hiding places. Everyone was dressed like jungle natives. James was totally speechless. When he recovered a little he kept asking who was responsible for this "ambush" and I came forward. He shook my hand and congratulated me on my masterful set up; he was clueless and amazed.
Soon everyone was eating, drinking and having a good time. There was Corona beer, wine both white and red. The shish kabobs were great and James was getting into his Tarzan role tearing the meat off the bamboo skewers with his teeth. He was hamming it up for the camera.
Later, after dinner. James had a water balloon fight for power over the tree house with some of the other guests. Nobody really won though; everyone was laughing too hard to continue. Later he gave a Tarzan call to Melinda. She climbed up into the tree house and we didn't see them for a while. l was about to yell something up to them, when they started lobbing water balloons out the windows.
Later, we danced around the barbeque grill pretending it was a bonfire. Our parents, and some of the other guests left early, but the rest of us partied until early in the morning.
Believe me, every time James sees the old tree house, he'll remember his 30th birthday party.