My son's 4th birthday party is approaching. In this day and age of
parental overindulgence, this is nothing short of organizing a small

The invitations: Do we make them? Do we fill out pre-printed? Do we order them custom?

The cake: Is it Thomas the Tank Engine? Is it Bob the Builder? Is it
Spider-Man? Yellow cake with chocolate icing? Chocolate cake with
yellow icing?

The food: (because it's mostly family and mostly adults, we can't just
throw a bunch of chicken fingers in the oven and be done with it) Do we
cook? Do we cater? Do we cook some and cater a few trays?

Then there's the themed plates and napkins and cups. The party favors
and goodie bags. You can't give the older kids the same stuff that's in
the little kids goodie bags? And the babies that come, well they get
goodies too, age-appropriate never gonna remember if they got anything
or not goodies.

And activities…hence the title.

Bouncy…Bouncy thing…jumper…big inflatable thing for kids to jump
on while parents cross their fingers that there are no skull cracking

Actually I didn't think about that part until now. I love bouncy things
the last time we were at a kid's party, it was my son's first time
seeing one of these contraptions, so dear old Dad spent a good portion
of the time in there, too. And, yes it is fun.

Now finding a rental place in our proximity with the day availabile,
and the type of bouncy we are looking for (a train theme) at a
reasonable price with a reasonable cancellation policy, has been a bit
trying. My wife has been starting to stress a bit, so I jump in and
turn to Google for help.

Search terms: bouncy (not sure what to call the thing, I figuree
“bouncy” is a good place to start), middlesex county (that's our
county), jersey (we live in New Jersey, the “new” would probably be too

The results weren't nearly as focused as I would have expected. I found
one bouncy company that looks like it will be out of our price range,
but plenty of bouncy companies in the U.K. Damn those bloody wankers.

After that, there were a few items on the list that I found odd and/or disturbing to appear on this page of search results:

Let's start with #4: Furries Meetup

Yes, furries.
You know, the kids who worked at amusement parks wearing those animal
outfits that never wanted to give them back, the acrobatic and/or
annoying mascots at college sporting events. A sampling of the furries
on this page included: a Purple Tiger, a Rabwolf, a Shaggy Reversed
Zebra, an Arctic Fox, and a Snow Leopard.

But, who am I to judge? Furries are moving from the edge to the mainstream. There's the now infamous E.R. episode. The excellent DJ Format video for “We Know Something…” directed by Ruben Fleischer.
The costumed mascot needed liberation from the college campus and onto
main street. It makes me wonder how tough things were starting out for
the Phillie Fanatic. He's like the Jackie Robinson of the
subculture. Maybe someday we'll have a world where all prejudices will
be washed away and we'll see Goths
(NSFW) and Furries walking hand-in-hand. But those Renaissance fair outfit
wearing people still kind of weird me out, and I've even played Dungeons & Dragons in
my lifetime. I've rolled the 20-sided die.

Now #19 is a bit more obvious:

It links to a page from the Breast Expansion Archive.
I saw the title and thought, maybe this is like a support group forum
for women thinking of upping a cup size. Discussing pros/cons,
before/after, prep/recovery and that sort of thing. But after looking
at the choice of icons in the messageboard, I started thinking that's
probably not the case.

Moving to the main page of the site (NSFW), it became clearer that the
site was more for guys that prefer some enhanced cleavage. although it
seemed that surgical enhancements weren't enough, and Photoshop
enhancements are the enhancement du jour. (I could have used synonyms
or metaphors just now. But I thought I would just repeat the word
enhancement until you wanted to beat me over the head with it.)

In the Top 30 links there was also a Discordians meetup site (another blog, another day) and The UK Face Painting Association page.

Face Painters of the U.K. Unite!

I wonder if they have a union. I'd paint my face for better and cheaper medical coverage. I'd probably don the fur as well.

but I still don't have a bouncy thing.

THE LAST WORD: My favorite new word is “fursona”. I suppose it would be
defined as your furry persona. Are you a chinchilla? Maybe an okapi?
Perhaps a lynx? Great bastardization of our language. I wonder how many
years before it's in Webster's.

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