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TALKING BEARS, PONIES, AND BOSS HOGG
Some of the Best Birthdays I Can Remember This year for my birthday on Feb. 24, I’m “gifting” myself a trip down to Fort Lauderdale for an intensive three-day deposition seminar put on by the American Association for Justice. and all the kids got to ride them around for the day. I guess when you’re a kid, anything kid-sized is inherently exciting. Looking back, I’m realizing how great my parents were at putting on birthday parties for us. One year, probably when I was turning 5, I must have been obsessed with pirates for some reason. So my parents invited all my friends over and decked out the entire house with pirate-themed decorations. Each of us donned a skull and crossbones, wore eyepatches, and duked it out with plastic swords.
It may seem like a weird birthday present to give yourself, but I love the work I do and really enjoy keeping abreast of all the cutting-edge tips, tricks, and techniques in the workers’ compensation and personal injury field. That said, I’m not sure it’ll be as exciting as some of the birthdays my parents threw for me when I was little. After all, it’s hard to compete with ShowBiz Pizza where Billy Bob, the animatronic hillbilly bear, performed with his rowdy band. Riled up on candy and pizza, my friends and I spent hours trying to rack up tickets from their arcade games and skee ball. I also remember the huge ball pit being a big attraction at the time. I don’t particularly remember the pizza they served there. I’m sure it couldn’t be anything but terrible, though I wasn’t about to complain, given the tiny little tyke I was. One of the best parties I can remember growing up was actually not even mine; it was my sister’s. One August afternoon, a local farm brought over a whole team of ponies into our small yard,
But possibly the most exciting birthday I ever had was when I turned 16, and my parents led me outside to see my new car: an old ‘85 Ford Bronco with four-wheel drive. My friends and I named it Boss Hogg after the shady commissioner in The Dukes of Hazzard. They used to joke that it was out of character for me, with the mudflaps and straight pipes jutting out the back, but I couldn’t have asked for a better vehicle. We went everywhere with that thing, even to swamps and mud fields, but nothing could stop it. Birthdays may not be nearly as momentous as you get older, but it’s still a good excuse to eat with friends, have a few drinks, and do a little reflecting. Maybe one of these years, I’ll do a huge blowout bash with 500 of my friends’ friends milling around. But for now, I think I’ll stick to the law conference.
-William F. “Trey” Underwood, III
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