DUDE, YOU SHOULDA BEEN THERE. NOW PAY ME
by Todd Hartley
By now, I’m sure most of you have heard about the 5-year-old boy in England whose family got a bill in the mail after he missed his friend’s birthday party. But if you’re not familiar with the story, that’s basically it in a nutshell. The family RSVP’d and then later realized they had other plans for that day, so the kid missed the party. A few days later, he came home from school with an invoice for $24 — a “child’s party no-show fee” — from the birthday boy’s mother.
As you can imagine, the 5-year-old’s parents were a little taken aback to learn that they owed someone money for a party their son hadn’t attended. They supposedly went and confronted the other mother about the bill, but she just threatened to sue them if they failed to pay it.
So here’s the thing about that story: It made international headlines, and as far as I can tell, the overall tone of the articles was that the mother sending the invoice was being a total bitch. I, however, disagree with that sentiment, and I would like to come to the defense of the invoicer, because no one else seems willing to.
Here’s what we know about the case: The family RSVP’d to say their son would attend, so the mother took the boy into account when she made the party plans. That means it cost her money that was wasted when the boy didn’t show. The family could have saved the mother that money if they’d called to say their son could no longer attend the party, but they didn’t. They just blew it off.
The family claimed they had no contact information for the mother at the time and were thus unable to tell her their son wasn’t coming, but that seems like a pretty blatant lie. If they had no contact information, how the hell did they RSVP in the first place? I know “I’m With Stupid” isn’t technically a court of law, but that sounds a lot like perjury to me, Jack.
As much as I agree that giving a 5-year-old an invoice is a little tacky, I think the lying parents of the no-show kid should just buck up and pay it. It’s the right thing to do, and I assure you, I’m not just saying that because my son’s birthday is in a couple of weeks. I truly, truly feel that way.
Speaking of my son’s birthday, I would like to officially invite each and every one of you to the party. I’ll just assume you’re going to be there and plan accordingly. The place and time are TBD, but I’m sure you can make it. Of course, if you don’t, I will unfortunately have to bill you for my time and the money it cost me to assume you would be there.
I think that’s what I’m going to start doing as a side business. I’m going to invite as many people as possible to parties, and after they all RSVP, at the last minute I’m going to switch the location to something like Hawaii or the top of Mount Everest and pretend to serve lobster, caviar and Cristal. Then I’ll send out invoices for about $400 a pop and watch the money start flowing in.
It’d be a perfect plan if I had any friends.
Actually, I’m going to walk that last comment back since it upsets my mother when I say it. I actually do have a few friends, but some of them are the kind of people who might actually show up at the top of Everest for a party and get really mad when there’s no lobster or cake waiting for them. I’d hate to get caught in my own web of lies, so I’ll have to make a point of not inviting those people.
Now, naturally, I can’t be the only one who has latched onto this notion as a business idea, so I would caution you all to be wary of any party invites you receive in the future. Make sure you know you can get to the party before you RSVP, or it could cost you.
And if you do get an invoice in the mail for a party you missed, I would advise you to do what the family in England should do: Tell the bitch you’ll pay her invoice as soon as she ships you the party favors, food, drinks and cake that your son didn’t get.
Todd Hartley is still miffed that his fraternity expected him to pay dues for the semester he was abroad. That’s total BS.