Here’s what Hugh Hefner received for his 82nd birthday this year: one bottom, one pair of breasts, one vagina and one naked Pamela Anderson. The first three gifts were made of chocolate. Pammy was not chocolate although she was carrying a chocolate birthday cake. Thoughtfully, she also threw in a nude lap dance for Grandpa Playboy who has put her in his magazine 13 times.
So how did your birthday festivities compare to all that? Mine, not so well but more about that later. I have more to tell you about Hef’s birthday gifts.
The genius chocolate body part idea was born when his ‘girlfriends’, Holly, Bridget and Kendra each decided to have their best feature re-created for Hef in chocolate. Can you believe none of them gave him a chocolate brain?
“My best physical feature is my vagina,” drawled Holly earnestly to the camera, there to capture it all for their reality show, “and it’s probably Hef’s favourite so I just feel my vagina should be preserved in chocolate.” We all feel that way, Holly. We do.
Next up was Kendra. “I moulded my ass, so I could call it a ‘chocolate starfish’” she explained. “It was white chocolate, and I put a dark chocolate little thing in the middle.”
Rounding up the trinity of choc-bits, Bridget reasoned to the others: “If you’re going to do your butt and you’re going to do your vagina, maybe I should do my boobs”. And she did.
In an astonishing stroke of luck, the visit to the chocolate shop and Hef’s birthday party co-incided with the season five US premiere of their reality show The Girls Next Door. I found the clip on youtube last week and it made my weekend.
I’m not even kidding. Because the show focuses on the girls-just-wanna-have-fun antics at the Playboy mansion, it’s far less sleazy than your average episode of Video Hits. This is also due to the sexually benign presence of a grandad wandering around in his pyjamas looking like a happily displaced patient in a nursing home. That would be Hef.
Pyjamas or not, you have to admit the guy knows how to celebrate his birthday – even if eating a chocolate starfish with Pamela Anderson perched nude on your lap is not your thing personally.
My birthday this year was a wee bit different to Hef’s. There was less nudity for one thing. There was much less chocolate and absolutely no starfish. I did have a birthday cake, although it was carried by my children instead of Pamela Anderson. And it was only a cake in the very loose sense of the word (almost as loose as the description of Holly, Bridgette and Kendra as Hef’s ‘girlfriends’).
It was built out of three jam donuts and a couple of tea light candles. Apparently there had originally been four donuts but one was accidentally eaten during the construction process.
It was sweet in every sense and the highlight of a fairly melancholy day. I’m not good with my birthday. Every year I think I’ve matured enough to enjoy it. Every year I’m wrong.
Once you’re past the fairy bread and lolly bag years, birthdays can become a little tortured. For some, it’s the getting older part that causes angst. Not me. Not yet.
Nonetheless I usually spend my birthday feeling vaguely petulant. “Oh nothing,” I always insist when close friends and family ask what I want to do for my birthday. “I don’t want a fuss or a party and please, no presents. I have everything I need. It’s no big deal, seriously.”
At the time, I genuinely mean it. I cringe at the thought of being the centre of attention at a big birthday party or even a small one. But on the day, I’m slightly crest-fallen when everyone follows my instructions and the day fizzes past. Again.
This year, as a present, my husband booked me a two-hour massage at a spa. While I do enjoy a massage once I’m having it, the thought of lying prone for any length of time makes me feel claustrophobic. So when the baby suddenly developed a sniffle, I seized on the opportunity to cancel. Except it was too late because I was due there in an hour. “There’s no point wasting it, you go and have my birthday massage,” I insisted to my husband. “I’ll stay home with the kids.” He protested strenuously but quickly realised I was in full birthday martyr mode. So off he went.
To crank things up a notch, while he was out, I tidied the house – something I’m notoriously slack about on every other day of the year. But it meant I could derive perverse pleasure from replying to happy birthday texts like this: “Am spending special day looking after kids and unstacking dishwasher while husband has massage”
Hef would never celebrate his birthday in such a pathetic way. But not everyone will be there for next year’s nude chocolate party. At time of writing, Hef has confirmed it’s over with both Kendra and Holly, who he called “the love of my life”. “I’m road-kill” Hef said sadly, about Holly’s decision to leave. Let’s just hope he put the chocolate vagina in the fridge. You know, to remember her by.