Great Zucchini

Last year, the Washington Post magazine had a long article about a children’s entertainer called The Great Zucchini.  We discussed it, and the general phenomenon of children’s birthday parties here and here.  Well, last week we learned that the Great Zucchini himself was performing at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse, so off we went this afternoon.

He’s funny.  The kids absolutely adored it.  D laughed until his juice went down the wrong way and he choked.  Although he’s billed as a magician, the act includes very little stage magic — it’s mostly slapstick.  He poured water on himself, got attacked by a slinky, threw diapers at the audience, told them NOT to dance in the aisles, made a child "disappear" by hiding behind the curtains, etc.  But it’s nothing terribly original, just a consistent willingness to be silly.  T’s main reaction was "I could do that."  And he could — at D’s party last year, he impressed the kids by juggling chocolate cake.

This year for D’s birthday, we’re just taking a few kids to Port Discovery.  It’s enough of a treat for him that he doesn’t mind not having a big party, and the logistics are far easier.  We need to check with his teacher, but we think we’re still allowed to bring cupcakes to school on his actual birthday to share with his whole class, as long as they’re consumed in the cafeteria and not the classroom.

3 Responses to “Great Zucchini”

  1. deidre Aufiero Says:

    Last week, I made trips to shelters, the children’s hospital, and Goodwill after almost filling our garage with toys (most new in the boxes) that family have given to my two children for birthdays and Christmas in 2006. In March, my daughter will be five – old enough for a “real” party with friends. I’m willing to do it under one condition: NO GIFTS. There is no end to the excess.

  2. bj Says:

    I remember this conversation from last year (our kid’s birthdays are around the same time of year). We’ve done medium size birthday parties at home for the last 3 years (years 3-5), but have switched to a “invite everyone” party for this year, at a local swimming pool.
    My goal is that this provides a medium for the kids bonding (they’re in K of a K-8 non-neighborhood school). I suggested “small craft items, recycled is a plus” as gifts, but we’ll see what happens with that. I think “no gifts” doesn’t work, ’cause the kids feel bad if they don’t bring them, especialy if someone else does bring a gift.
    Now, I am planning on goodie bags, and I hate myself for it. It’s a weird addiction that I have to come to term with. I come up with a plan to do something simple, but then I log on to the oriental trading company site, and am attracted to big huge bags of junk. It’s a weird regression to a childhood where 12 dollars was a lot of money (and combined with an adulthood where 12 dollars is nothing). I enevitably end up buying things like “hibuscus hair clips”. Some of their stuff is awesome (the bouncy lit tops with crank are an example, as are the foil mardi gras masks); Oh well, I can’t help myself. But, maybe you folks will realize some of the goodie bag folks are like me (regressing into a childhood fascination with shiny cheap junk) rather than playing some game of one-upmanship.
    bj

  3. V.H. Says:

    We do stealth birthday parties because our daughter’s birthday is in August. We invite friends and family over for a bbq, have plenty of food and beer, and right at the end bring out a cake with candles. Only a few close friends who know when she was born bring gifts which we don’t open until everyone has left. She’s only 3 and has been happy with the arrangement so far. Best part, no gifts, no decorations.

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