I’m just going to flat out ask this: What the hell is it with people who insist on adding the “Cha-cha-cha” to the birthday song? Don’t piss me off! You know exactly who I’m talking about.

Recently, I was at a birthday party for a small boy child and the time came to embarrass the shit out of him by shutting off the lights, shoving a burning dessert in his face, and screeching at him. Everything was going exactly as planned until we got to the first “you” of the song. While the human beings familiar with this custom were drawing breath to get ready for the next line of time-honored tradition, some lady filled that silence with a defiant “CHA CHA CHA!”

For some reason, it’s always a woman. An old, angry, grim-set woman. And always only one. And she always sits right next to the birthday child—angling for a spot in the birthday video, I assume.

Now after punching American culture right in the face, she’s outed. You’d think we’d stop the ceremony at this point and eject her forcefully. I mean she must want that, right? Like throwing a shoe at a President, this is some form of protest. She must be expecting—even craving—retaliation.

But no. People keep on plodding along. After all, they drew that breath during the pause—might as well wrap some “Happy Birthday” around it and send it into the terrified child’s ear.

When we get to the second “you” and the next assault of “CHA CHA CHA!” we can all be sure that the first batch wasn’t a goddamn fluke. She wasn’t choking on a mint or something. She totally meant it.

Whether she has some agenda—maybe indoctrinating this child into some cha-cha-cha preference cult—we may never know. But she is going to cha cha cha us through this song at every opportunity. And when we’re done, she’s going to have this look on her face, like she’s awfully pleased with herself for cramming cha-cha-chas into another child’s ears.

So, what is it with these people? They don’t ask permission beforehand. There’s no “Hey, is this a “cha-cha-cha’ family or what?” conversation. They just plant themselves and pounce. Is there a family where everyone cha-cha-chas? Then they should get their asses over there.

This has yet to happen at a birthday party for one of my kids. If it did, the shit would be over cha-cha-immediately.

Our ancestors met and agreed upon the words at some meeting ages ago. It was settled. Enough with the goddamn cha-cha-chas.


  1. We’ve never done that at our parties before and now, following those stern warnings, I shall not allow anything but the time-honored, familiar, traditional birthday greeting. (Another great blog).

  2. I do. I’m so sorry. It’s from a movie…….the one with the lion, the zebra, the giraffe (Marty?) and the hippo. MADAGASCAR! Thank God I thought of it.. Sorry, I didn’t mean to scream at you.
    It’s in the version of Happy Birthday in the movie. My daughter and niece USED to do it…..I’m still hanging on.

    My apologies to everyone. In. America. I’ll stop now. I’ll try. No, I’ll stop.

    • jeffandjill

      10/07/2015 at 10:15 am

      It’s ok. I think this is just my issue. Just like many things. So it’s not you, it’s me.

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