Birthdays around the large salon I worked in for 15 years were always an adventure. Victor Lee, or Vic-Ta-Lee as his mother calls him, is the brother of Liz, one of the gals I worked with in the salon. Victor loved to get into the action of decorating for my birthday which was only 20 days after his sister’s.
The year we decided it was time for payback he was turning 39 and he was really having a hard time with his age. Victor had moved to Moundridge and was the minister at the Methodist church. He thought he was out of our reach for payback but he didn’t know us that well I guess.
Three months before his birthday we started thinking about how to get even with him. We came up with and discarded a hundred different ideas because they weren’t mean enough.
After discarding so many ideas I remembered that my cousin Leigh and her husband Floyd lived in Moundridge. I called him to see if he would be willing to help us with the payback, and he quickly agreed.
We started by printing 300 flyers. On the flyers we printed:
HI, MY NAME IS VIC- TA- LEE
AND TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY
I AM 39.
PLEASE CALL AND WISH ME
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ANYTIME BETWEEN
NOW AND 3:00 AM.
MY PHONE NUMBER IS: 555-5555
Then we had to come up with an idea of how to get them all over Moundridge. We called Floyd to see if he would help us spread them around town. He offered to take us up in his 4 seat plane so we could throw them out the window. Wow, we thought, that was a great idea, but could we be arrested for littering? He said he was on the council and was friends with the sheriff so not to worry.
On that Saturday we arrived at the airport and had Liz’s son with us. Liz and I both told him we didn’t like to fly and he promised he would not do anything to scare us. We took off and quickly discovered he lied to us: we were in the hands of a stunt pilot at heart.
After a quick climb straight up he made a wing down turn and headed back towards the town. On the way he tried a couple of little stunts that had Liz and me screaming, then he gave the stick to Liz’s son. He told Eric to fly the plane and the plane immediately took a nose dive. All we could see out the window was the ground rushing up at us.
Just in time Floyd took the stick again and pulled it straight up to a safe height. Then he put the wing down and made four tight circles. I looked up at Liz and all I could see was clouds and blue sky circling above her head.
I looked to my left which was straight down and all I could see was the fields spinning around and around. I informed Floyd I felt sick and he handed me a black trash bag, which I promptly pulled down over my head. Finally he tired of kidding around and straightened the plane up. I am not sure who got the worst of it that day, the birthday boy or Liz and I.
He finally turned back towards town and dropped the plane to tree top level and told us to push open the windows by the back seats. When he told us start we began to throw the flyers out of the windows.
When we were over the parsonage we threw out 100 of them and it looked like it was snowing. The parsonage sat right behind the church and the lawn there was also covered with the flyers. The church and the parsonage both sat under the water tower, and Floyd was flying around the tower with the wing down making tight circles just above the trees.
We could see Victor standing on the lawn of the parsonage looking up at us with a flyer in one hand and shaking his fist as we made the circles around the water tower. We could see his lips moving but couldn’t hear him thank heavens.
We flew all over town throwing out the little flyers, and when we flew over the swimming pool we dropped some in the pool. Victor’s daughter happened to be in the pool. She grabbed one out of the water and after reading it was so embarrassed she immediately went home.
Once the town was covered with the flyers we went back to the airport to pick up Liz’s car, so we could go to Victor’s house. On the way we stopped to write a note on the announcement board on the lawn of the church. The message read:
THE SERMON THIS SUNDAY WILL BE:
HOW TO GROW OLD GRACFULLY,
BY THE OLD MAN
Unfortunately the custodian saw us and cleaned it off before we arrived at the parsonage just behind the church.
We had a cake for Victor that made reference to the fact that he was 39 years old and our gift for his birthday was a broom handle with a nail in the end so he could pick up the flyers and not be arrested for littering. As we left town we stopped and put the message back on the announcement board, but don’t know how long it managed to stay.
Victor sent his daughter out to pick up the flyers and gave her a nickel for each one she brought back, but she didn’t get them all. Victor’s last phone call with birthday wishes came at 3AM. He immediately called Liz and yelled at her about the flyers again, and vowed vengeance on both of us. But he kept a low profile for the next two years and then moved to Oakley, Kansas.
But we weren’t through with Victor; his 41st birthday came on a Monday. We called him on Saturday and told him to keep looking up because we were going to send Floyd out to fly over Oakley on Sunday.
We didn’t know the church was in the flight path to the little airport and everytime a plane went over during his sermon, he paused to look out the window to see if anything was falling and lost his train of thought.
I think for quite a few years after his 39th birthday on Victor Lee’s birthday he was nervous whenever a little plane came near his home or church or even the golf course, and we didn’t have to do a thing to get him on his birthday. To contact Sandy: [email protected]