Matthew's Birthday Article
by Matthew Chase

Well hello there and welcome to my birthday article! Twenty nine years ago, my twin Brother Nate and I came into this world. We are fraternal twins, so I thought I would begin by telling you a bit about us as a duo, and moving on from there.vermont1.JPG

Nathan and I were born to a single mother in Upstate Vermont, in an area known as the NEK, or North East Kingdom. During birth, my brother was so anxious to see the world that he continually pushed and pushed at me, trying to force me out of our mother. Unfortunately, my little head was stuck in my mothers’ pelvic bone, and tests at the time showed that if he had pushed any harder, my neck would have snapped! So an emergency C-Section took place and I was retrieved two minutes sooner than my brother. We both were placed immediately for adoption and only a few short months later, we were taken in and adopted by a lovely couple in mid Vermont. We now call them MOM and DAD.

We also have an adopted older brother Josh, not to be confused with JaWa, my best pal and surrogate parent to Bandit. We grew up in a small town and have since grown into two very capable men. Though if you ask me, Nate is FAR more capable than I. I don’t know that many people that can support a family with four children. He is a brilliant man with great ambitions for himself and his family in the future, and I love and respect him for having the drive that I do not.

I have had quite a few birthdays in my time and some were good and some of them are pretty darn awful! Let us remember a few.

I recall one birthday that really was horrible because both my brother and I were VERY ill. We spend the day on the couch mostly reading, and we had people visit long enough to drop a card or gift off with our folks and then quickly escort their healthy children away from the house. I remember that year receiving a handmade clown’s head pillow that had Mickey and Minnie
mouse all over the fabric. I think we turned maybe five or six that year... the pillow is still somewhere amid my bundles of unpacked stuff in storage, and that year I also received a small figurine of “Bedtime Bear” from the family who lived across the street. I recall feeling like crap all day.

I can remember a bit about another birthday maybe one or two years later, when all of my relatives on my mothers’ side came together at the small house we owned at the time, and we had a party. Nate and I were told that our gifts were down in the basement, a place I was never really happy about going to when I was a kid, but my brother and I walked downstairs and we
found two brand new bicycles! (We were taught to ride bikes using a pair of used ones.) I can remember being so excited and spending a large amount of time playing on it in the kitchen propped up on a kickstand.

One year I recall getting a “Pogo Ball” one year as well… Man, the time I spent on that thing was just amazing! I remember wearing one out to the point of bursting, and then going out and using my allowance to buy another one. I wonder if they still make them… I bet however, that the cool colors and styles are not going to be made any longer. It should probably be simply a nostalgic item, though if I see one, I might just pick it up for a good bounce or two.

I never really had my own birthday party until rather recently actually. I did, however throw a party for Nate one year. I invited all of his friends, and we celebrated my brother! We had party favors and even a hand made banner. I remember that it wasn’t the surprise I had hoped, but I think it made my brother happy to know I was thinking of him.pogo_ball.jpg

Fast forward a few years, and recently, my birthdays have been more frustrating than anything else. I don’t really dread getting older, though I do tend to look back on what I have accomplished in the past few years. (As mentioned in last weeks’ article.) Actually my birthday tends to occur on the same day as the “March Storm”. (That whole “In like a lion” thing.) So it feels sometimes that SOMETHING goes wrong with my celebration plans. For example one year I had planned to get three of my closest friends together to drink and be merry, however I was only able to collect two of them because the blizzard that occurred that year prevented me from traveling to get the third. Another year I was actually stranded for about three hours because I decided to go to the store for a case of beer, and the starter died in my engine. Making for yet another unpleasant birthday.

One particularly funny story that happened about the same time is that JaWa, Nick and I were actually drunk and having a great time yukking it up one afternoon not long after my birthday celebration. I had somehow managed to get them both to wear one of my show wigs, and to put makeup on! It was hilarious! We were having a fun time just laughing at one another when all
of a sudden my brother Nate and two of his redneck friends showed up! We were all surprised and relatively embarrassed. But the liqueur still running through our systems dulled that pain enough so that we were all able to laugh at the uncomfortable silence that my brother’s buddies exhibited at the sight of three grown men with eye shadow on. My brother laughed with us
and it remains one of those funny stories that I can giggle about years afterward. Nate himself was actually unfazed by the entire ordeal...

Well, I am going to go and enjoy the day. Have a bit of cake, and hopefully manage to get myself “Voltron collection Green Lion” to add to my expanding collection of eighties cartoons! May you all enjoy the week to come and find all the happiness that you deserve. Here’s to hoping that there isn’t a blizzard this year for the day I turn 29! See you next week!

Matthew plans to be 29 for the next ten years or so.



Well, I dont' see a storm headed this way today, so I hope you have a fairly uneventful, but happy birthday.


FTR, they do still make the Pogo Ball. They're marketed under a new name now (something like "Moon Hopper"), but I got one for my kid last Christmas - instant classic.


Happy b-day Matthew!


happy birthday, Matthew!


Happy B-day! Go stealth Voltron Force!


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