LUXEMBOURG-VILLE — A primary school pupil is recovering from serious emotional injuries after his parents attempted to host the child’s birthday party at their sad little home in Neudorf.
Alerted on Saturday by a concerned neighbor, police were able to rescue the nine-year-old before the arrival of his classmates, which could have led to “catastrophic damage” to the boy’s already-fragile reputation, according to sources.
Capt. Marco Trausch, the first officer to arrive on the scene, says he almost sped right past the unremarkable duplex because the only evidence of a birthday party was a single helium-filled balloon tied to the post box. After forcing his way through the door, the full extent of the abuse revealed itself.
“On the kitchen table was nothing but a homemade chocolate cake with single-color sprinkles,” he said. “And as for decorations, just a couple of ragged streamers that looked like they’d been pulled from the recycling bin.”
“In the living room were sheets of red and blue construction paper and a roll of tape, as if the parents were going to force the kids to — and it’s almost too hard to imagine — to make their own party hats,” he added.
Most shocking was the absence of suitable entertainment, says Trausch, who later collected as evidence a 90s-era Nintendo 64, a deck of playing cards with both jokers and the king of spades missing, and a deflated football.
By law, parents in Luxembourg-ville are required to spend at least 500 euros on a child’s birthday party, and to host it at one of the officially sanctioned venues including indoor jungle gyms, laser tag centers, and nearby amusement parks. However, under certain circumstances, exceptions can be made.
“If a parent or child suffers from reduced mobility, you may submit a request for an exemption to the Office of Youth Parties,” says Nadine Funk-Schounaire of the Ministry of Social Conformity.
She cautions, however, that even if a parent is granted an exemption, the birthday party has to meet strict criteria.
“You’d basically need to hire a bunch of Italian acrobats to put on a show while wearing fluorescent gorilla costumes, or employ a professional magician who would make large household items like appliances and pianos levitate and disappear,” she said. “Oh, and there’s a company in Germany that for only 499 euros per day rents out lifesize robots with lasers attached to their heads that blow things up, watermelons or beer bottles, whatever the parents can scrape up. Kids really like that sort of thing.”
“Another option would be to find an actual living unicorn that can mimic human speech and do funny accents and tell pirate-themed jokes or whatever,” she added.