The candled cake may be the most famous birthday symbol, but birthday parties are more notable for what gets trashed. Good times will lay waste to anything that gets in its path, whether it's gift-bearing guests, party favors or furniture. If birthday character clues can be measured by garbage content, then a stuffed-giraffe reclining bed pillow poking out of a plastic Park Hill alley litter barrel is a sign that this celebrant is not a cuddler... As seen in the photo above, nothing says, "I hate this gift!" more than a tossed-off stuffed animal still wearing store tags. Granted, as a reclining pillow, this stuffed giraffe looks rather poorly designed, what with his pokey-nose placed exactly where a weary head is supposed to rest. The baby scrawl on the unwanted over-sized card probably reads, "As much as I love giraffes and stuffed animals, I am giving this to you because I love you even more. Think of me every day when you hug it!"
Babies are so stupid with their love -- and the sadness only gets funnier, as you'll see when you page down.
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Birthday party trash can also mark the passage of time and signal a fresh start in one easy dump. In the photo above, the stuffed giraffe and superfluous dross of another year looks like it was was tossed in a barrel that in itself is an item of trash. Trashing trash barrels is not as easy as this picture makes it look. Garbage collectors intuitively return them, even when affixed signs ask for eternal retirement. Like birthdays, trash barrels always seem to keep bouncing back.