Long story, but it started out so simply. Carrie “decorated” her boss’s office for his birthday. And by decorate, I basically mean trashed with streamers, confetti, balloons, bubble wrapping all the stuff on his desk, and a bunch of old mice and keyboards hanging from the ceiling. Then she started doing that for everyone’s birthday, and then I started helping her. Things went on for an entire year like that, culminating in a couple of us (with extra help from my wife) completely filling Carrie’s office with balloons for her birthday (we’re talking hundreds and hundreds of balloons, plus a bunch of inflatable pool toys, all blown up by hand).

Once we reached that point, I convinced Carrie that doing something crazy for birthdays was fine, but the trashing the office thing was getting a little old. So it was up to me to find a replacement for trashing the offices. Back in college my friend Jeremy and I once built a large cardboard burro in the computer lab in the library (where we both worked as tech assistants). I don’t exactly remember how we got to the point where that seemed like a good idea, but we did. A picture of the burro made the yearbook that year, and I guess I really need to get my yearbook down from the attic so I can scan in the photo and post the “original” carboard animal.

Anyway, I managed to talk Carrie into building people giant cardboard animals for their birthdays. It started with a sheep that was maybe three feet high or so and eventually we built a giraffe that was taller than the nine foot ceilings (his head went up one ceiling tile and came down another). The response around the office has been, needless to say, extremely positive. After all, who doesn’t want to come into work one day to a giant cardboard animal?

So now that we’ve built cardboard animals for an entire year, we’re ready to move on to whatever the next thing will be. After building about 25 animals in all, we pretty much need to pick something a little smaller and easier to build/make/whatever because the animals took a lot of time outside normal work hours, and we spend enough time here already. So the birthday deal for this coming year probably won’t be as physically large as the animals, but hopefully we’ll still manage to come up with something wacky and creative.