Today it dun did git prooved. I aren’t the brightest crayon in the box. I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed. And I sure isn’t the quickest rabbit in the woods.

My family threw me a surprise celebration for passing the 1,000,000 subscriber mark on Facebook, and… Well… I’ll let the way things played out prove just how thick-skulled and dense I really am.


I went to Sunday dinner last night. My cousin Michael had moved back to Utah and we were celebrating his birthday. He’s a bit of an adopted brother at this point.

During dinner, my little niece Eliza started telling Michael about all these balloons they had blown up over at her house, and how they had numbers on them, and…

“ELIZA!” I heard my sister whisper-yell. I looked over just in time to see my older sister Tomi giving her the panicked head shake that said, “don’t tell the secret.”

Eliza turned to Michael and quickly told him, “we don’t have any balloons at our house!” We all busted up laughing hard, and I realized there was a surprise party for Michael that I hadn’t yet heard about, and Eliza had just blown it. Michael was laughing harder than any of us. Later I was invited to go “play games” with them which I knew was code for “we’re gonna go give Michael his not-quite-surprise party now.”

I had no clue they were throwing a surprise something for me.


The family finished up dinner and my younger brother Eric, who is visiting from England at the moment, suddenly sat down with a full plate of food and announced that he hadn’t eaten yet and would hurry and snarf his food and meet them over at my sister’s house.

He lured me into sitting with him by telling me he wanted to hear all about something or other going on in life. I told them all I’d hang with Eric and head over with him. Everyone left and only Eric and I remained.

And then he started lollygagging like you wouldn’t believe. He spent an eternity digging through a kitchen drawer looking for a candle for a cake. He spent even longer searching for wrapping paper in my mom’s cupboards. He insisted we hunt down our brother-in-law to make sure he knew we were all headed over. I was getting a little annoyed because I knew everyone was waiting for us.

I still had no clue they were throwing a surprise something for me.


We finally made it over and walked into my sister’s house. The entrance to the living room was obscured by hanging streamers. Yep. Definitely a party for Michael. Nothing else ever entered my mind.

Knowing we had already missed the big surprise, I burst through the streamers and yelled, “SURPRISE!” I just wanted to be silly.

Everyone was eagerly looking at me and yelled “SURPRISE” back.

I still had no clue they were throwing a surprise something for me.


Right after my family yelled surprise, confetti cannons exploded from each side and showered me with bits of paper.

My first thought, oh no! They think I’m Michael!

My second thought, after seeing Michael mingled in with the family, they’re just being silly with leftover confetti.

I still had no clue they were throwing a surprise something for me.


After the confetti, all the kids started holding-up signs. All I saw were a whole bunch of the letter “o” all in a row.

I’ll admit. It was a bit confusing.

And I still had no clue they were throwing a surprise something for me.


As the kids held up their signs, everyone burst into song. “For he’s a jolly good fellow, for he’s a jolly good fellow, for he’s…” Well, you know how it goes.

My first thought, wow, they’re really taking this leftover confetti joke to the extreme. 

My family is weird like that, so why wouldn’t that be a totally valid reason for all this?

And yes, friends… I still had no clue they were actually throwing a surprise something for me.


I suddenly noticed that my nephew, on the very left of all the long line of letters “o” was holding up the letter “I” and that there was something to actually make sense of here.

But… What?



And then… someone… somewhere in the room… said something, and I heard the word “million.”

And I finally got that they were throwing a surprise something for me. Not Michael. Me.

That wasn’t a letter. It was the number one. Those weren’t the letter “o” at all. They were the number zero.

One… zero… zero… zero…


Oh my goodness, this was a surprise celebration for… Hold on… Processing… Processing… Processing… Hitting the million mark! This was all for me! The balloons, the lollygagging, the streamers, the confetti cannons, the signs, the singing. All of it.

Yes. That’s how dull this crayon is, friends. I had paper exploding in my face and I still didn’t get it. Go me and my awesome brain! Hahaha.

But what can you do. When you get one thing stuck in your mind, sometimes it’s hard to see anything else.

Eric had organized this big celebration and somehow had kept it a secret from me all the way to the end of it.

The end of which ended, by the way, with this incredibly amazing video that Eric collaborated and edited for no reason at all except that he wanted me to know how proud they all are of me, how special they think I am, and how much I am loved.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry through the whole thing. I may have done a smidge of both…

I certainly do love this crazy family of mine.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 1.4 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!