THURSDAY: Permission To Have Fun


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Coming, coming.



What can I help you with today?

Park Permit.

Got the paperwork?

Oh, sorry, yes, here.

Okay, what do we have? Private birthday party.

It’s for my son Charlie, we’d thought we’d —

Got the waste management form?

Yes, it’s underneath the other.

So as the permit holder you’re responsible for clean-up, garbage disposal and recycling drop off.

Absolutely, sure, no problem.

Will you be serving alcohol?

He’s turning 10.

I meant to the adults in attendance.


You’d be surprised Ma’am what people get up to. Okay, moving on, balloons?

Pardon me?

Balloons, are there going to be balloons?

Ah, maybe.

Be advised that city bylaws prohibit helium balloons in public spaces. Hazard to power lines.

So, no balloons?

I wouldn’t recommend it. I don’t see your open fire permit form here.

We’re not having an open fire pit.

You’re not having a cake? You’re not lighting candles on a cake?

We need a permit for that?

I don’t make the bylaws, Ma’am.

Well, how much is that going to cost?

About $85 bucks plus tax. And it will take three weeks to process.

Three weeks? That’s a bit tight time wise for us.

We have to send it to the Fire Department for approval. Is there going to be any live music?

No, just like some tunes playing.

How many speakers? What amps?

Well, we thought we’d bring my husband’s Bose speaker and plug in his cell.

You’ll need s noise exemption permit.


Yup, that’s another hundred bucks and you’ll have to submit it to the Noise Management Office, but they’ve got a pretty quick turnaround. Any other activities planned?

Well, Charlie’s a keen skateboarder so we’d thought we’d set up a course along the outdoor tennis courts for him and his friends.


What? We’ll make sure they all wear helmets and pads.

That’s a good first step. But you’re probably going to need insurance.


As the permit holder, you’ll be liable if someone breaks a leg. Course you could always have the parents sign waivers. They have to sign one anyway for the social media images.

They do?

I’d recommend it if you’re taking pictures and posting them. You don’t want anyone suing you, do you?

No, no. So, okay, we’ll do waivers for both pictures and accidents.

Good, sign here . . . and here . . . and initial here. Now, let’s talk menu.


Yes, you know, food. What are you planning on serving?

Pizza, pop, cake.

Sugar-free? Peanut-free? Gluten-free? Vegan?

Uh . . . uh.

You can download the party food dietary guidelines from the City Nutritionist’s web page. There’s some good recipes there. Remember, you have to clearly list the ingredients and calorie count. Just to be safe, you should probably get the parents to sign off on the food as well.

So three waivers?

That’s up to you; I can only make recommendations. How many people will be attending?

Uh, 10 at most.

Who have you hired for security?

Security? I need security?

Better safe than sorry, Ma’am. You will, of course, have the parents fill out medical and mental health forms for each attendee?

Oh, sure.

Any attendees with special needs?


Along the autistic spectrum?


With high anxiety?

You mean other than me? Sorry, that was a joke.

Funny. Now have you read our guidelines vis-à-vis gender equality among attendees?

Yes, I had a question about that actually. Are those recommendations set in stone? Cause Charlie really doesn’t want to invite any girls.

Well, you can apply for a special exception permit, but that’s going to take longer and it’s another $50. Quite frankly, it’s a bit of a hassle. It’s just easier to bite the bullet and invite some girls.

So let me get this straight: There’s the main permit form, the waste management form, the open fire pit form, the noise exemption form, the special exemption form, three sets of liability waivers and medical forms for the parents to fill out, I have to hire private security and print out all the ingredients for the food and drink, and spend close to 500 bucks or so just to bring a bunch of boys to the park to have a bit of fun?

Fun? Oh, no, no, if you want to have fun, you have to fill out another permit.

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  1. Nancy,
    I thought the first half very funny! However, as it went on the spoof seemed to lose energy.

  2. This is hilarious — thank you so much for making me laugh out loud this morning!! I SO needed it!!!!!

  3. So well written that I could visualize the clerk’s face, clothing and glasses. I may have had dealings with her in the past!

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