There are those who have accused us of hijacking Little E’s 3rd birthday party by choosing a Back To The Future theme. Do you know what I say to those people? I say, “HOW DARE Y… Oh, wait. Yep, totally.”
Phenom-A-Mum was BEYOND excited that 2015 was the year of the future in Back To The Future Part II and that the official date, 21st of October, fell within Little E’s birth month. So there was never any discussion of dinosaurs, aeroplanes, Tinkerbell, Hulk or anything else that Little E actually likes; it was BTTF from the get-go. (We haven’t even shown him the movies!)
Now, there are times in a marriage when things can become a little strained and this party was ours. Phenom-A-Mum just wanted an excuse to dress up whereas I’m an anal retentive stickler. If we’re going to pick a theme then we’re damn well going to do it properly! So I made the pair of us watch the future section of Back To The Future 2 numerous times, poring over any minuscule details we could find to turn into a party idea.
And here is what we came up with:
Okay. We had the greatest Back To The Future decoration in mind that would have melted our guests brains: a real DeLorean! It was as easy as calling a good friend, to ask his dad, who owns one of the few scattered across the country. Except that they were out of the country. So no photo opps for anyone.
In an effort to turn Phenom-A-Mum’s frown into an upside-down frown we put on our nerd hats and came up with these, almost-as-cool consolation decorations:
Balloon flame trails
Orange and yellow balloons tied in a line to imitate those trademark flame trails the Delorean leaves as it scorches through time. These were a great idea, or so it seemed. Phenom-A-Mum disappeared outside to set them up and a moment later I could hear a flurry of POPS!
Perhaps I shouldn’t have bought the balloons from a $2 shop. But the concept was there.
As most of the food that can be found in the future segment of BTTF2 appears in the awesomely farcical Cafe 80’s retro diner, we decided to adorn our food table with that very same sign. My creatively talented wife freehand upscaled it onto the side of a HUGE cardboard box.
I would show you a picture of the finished product but it got recycled before I remembered my camera. It was amazing, you can take my dad-word for it.
What better decoration than good ol’ bunting? Especially when it was hanging from the DeLorean right before it got lightning zapped back to 1885!
A bundle of coloured cardboard triangles, some string and a stapler. BOOM! Instant wall distracter.
The other decorations are cool but we weren’t covering much physical space so it was time for a quick, cheap and effective approach. I downloaded this “You’re Fired” printout from the interweb:
Our plan was to have these hanging out of small boxes on the fence (pretending to be futuristic printers) but, when the rain poured down to ruin our exterior plans, the copies ended up in the bottom of a to-do box never to bedazzle our visitors minds.
The very cool Jaws 19 poster from the background in the BTTF2 film made a super snazzy pin up all on its own (in fact, it’s so cool that I’m going to frame this baby and hang it in the one-day-to-happen man cave)!
We fine-combed through the movie and discovered only a limited amount of food that appears within the 2015 future scenes, so we improvised a bit:
La Bamba Fajita Tortilla Pita
We eventually worked out that he says, “…Try our La Bamba fajita tortilla pita. It’s got a hot salsa, avocados, cilantro mix, with your choice of beans, chicken, be-be-beef, or pork.”
And so that’s what we made! 2kg of beef strips, 2 kg of pulled pork, 2 shredded roast chickens and the beans… well, I forgot to put them out. I had cans of black beans and refried beans ready to crack open though, in hindsmell, my nose is glad that I forgot.
The fajitas were a fa-hit-a!
Rehydrated Pizza Hut pizzas
The movie essentially planned this for a kids party! Tiny dehydrated pizzas for the kids and rehydrated big ones for the adults. Themed gold!
I had grand plans to relive last year’s dad-epic and cook up a feast, but I wasn’t working back then, nor co-parenting two smidgets. Phenom-A-Mum is smarter than I am and foresaw my intention to hand-knead and bake my own as a fool’s errand (nicer than she put it). So she hopped onto the phone and ordered a veritable mountain of Pizza Hut pizzas (keeping in line with the movie) with just cheese on them.
On the day of the party, after the rather surly delivery dude dropped the box-column off, my dedicated sister-in-law hand cut massive slices of pepperoni into mini ones (I went cheapo again and bought bargain processed meat that turned out to be big, Big, BIG chunks) and decorated the cheese-only circles with those and green capsicum, just like in the movie! Dedication to the theme, that’s what it’s all about.
Jaws 19 jellies
Beyond bananas, there’s not much else food-wise in the future and we were going to be faced with a typhoon of teeth-gnashing toddlers on the hunt for sugar bender, so we needed to come up with something to keep them happy AND fit the strict theme regime.
Last year, the munchkins loved the traditional frog in a pond (Freddo in blue jelly). With a minor twist this was transformed into Jaws 19 jelly!
Blue jelly in a cup with a half slice of orange hammered in mid-way through the setting process. Just like little orange-finned man-killing fish!
Clock face cupcakes
The cake was a whole lot of… actually, I’m going to leave the cake to another post. Because it is that flippin’ AWESOME! But it wasn’t a very big cake; definitely not enough to feed the 40+ attendees of Little E’s birthday party. A substitute cake was needed and Phenom-A-Mum suggested making cupcakes as they would be easier to deal with than icing an entire second cake.
As mentioned before, there was no way I was going to let people eat regular un-themed cakes. That’s sacrilege! So we grabbed a pack of Tic Toc biscuits and, without too much extra work, turned them all into BTTF Clock Face Cupcakes. Very themed and very delicious (I hear. No one saved me one. Sad face emoji)
We had concepted a few other sweet BTTF treats but ran completely out of time by the day, so canned them and just put out bowls of cheezels and lollies. Ah, those grand plans.
Not wanting to freak out those parents who don’t share our passion for public humilation, we decided to make BTTF themed fancy dress optional. Also, we had a feeling that we’d just end up with a hundred puffy-vested Marty McFlys!
Phenom-A-Mum cobbled together a 1985 Marty costume for Little E. There’s no photo to show because by the time I’d grabbed the camera he had lost patience and turfed the clothing.
Her own costume was a cool, op-shop sourced interpretation of grey-haired future Jennifer but, again, there’s no photo because not a single person managed to snap one throughout the day. This is the closest we got:
Her costume is hidden behind the trampoline. But check out her awesomely talcum-powdered faux-grey hair!
Amidst costuming herself and Little E, Phenom-A-Mum lived up to her moniker by sorting out my costume as well and it was a lot more work! She cast me as older, future Marty (to match her silvered Jennifer) and spent two nights painting two ties so that I could look like this:
How awesome is that costume?! A double sun tie that meets perfectly to form one picture. My wife is a very talented and overworked woman! Her efforts were so good that everyone worked out who I was within seconds.
Back To The Birthday Part III
It was a success! I haven’t included any photos of the overall par-tay because our last minute relocation to the living room, as the clouds emptied their fluffy bladders on us, threw out our plans for decorating properly. The balloon flame trail popped, the bunting is still hanging on a hook in the laundry and the “You’re Fired” print outs were neglected.
But the food, oh the food! It was tummy yummy. And I discovered that talcum powder not only turns your hair grey but also acts as a dry shampoo. Random.
If you want to also completely ignore your child’s interests and put on your own Back To The Future theme birthday party for your three year-old then feel free to download this cool BTTF font title I mocked up. Great for the themed invite:
Time to start preparing for Little L’s first birthday party next year! But what theme to choose? 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of Labyrinth, Short Circuit & Big Trouble In Little China. I already know which one Phenom-A-Mum will be voting for, but I reckon I could knock up a mean Lo Pan outfit!
If you hijacked your child’s birthday party, what theme would you choose?
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