DEAR ABBY: Not long ago, I attended a birthday party for a 5-year-old boy. After the cake was brought out and the birthday song had been sung, the child's face was shoved into his beautiful birthday cake. The boy cried piteously amidst the roaring laughter of the children and the adults in the crowd.
I, and a few of the other adults, displayed shock, disgust and sympathy for the birthday boy. As if that wasn't enough, his 3-year-old brother was also smeared with the cake and frosting. He, too, burst into tears.
I have seen the same scenario at a 90-year-old's birthday party. Please give me your thoughts on this. There are other children's birthday parties I will be attending. -- DISMAYED GRANDMOTHER, LAREDO, TEXAS
DEAR DISMAYED: I'm glad to oblige. I have never found humor at the expense of others to be funny. I consider it to be cruel, hostile, and a form of bullying. That a parent would tolerate, much less participate in, the humiliation of his or her child is an appalling breach of trust. If you truly believe that you will be seeing a repeat performance at another child's birthday party, I wouldn't blame you for not attending -- and clearly stating the reason why.