Well, (even though I doubt Al would be anything like me) I hate all sort of surprises that involve "white lies" to cover them up. I'd rather have people tell me "we're throwing you a birthday party, all you need to do is show up" (and seriously, does a person need more detail than that?) than having all my friends and family lie to me for weeks beforehand.
Wow, when did this forum become about me? Anyway, my point is "hey, we're planning to give you a birthday gift, the specifics of which you won't know until you get it" is not the same as spending ten months going "oh, no, we're not going to give you a birthday gift because you're not special at all" hoping that the "surprise" will make up for all the time he felt like crap. And it's not the same as "hey, your birthday present is going to be a rabid wolverine, so have a cage ready in your house", which would be spilling the beans about the gift and the details (even though I still can't see what's wrong with that).
Anyway, I'd rather Al reads this thread than the drool topic. So there.