Thanks to MTV, there's been a push on parents to splash some serious money on their kids' sixteenth birthdays. To make it memorable, on the basis, presumably, that by the time their eighteenth comes round they won't be able to remember any celebration they take part in.
But how can you fund that sort of extravagance? Billy Ray Cyrus has had an idea - get the guests to fund the event. An email from James P explains:
Apparently her parents, much like every other parent on the planet, have glared at that unshiftable stain in the living-room carpet, remembered the unpleasant discovery at the back of the airing cupboard two weeks after the last birthday party, and decided it might be better to hire out a venue this year, so that someone else can deal with the clear-up. Disneyland, to be precise.
"The Disneyland event will be called Miley's Sweet 16 - Share the Celebration and tickets that go on sale on 30 August are expected to sell fast", it says here.
That's 'Share the Celebration', using the word 'share' in its less well-known sense, 'Pay $250 to attend'. I'm not sure what $250 gets you beyond entrance to the venue (bit of cake wrapped in kitchen-roll which pulls off all the icing? Access to a bottle of Thunderbird?), or whether a second tier of tickets will go on sale for $100 which permit you to spend the whole event sitting sobbing in the kitchen. Maybe they'll knock off another $50 if you claim you're a mate of Miley's brother and wave a four-pack of Skol at the door. I'll keep an eye out...
Two things, of course: first - how cynical would you have to be to turn one of the milestones in your child's life into a money making event?
And secondly: Disneyland? For a sixteen year old? Seriously? What are you planning for her 18th, Billy? Chuck E Cheese and a clown?