Happy Fucking Birthday, Asshole

The tradition of birthday gifts dates back to the Big Bang, when the universe was created as a gift to and from itself, partly out of kindness, but also partly in the hope that at the dawn of the next aeon it would cross-reciprocate with an even bigger Bang -- this one with an instruction manual -- and a nice chocolate cake.

In the meantime: Some of you inadvertently forgot to send me a birthday present this year. I understand that you‘ve had a lot on your mind recently, what with the baby, the car, the bills, the death in the family, the strike, the crash, ”The Man,“ the Mountain Dew spilled in the keyboard, the judgmental nurse in rehab, the ex-spouse’s attorney, the landlord, the election, the aggregate fruit seeds stuck between molars . . . And I do still have that single pale-yellow sock and trial-size Suave shampoo and Old Spice you sent my way in ‘98. But if you only knew how important it is to me to amass objects of luxury produced by enslaved victims of American leisure near and far; if you understood that it is these objects and these objects alone that define me; that without them I am unloved and unworthy of all things good, you would surely send at least the other sock.

Or a card. If you can’t find a good sock, a card is fine, especially if you make it yourself and enclose a check for $2.88 -- enough for me to buy you a thank-you card and first-class postage. Please avoid cards that contain more than 15 words, as I don‘t have much time to read.

If you don’t want to send me a belated gift -- on the quite reasonable grounds that Who does this asshole think he is, asking for presents? -- please try to send one to one of the following more deserving or less arrogant persons whose anniversary of birth (October 9) I share: John Lennon, Sean Lennon, John Entwistle and Jackson Browne, ex-director Jacques Tati, ex-Scrooge Alastair Sim, ex-linebacker Mike Singletary, ex-con Miguel de Cervantes, Nobel laureates Max Theodor Felix von Laue, Emil Hermann Fischer and Jody Williams, Louis XVI‘s and XVIII’s annoying little brother King Charles X, Sesame Street‘s Count von Count (www.ctw.orgsesameggawardscount0,1303,,00.html), ex--porn stars Savannah and Stacey Donovan, Australian writer (and first female president of Smith College) Jill Kerr Conway, Berkeley photographer Keith Lee, Satan’s li‘l buddy Trent Lott and half-Arab half-Paso foal Wantadilla Tiquita (www.lemis.comgrogtiquita.html).

Gift suggestions follow. These are only suggestions, in case you get stuck. Gifts are not tax-deductible. Thank you. And many happy returns.

#An Eyeball Fez, or one of the other fine petroleum-based ocularities from the Mad Martian Plastic Eyeball Museum (www.madmartian.comeyes.htm -- follow the Gift Shop link, and note that if you allow the home page to load entirely, you’ll be forced to hear a WAV of Billy Idol‘s ”Eyes Without a Face“) (just a warning). ”Please note: Iris color may vary from photos.“

#A molded-plastic 6-inch glow-in-the-dark Stations of the Cross Crucifix from JMJ Products’ Totally Catholic Stuff (www.totallycatholic.comcrucifix2.htm), just in case. (More at www.totallycatholic.comproducts.htm)

#The Sharper Image Turbo Groomer 2.0 (http:64.41.222.72usencatalogproductview.jhtml?sku=SI554BLK&pcatid=3&catid=301). I‘ve never owned a Sharper Image product, and I have no use for this. But it sounds fast, doesn’t it?

The Sitegeist Anthology, available out back by the dumpsters.

Three months at the Hotel Pariz in downtown Prague (www.abaka.comCzechPariz), designed by architect J. Vejrych in 1904, interior design by A. Pfeifer with ceramic mosaics by J. Kohler and returned to its original owners, the Brandejs family, in 1991. There I‘ll enjoy an air-conditioned soundproof suite equipped with a direct-dial telephone and modem connection, remote-control satellite TV, a mini-bar and more, with frequent visits down drunken stairs to gorge myself on French, Czech and international cuisine while listening to live piano music every day at Restaurant Sarah Bernhardt. I really need this, and I promise to write every day. Thank you very, very much.

An e-mail expressing heartfelt, unconditional and undying love andor the desire to get together more frequently than we have been recently. And what better way to express yourself than with Australian musical sketch-comedy troupe the Gorskys’ Super-Duper, No-Nonsense Love-o-Matic Love Letter Generator (www.gorskys.com.auarticleslove-letter-generator.html)? ”Don‘t just stalk your desired one,“ the site shrieks, ”send a Gorskys’ Love Letter.“ Just fill out and submit the simple form, paste the results into your favorite e-mail program, send it to me and, according to Gorskys‘ literature, ”you’ll be in [my] pants within minutes!™“

Give the gift of death -- capital punishment for telemarketing. Although I‘m against capital punishment in general, if you can see your way to passing just this one small piece of legislation, I’ll promise not to picket when you get framed and gassed. Until it‘s signed, you might wish to memorize the JunkBusters Anti-Telemarketing Script (www.junkbusters.comhtenscript.html) -- it’s not as permanent a solution, but it is legal . . .

A commemorative T-shirt of our annual autumn tour of Tito‘s Virtual Slaughterhouse (www.jeeto.comTITOStitostour.html), presented by Jeeto! Corporation, manufacturers of Tito’s Pork Rinds, the company that reminds you ”Pork is fun!“ Now available in Mint, Grape, Euro and Baby Formula, Tito‘s Pork Rinds -- ”everyone’s favorite greasy fried skin snack.“

The Compact Oxford English Dictionary, 20 volumes in a slipcase with magnifying glass (www.oup-usa.orgisbn0198612583.html). (Under $400. Thanks.)

Immaculate-conception insurance, just in case. Offered by Goodfellow Rebecca Ingrams Pearson Insurance (GRIP) of London.

A copy of Michael Herr‘s Dispatches to replace the five copies out on permanent loan to friends since 1980.

Guidance from some wise ghosts.

Occasional thunderstorms.

And a fireplace.

Mandatory semiotics classes in all public schools beginning in first grade and continuing through high school, college, employment, retirement and death. If you run into any trouble arranging this, you might wish to consult the International Association for Semiotic Studies (http:vhf.msh-paris.frescomAisindex.html). The site needs some work, but within a year or so they should be ready to help inflict some substantial knowledge on our lethargic, American Gladiator--watching butts.

Just watch -- watch what happened to me the night after I received the pale-yellow sock you sent in ’98 (http:pungent.max.uk.comsocksmpegsock.mpg).

The Second Amendment rewritten (if you can do it with your Bible, you can do it with your Constitution) to specify exactly what kinds of muskets constitute ”arms,“ and whether Sergeant-majors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold (Littleton DMZ) constitute a ”well regulated militia.“ For details on how best to wrap this gift, watch an MPEG of NRA First Vice President Kayne Robinson giving a rim job, figuratively speaking, to George W. Bush (www.bushandguns.comrobinson.mpg), son of former CIA assassin George Herbert Walker Bush.

Oh -- and a terrycloth bathrobe.

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