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Danko Jones

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I Don't Care That It's Your Birthday

Posted: 07/19/2013 8:02 am

Regardless if you're a fan of the band or the television show, through social media, I've found that a lot of people suffer from a mild case of arrested development -- the disorder whereby the brain ceases to grow and advance.

Mind you, a lot are mild cases and hardly detectable. One has to pay close attention to see the evidence but when found it stares at you like a deer caught in headlights. I'm talking about the constant need people have, left over from childhood, for others to wish them "Happy Birthday."

Every f---ing day on Facebook I am reminded, inundated rather, by prompts telling me that it's so-and-so's birthday. It's become almost obligatory, no matter how much more of an acquaintance than actual friend they are, to visit their Facebook page and leave a complimentary "Happy Birthday, Geraldine!" or "Here's to you on your special day, Pino!" salutation. When you do finally make that trek over to their shitty Facebook page, you find that you're the 67th person to wish them "Happy Birthday" and it's not even 8 a.m.

The "Happy Birthday" ritual gets 100 times worse when you sing for a living in nightclubs like I do. Mix alcohol with someone's desperate need to be validated because they breathed long enough that amassed another year and it gets so pitiful one needs to avert their eyes. Having to listen to wide-eyed eager, drunk people tell me it's their birthday or their friend's birthday and if I could find it in my heart to wish them "Happy Birthday" from the stage during the show is almost as torturous as actually uttering "Happy Birthday" from the stage.

I am most proud to say that I've never kowtowed to any of their requests. Watching a six-year-old tear up because you refused their birthday wish is unbearable but watching a 28-year-old pout because of it is delightful!

It wouldn't be so annoying but with seven billion people on the planet and only 365 days in the year that means that every day at least one person somewhere has a birthday. Seems to me that having a birthday isn't all that special. In fact, it's probably more worthy to celebrate a good shit than a birthday. A lot of folks don't experience successful bowel movements as often as one would think, especially with today's negligent diets but everyone, without exception, has a goddamn birthday.

It's a day of respite for the birthday boy/girl of the day too. People don't get fired or served divorce papers on their birthday. People don't get yelled at or get made to do household chores on their birthday because it's their special day. People all over the world, through some earthen instinct, get a one day pass once a year to just be happy. For the birthday boy/girl, it's worth celebrating but a terrible chore for the rest of us.

And what if the birthday boy/girl is widely known as a raging asshole? Then this day of otherwise customary celebration turns into one of dreaded tongue biting as you and everyone around you attempt to spit out "Happy Birthday" through clenched teeth and affected smiles. Because of this time-honoured tradition we end up celebrating the day these slimeballs arrived on Earth to annoy, abuse and antagonize us forever.

Let's face it, if you're over 16 years old and need to have people fret and fuss over you because it's your birthday, you need to be highly medicated. I'm endlessly fascinated and repulsed by grown adults who expect to be doted over on their birthday like they were nine years old, almost demanding presents, well-wishes and cake. When you watch a 45-year-old blow out the candles on their low-fat cupcake, it's like watching the inverse of a toddler beauty pageant.

Having to slavishly work towards making somebody else feel special 364 days a year is drudgery. Birthdays are making all our lives a living hell. If we did away with the obligatory birthday rigmarole in favour of the morale of the greater good, I bet we'd all live longer and consequently avoid even more birthday wishes because of it!

Don't get me wrong, this isn't some curmudgeonly harangue. I have no problems with getting older. In fact, I've noticed the older one gets, the easier it is to assume the role of "wise" and "all-knowing" whether the title is deserving or not and that's delightful. I've also noticed that as people grow older they can rant, complain and bellyache without much reprimand and that's good to know for the future since I am someone who is in abundance of all that kind of fuss.

I know what you're thinking - so when is his birthday anyway? Haven't you learned anything about me yet? I don't care if my birthday is this week and that I want a new iPad, terabyte iPod and the new Ghost B.C. album on gatefold red or yellow vinyl.

 

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