I had a birthday recently, and the usual roundup of extended family extended the usual feelers to see what they could get me for a gift.
So I get asked: what do I want for my birthday? And what can I really say? If I say "this DVD" or "a nice polo shirt" then sure, I can get it. But then you know what happens? I just end up with a pile of *stuff* that I don't need, that's just going to take up room, that I have to write thank you notes for... what's the point?
Where are all the awesome gifts? When I was nine years old, every gift was awesome. Every new toy or game was a shot of ceratonin right to the cortical stem. Unwrapping a present was a feverish act of pure gluttony and pleasure. What happened? Is there something wrong with me? Nowadays, present opening has lost all the fun. What could you go buy at Eddie Bauer or the Discovery Store that's possibly going to interest me? Nothing! I open a gift now, and it's something like the biography of John Adam's wife, and I'm thinking "Is this what this person thinks that I like? Is this the sort of thing I *should* like? Does this mean I have to read it?" And I'm not blaming my family or mocking their good intentions, I just want to go back to those good old days. That's all.
So in that spirit, I decided to make a real birthday list of things that maybe, just maybe I could really get excited about. To get that nine year old excitement back. Sure, none of these are easy, but if you really want to go the extra mile, here are ten things I want:
1. My own rock anthem.
2. I'd like all power lines to be moved underground. Wouldn't that look better?
3. The Holy Grail
4. A pair of glasses that would provide English subtitles for foreign language conversation. Might also be useful for the deaf.
5. That hover thingy that the Baron floats around in in Dune.
6. I'd like for someone to play me to the desk.
7. To drive an ambulance, at high speeds, sirens blaring, through street traffic.
8. A familiar.
9. More cowbell.
10. A coffee table book that would simply list, page after page, all the different ways that spam has phrased the question: "Would you like a bigger dick?" I think it's a pretty big testament to the English language that after so many years, spammers can still come up with entirely new ways to ask me this question, after so many hundreds of thousands of permutations. I think a big, leatherbound book would really work. Or possibly a ten volume reference set that you could keep up in a shelf, lawyer style.