Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Birthday Manifesto 1999

Though Russell provides an explanation below, here's a more recent preface. Wow- nostalgia can really make you wince sometimes, but I'm not one for (much) revision of history.

Well, here I am. I've come upon yet another birthday. In the past year I've made some new friends and, unfortunately, lost others. But the world abides to spin 'round, regardless. For the newbies, I'll let my associate Russell fill you in:

Hi there. My real name's not Russell, but I thought a pseudonym would be appropriate for this occasion, as I don't wish to shame my family name or myself. For the past several years, [PH] (or Case # 6655321, as he may be known to some of you) has followed a tradition of issuing a bombast-laden proclamation to the inhabitants of his world at large on the occasion of his birthday. If you did not hap to receive any of the previous ones, do not fret. Please don't take your exclusion as an expression of [P]'s feelings towards you, he wasn't fortunate enough to know you at those times. If he did, I apologize for him; he's just a little slow. Unfortunately, most of [P]'s ramblings from the past were consumed in the Great Brine Shrimp Fire of '97. Only that year's proclamation survived, joined by last year's. These promulgations are available to view on the World Wide Web. Future issuances will be added as they occur. The address is as follows:

Thank you for that, Russell, I sincerely appreciate it. Now that everything is in order, I would like to address the issue of competition, as well as righteous pride. I realize that it's a bit of a diversion from the usual focus of this letter, but I was made all too aware of its caustic, disruptive invasion into our lives by a dream I had one stormy night, several weeks ago. I dreamt that Ronald McDonald and Colonel Sanders were fighting over my soul. Now that in and of it would not be particularly disturbing, but what really shocked me was that this affray took place in the courtyard of a dilapidated building in downtown Omaha.

It became painfully obvious to my therapist and me that something would have to be changed, as far as my bedtime snack was concerned. We cannot be certain if it was the pickled blueberries, the imitation poppy extract, or the aged tandoori, but I was not going to risk future slumbers (and possible somnambulations) on continuing any part of this reprehensible diet.

That is how I came to calm myself before bed and temper my jangled nerves by reading or composing poetry. But do I read William Wordsworth's "Lines" (Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798)? Or perhaps "The
Æolian Harp" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge? You can see my dilemma. I became so distraught by Wordsworth and Coleridge's incessant bickering in my head that to teach them both a lesson they wouldn't soon forget, I soothed my nerves with a dog-eared issue of Casper the Friendly Ghost.
There is a lesson to be learned for us all from my quasi-deranged rambling. It may well serve you in the future. Please, when you are entangled in an argument, forgo pride and think of the greater good.
You'll be glad you did.
Peace be with you.


perambulate through the door
retrogress to the future before

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