Happy Birthday To You

The thing about birthdays is not that they remind me that I do not have unlimited time on earth but that neither do my loved ones, my friends, my sister, my brother, everyone, really and that is the reason we ought to just outlaw birthdays, keep everyone from getting older and we’ve solved the riddle of all time.

That not being the case, I wish a happy birthday to all, including but not limited to my son who will turn 26 years old on Monday but no, that can’t be, I won’t allow that, it’s totally absurd, utterly impossible. As President Bush said famously, “This will not stand.” How can I possibly tell my son that he is no different than every other person who is living now, has ever lived or ever will live, that he will face the same fate that every creature eventually must face? That doesn’t mean that each of us is not unique but rather that we are all involuntary members of the same club, living in the same neighborhood, going by the same rules that none of us had anything to do with creating. Turn this on its head and it’s actually comforting to know that we’re never really alone because we all share the same road, we are all going to the same place and we might just as well find ways to get along while we speed to the end of the highway. Ugh. If that doesn’t make you smile, nothing will.

I always liked getting birthday cards in the mail as it was solid proof that someone was thinking of me, especially when it was from a relative and a $10 bill was tucked inside and how sad it is that today’s birthdays are announced on-line and people get tons of Facebook happy birthdays from people who are this side of complete strangers. I recall the feeling of dismay and sadness though not the specific birthday when I had crossed the threshold of receiving toys and began getting things like flannel shirts and gloves, not that I didn’t need the shirts and gloves but it was more fun tearing the wrapping paper off a box to reveal a Revell model of a B-52 bomber that I couldn’t wait to paint the tiny figures and the aircraft features and assemble it all being careful not to use too much glue and melt the little plastic pieces.

At some point, as you get older, you have to stop putting candles on the cake because you either need a very, very large cake or very, very small candles, although they sell a candle that comes with a little plastic sign that says “Happy 50th” or whatever and you stick it in the cake and it does the trick. We used to get candles that you couldn’t blow out, though my son would try and try and try.

My son has gotten some pretty cool birthday gifts through the years but perhaps the best was a full-size knight in armor, though a facsimile and not an original, who was named Ned. Right up there for cool gifts for the lad were the rocking horse I made out of wood and the model train set up. For me the best gifts were always the parties, especially when I was younger and I could confirm that I had many friends and there was one surprise birthday party for my 40th when I feigned surprise and reveled in the feeling that the night was all for me, as long as there was plenty of free food and grog. I don’t want to be one of those pathetic, nearly-dead, ancient old men with sagging everything and leather skin who holds a sign on Facebook saying “Can I get a like and a share for my 100th birthday?” as if that’s all that there is left in life.

So here’s too all of you Arieses, like my son, who are generally bubbling with vitality and have a great sense of adventure. They are daring leaders and they will stand up for a good cause or to help resolve a conflict. I’m a Sagittairan, but this isn’t about me.

So what do you get for that special birthday boy or girl who seems to have everything? Here are a few suggestions from the rich and famous.

Mughal ruler Shah Jahan spent the equivalent of $827 million to build the Taj Mahal for his wife.

Roman Abramovich gave his girlfriend a bronze sculpture called “Walking Man I,” worth $104.3 million.

Mukesh Ambani surprised his wife, Nita, on her 44th birthday, with a A-319 luxury jet complete with a bar room, music systems, boardroom, bathrooms, a living room and bedrooms ans eats for 280 friends.

Anil Ambani spent $84 million on a new yacht, “Tian,” that he got for his wife, Tina.

Mike Tyson bought his then-wife, actor Robin Givens, a 24-carat solid gold bathtub that was estimated to be worth over $2 million.

Angelina Jolie got her then-husband, Brad Pitt, an island for his 50th birthday.

Happy birthday to you, all you Arieses.

As for the rest of you who are not celebrating a birthday, let me refer you to those words made famous by Humpty Dumpty who informed Alice that he was given a new cravat as an “un-birthday” gift and so to all of you, happy unbirthday.

“A very merry

Unbirthday to you,

To you, A very merry

Unbirthday to you,

To you,

It’s great to

Drink to someone ,

And I guess that

You will do,

A very merry

Unbirthday to you!

Statistics prove that you’ve

one birthday

one birthday every year

but there are 364 unbirthdays

that is why we are all gathered here

a very merry unbirthday to all

to all

a very merry unbirthday to all

to all

thats how we sing the day away

a very merry unbirthday

to all.”

And by the way, beware of the feared, birthday attack which is a type of cryptographic attack that exploits the mathematics behind the birthday problem in probability theory. With a birthday attack, it is possible to find a collision of a hash function in {\textstyle {\sqrt {2^{n}}}=2^{n/2}}{\textstyle {\sqrt {2^{n}}}=2^{n/2}}, with {\textstyle 2^{n}}{\textstyle 2^{n}} being the classical preimage resistance security.



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