Friday, September 28, 2012

Great Scott, Barry Allen, It's The Flash!

No, it's not really the Flash, a/k/a Barry Allen.

It's just my overly cutesy way of letting you know I'm once again participating in the Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction Extravaganza.  Up top is the picture prompt, down below is the story. 

Don't worry, it'll all be over in flash!


The Temple

They had stumbled on to what looked to be the entrance to some ancient temple. Or perhaps it was a burial ground.  Professor Kropotkin couldn't say, nor could his assistant Maya Majoun

"I just don't like the looks of this, Professor," said Maya. 

"I know, Maya," answered Kropotkin, "but we've come this far.  We've got to find out what that structure is and what it means."

"Professor,  there may be a curse!"

"I  don't believe in curses, Maya.  But there may well be some kind of trap set for possible intruders.   Or we  might be attacked by an unknown local indigenous tribe angered that we've disturbed the slumber of their deities." 

"Professor, we're hungry and tired.  We've been eight weeks in South America away from all civilization."

"We must push on, Maya!" 

Maya and Kropotkin wove their way between the two jagged rocks that stood out like quiet sentinels and --- lizards darting to and fro before them --- climbed the broken stone pathway that led to the structure's portal.   They entered.

"Oh, My God!" shouted Maya. "Oh Dear God!!!"

"It's a Singles' Bar!"  Kropotkin cried out.  "And there's a cover!" 

"I knew it," said Maya. "There was a curse after all."


Now, there's the Flash!
And please, Barry Allen:
  We don't need another crappy superhero movie!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

No Frills? No More!

Do you see my true colors shining through?
Is that why (dare I say) you love me?

Ever since I began "Perry Block -  Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute" about two and a half years ago, I have always referred to it as a no-frills blog.  

It was to be laid back in nature.  Nothing showy or ostentatious.  No fancy chandeliers,  ornate tableware, or cascading outdoor fountains to strain your comedy budget.  All profits to go back into humor,  and we pass the savings on to you.

As the blog template for my no frills blog, I chose Bloggers' most basic template. I would reproduce it here for you, but I'm afraid it is so old it is incapable of reproduction.  It is so old that the person who developed it still plays Pong.  If is so old that Gutenberg laughs at it. * 

It was perfect for Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute

A no frills blog seemed to totally befit my character and image as the bummed out Baby Boomer who feels the world is passing him by without so much as offering him a lift.  He - that is, I - would never seek out a blog format with bands playing, drum majorettes twirling,  and cymbals crashing when the only crashing he's accustomed is Windows XP whenever he's got a time deadline. 

But today we are no frills no more! Over the last several days, I have added a frill or two. Actually they're more like frillettesWhy?  Because after all this time, I've failed to find favor with the American public.  Oh, why mince words,  I'm about as popular as a cross between eight day old shellfish and Mitt Romney with PETA!  So I went into Blogger determined to make a few changes.  

Change!  After"aging" and "sixty-two (62)," the most hated word in the English language and more hated than sixty-two if we view that  number as referring mostly to the year I first heard of the Beatles and little more. But I will face "change" bravely after a drink or two and a couple of hours of good old-fashioned "I put the PRO in procrastination" procrastination!  

I clicked on Perry Block - Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute, clicked on "Design," took a quick survey of my ill-read posts (Yep, Clint Eastwood's not exactly packing them in, all right!), sighed, and clicked "Template," then "Customize."  Yessiree, I'm ready to rock my bloggin' world!  


Multiple and diverse template designs, an exploding world of vibrant and pulsating colors, almost as much potential Change as Barack Obama says he can't make from the Inside,  and ....  oh, brave new world that has such people in't! 

It didn't take me long to determine that the blog formats labeled as "Awesome," and "Dynamic," and "Way Cooler than You" were not appropriate for Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute.  I chose the one called "Chicken Shit Change" and moved on to the color schemes.

I scanned almost every color for every field from "Bordello Red" to "Insipid Blue" to "Orangy Orange" to "The Scientists are Still Working on this Color."  Finally, I chose what you see before you. Instead of a negative, morose,  and downbeat dark blue and green, I present to you a  positive, cheerful,  and upbeat auburn and red.  I may still be negative, morose,  and downbeat  but I now at least have the decency to lie about my colors.  

Do you see my true colors shining through? Do you see my true colors,  and that's why you love me?  

Or at least tolerate me better?

What's that, Cyndi Lauper?   I still suck, do I?

Off to a great start ....

*If you want to see a blog that uses the basic template and looks something like the way mine used to look, check out the blog of distinguished and successful TV writer and sportscaster Ken Levine.   My blog actually looked a bit better!  Mr. Levine, however,  is distinguished and successful.  

I'd trade. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tales of the 47 Percent & Other Divertissements

Sofa,  So Bad

It should come as little surprise to anyone that Clint Eastwood's bizarre appearance before the Republican National Convention a few weeks ago featured a chair. 

After all, Mr. Eastwood's obsession with home furnishings has long been known.  He began his career starring in a TV series whose theme song was:

Keep Rollin', Rollin', Rollin',
Though the streams are swollen,
Keep them dawwgies rollin', Naugahyde! 

Then he moved on to star in a number of spaghetti westerns playing the role of a mysterious stranger known as The Man with No Lamé  and finally as Detective Harry Callahan uttered one of the most famous catchphrases in all of motion picture history: 

Go Ahead, Make My Bed! 

Now I don't mean to couch my comments or table any points for discussion but whoever it was furnished the go-ahead for Mr. Eastwood to appear at the RNC?

That guy had to be futon crazy!


Tales of the 47 Percent

Hector:  Hey, Madge, being how youse is up, wouldja get me another eight pound bag of cheese doodles?  

Madge:  Yeah, Hector, soon as Keepin' Your Intellect Down with the Kardashians is over.

Hector:  Madge, did the Welfare check come in yet?  I got me the Disability (wink) check and the Food Stamps right here.

Madge:  It's in, Hector, along with the Beaujolais Stamps and the Cocaine Stamps.    

Hector:  Ain't government entitlement grand, Madge?!

Madge:  Say, Hector, didja take care of them picture IDs for us for the election? 

Hector:  Of course.  We just gotta vote in this election!  How about that Mitt Romney guy anyway?!!!

Madge: Yeah!  Born with a silver spoon up his butt!

Hector: All he does is spend his days runnin' around makin' boring speeches and changin' his mind about stuff. 

Madge: And he acts like he's entitled to be president or something!

Hector:  How can you not love a guy who does nothin' at all and has a humongous sense of entitlement?  

Madge: Yeah, he's our man, LET'S GO, MITT!!!  But know what, Hector?

Hector:  What's that, Madge?

Madge:  (serious) One day we really ought to quit being victims, take some personal responsibility, and start to care about our lives. 

Hector:  (concerned) Really?

Madge:  (breaking out in laughter)  No,  of course not, you idiot!

Hector:  (relieved) Race you to the cheese doodles, my girl!


Ten-ish, Anyone? 

It isn't always just Republicans saying and doing goofy things these days.

Last week President Barack Obama appeared on The David Letterman Show and while he did well in the interview with Dave, he might have been better advised to bypass the opening Top Ten List.

Did you happen to see it? 

Top Ten Reasons I, President Barack Obama, 
Decided To Do The David Letterman Show

10) Because I couldn't trust Biden not to fuck it up!   

9) Unlike my opponent, I need the money. 

8) So quiet in the world,  not a blessed thing to do tonight.

7) If Clinton went on, I'd have to kiss his ass for another three weeks!

6) Needed to cheer myself up after a good cry with John Boehner.

5) Always wanted to palm Paul Shaffer's head like a basketball. 

4) Dave promised me I'd get to meet Clint Eastwood.

3) After the end credits, I get to say "I'm Barack Obama and I approve this stupid TV show!"

2) Michelle cancelled, they needed a last minute replacement. 

And the Number One reason I decided to do The David Letterman Show is: 

1) Dreamt of being on Letterman ever since I was a boy in Kenya.  Oooops!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Zip Went the Strings of My Heart

Is the wire supposed to buckle like this? 
Just sayin'.

Though it was not officially on the itinerary of our trip to Costa Rica last month, not long after we arrived my son Brandon got himself a hankering to go zip lining.

Now I'm someone who throughout his life has steadfastly avoided upward mobility for fear of heights.  So I offered protest.

"Let me get this straight, Dad," said Brandon. "You're afraid to be gliding hundreds of feet above the forest suspended on a thin wire?" 

"No, not exactly.  I'm afraid to not be gliding hundreds of feet above the forest suspended on a thin wire when I'm supposed to be!

"Dad, every day people zip line all throughout Costa Rica without incident," said Brandon. 

"Then an incident is long overdue!"

I pointed out to Brandon that there are no safety regulations whatsoever in Costa Rica for zip lining. I reminded him that an unfortunate accident could put a crimp in our dining plans.  I mentioned once more that I'm the kind of person whose fear of heights is so severe I have regular nightmares about actor Brad Garrett hoisting me on his shoulders.    

I stood up like a man about being scared like a baby! 

And 45 minutes later we were at the entrance of Casa del Zip, clearly marked from the street by a large colorful billboard poster of a man with exultant expression soaring high above the rain forest. 

"No way that guy is Jewish," I said to myself.

We were greeted inside by Alejandro, a friendly enough type who assured me that safety was paramount at Casa del Zip and that I'd be decked out in the latest and most modern zip lining equipment, which apparently these days is manufactured with holes in one of the gloves and rust spots on the harness strapped around you.  

It's counter intuitive, for sure, but Alejandro seemed to know his stuff. 

"I'm a little apprehensive about all this, Alejandro," I said.  "I have fear of heights."

"Oh, you'll be fine.  Trust me!" 

Totally reassured by a complete stranger telling me to "trust him,"  I climbed with Brandon and Alejandro into the cable car that would take us to the summit where our zip lining adventure would begin. 

"OMG!" I screamed.  "I knew it!  I can't go this high!  We've got to turn back!!!"

"Mr. Block?"

"Yes, Alejandro?"

"We're not out of the building yet."

We gradually ascended to a height from which I could see my house in Pennsylvania, then  climbed about 800 half rickety steps to the rickety final  platform.  At the top was a small bar area with a young women selling drinks.

"You may want to have shot,  Mr. Block," said Alejandro. 

"A shot?  No,  I want a bottle of your finest ...."

Brandon went first, smile on his face like the crazed guy on the poster. The zip lining apparatus made a whirring sound as if a clothes line were unreeling and across he went, caught at the end by another member of the Casa del Zip zip lining crew apparently in one piece and still eligible to be in my will.

"Call out that you are ready, Mr. Block," said Alejandro. 

"Ready?  I could only ever be ready if I were structured differently genetically and had had an alternative upbringing." 

"Kind of  R-e-e-a-a-a-d-d-d-e-e-e!!! " I called out. 

My feet left the platform and I heard that godawful whirring sound. My eyes were shut so tightly they couldn't have been pried open by the most experienced of safe crackers, and I felt my body dangling, which is one verb I never like using in conjunction with any bodily part of mine, let alone the whole body.  Then I forced my eyes open and saw myself sliding along a thin metal wire gripping a metal hand contraption which wobbled like the top in the movie Inception

Don't look down! Don't look down!  Don't look down!

I looked down. 

"God, I'm sorry for everything!!!  I will atone my sins!  I will find purpose in  life! That's totally it for me with sleeping late!!!"

And then I was across the chasm and caught by the zip lining guy. And  still eligible to be in no one's will. And after about an hour and a half we were done all the 9 or 10 individual runs that make up the zip lining experience at Casa del Zip

Brandon had a super time.  He wanted to go again.  

"That ain't gonna happen," I said to him.

I gave Alejandro a very handsome tip.  He wanted us to go again.

"That ain't gonna happen," I said to him.

But a strange thing  did happen.  Though I  remained scared throughout, I managed to keep my eyes open a little longer on each successive run.  I did begin to appreciate the beauty of the rain forest below, the majestic mountains nearby, and my little house in Havertown PA, although it does need a new roof.  

Maybe I'm now on my way to what is said to be the secret to getting over your fears and truly living your life:  Doing one thing a day that scares you. This was my one thing on that one day --- August 23, 2012.

I'll let you know on what day my next scary thing is scheduled soon as I  figure out the best day in 2014 to schedule it for.


Next Up?
No F*cking Way!

Friday, September 21, 2012

And Now For Something Completely Different

Nice, but it ain't no Rocky ...

And Now For Something Completely Different ...

Every Friday the talented writer Madison Woods posts a writing prompt upon which many writers base their own individual 100 words or less stories.  All these stories are posted,  and folks across the internet get the opportunity to read how other peoples' interpretations of the very same prompt are so much better and more creative than their own.

At least,  I think that's the point. 

Anyway, today's prompt is up above,  and I made up the story below.  To be honest, it is actually 106 words long so I expect to be disqualified and yelled at by Madison. 

So if you should comment, be kind!

Of the Statues in Philly

“I see an angel in despair over the state of mankind,” said Brandon. “What do you see, Dad?”

“Well, it looks to me more like an angel about to throw up.  Probably after a big night of partying.”

“What about three wings?  I perceive it as the artist’s way of dramatizing the angel’s anguish.”

“Nah, it’s to show how whacked the angel is.  He’s not seeing double, he’s seeing one and a half!”

 “It’s cool how art is subject to multiple interpretations and responses,” said Bran.

“And I hope your response, kid, will be to help repair the world.  Mine, after I drop you off? Getting me a drink!”


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Beautiful and Talented

Beautiful and Talented, All Right

Sexism, I'm afraid, remains alive and well in America 2012.

A glass ceiling still exists for many women in the corporate world, equal pay for equal work remains a dream yet to be fulfilled, and Tom Cruise's treatment of Katie Holmes makes you just want to cry out for the injustice!  But these are not the most flagrant examples of sexism to besmirch our culture today.  The sexism most heinous resides in a familiar expression oft applied to a woman, one you may have even used yourself.

It is the descriptive phrase:

the beautiful and talented  _ _ _ _  

You don't get it?  Why is it significant to note a woman's appearance when discussing her talent when it is not similarly so important to note appearance for a man?  Even when a man is beautiful and talented, such as myself.

Let's work this through.  Here's some excerpts  from a few prominent and respected niche publications:   

Your Literary Log, August 17, 1012

There's no doubt about it!  Book critics and readers from coast to coast agree.

Red Skies, Blue Bottom  is the  most dazzling debut novel in years and its author, the pug ugly and talented Gail Greenleaf, one of America's most promising writers. If you read no other novel this year,  pick up a copy of Red Skies, Blue Bottom,  making sure at all costs to avoid looking at the book jacket unless you want to be turned to stone. 

"Writing is my passion," Ms. Greenleaf told me when I met with her recently, so glad that I hadn't eaten first. This is one author whose talent is truly soaring;  too bad it doesn't take her face away with it.

Paint 'N Pallette, August 30, 2012

He is a painter without equal.  His great paintings include Wall Flowers,  Night Botch, and Windmill at Havertown

He is, of course, the hunky and talented Vincent Van Go-Go. And nobody paints with the verve and gusto of this raging Apollo of the Art World.

His greens are striking, his reds are throbbing, his blues they pulsate, and his brush stokes literally thrust upon the canvas, moving in and out, in and out, ever more forcefully! Van Go-Go attacks the canvas with manly might, his final strokes coming down hard to explode in frenzied artistic passion and ecstasy! 

I need a smoke. 

Book WorldSeptember 8, 2012

One of the worst books I have read in many a moon is Atlas Mugged by the goofy looking and untalented Agatha Shisty.

With prose as clumsy as her walk and a plot that practically drags on the ground like her saggy breasts, Ms. Shisty has created characters that are as ill-formed as her buck teeth and protruding nose.  She has about as much writing sense as fashion sense, which can be best described as early Munster.

Do yourself a favor and ignore Atlas Mugged at all costs!  A blind date with Ms. Shisty would be preferable.

Got it now, folks?  

So don't let me hear any of you say that most sexist of expressions --- the beautiful and talented --- ever again.  And that goes double for the other three expressions above as well!   

Though the hunky and talented,  when applied to me, I might just let slide. 


No, Vincent Van Go-Go did not paint this!
And for the record, I don't think he's all that hunky either!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Star Trek Drek


Captain James T. Kirk --- Captain of Starship Enterprise Value

Mr. Spock --- Starship First Officer

Bones McCoy --- Starship Doctor

Lt. Uhura –-- Senior Starship Officer*

Mr. Sulu ---   Lieutenant and Starship Helmsman

Voice of Glotz --- An Alien 

*At this performance the role of Lt. Uhura will be played by Lisa Lynch aka @StarTrekWreck

KirkSpace, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise Value, its five year mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and civilizations to which to sell Star Trek action figures, Vulcan ears, and cheap memorabilia of every kind and description a/k/a drek, to boldly go where no shameless huckster has gone before."

Star Trek theme plays. 

Kirk: (voiceover) Captain’s Log Star Date the 37th of Bleen, 2476.  It is becoming quite alarming to all of us on the Starship Enterprise Value that it has been over six months since we last encountered a civilization anywhere in the universe that hasn't already become sick to the point of nauseation from the endless Star Trek drek we've been peddling throughout the cosmos.  

If we don’t find a suitable planet of live gullible prospects soon, we will all face the end of our special mission, bitter unemployment, and the desperate prospect of two or three extra seasons of T. J. Hooker!

Scene shifts to inside of Starship Enterprise Value

Kirk: Still nothing, Mr. Sulu?

Sulu: No planet in sight. Captain.  

Kirk: Keep at it, Mr. Sulu, please keep ... at ... it!

Sulu: Captain?  Do you think I’ll ever get back to  my Facebook account? I was getting very popular with the Romulans, Cardassians, and Kardashians.  

Kirk: (breaking down) I just don’t know, Mr. Sulu,  I ... just ... don't ... know!  Frankly it wouldn't matter if you were popular with the Vulcans or the Jews or even the ....

Spock:  (entering, with Bones) Did you call for me, Captain?  It is logical since I am half Vulcan and half Jewish.  (Making Vulcan hand signal.) Live long and prosper, and never shop retail!

Bones: Quiet, Spock. (Sensing Kirk’s despair) Jim, Jim, you’ve got to snap out of it!  We'll find a suitable planet of untapped Trekkies, I'm sure of it! 

Kirk: (bitter)  You think so?  Why such optimism from someone in your profession, Bones?  Health care hasn't been much of a career ever since all infectious diseases were wiped out years ago by Dr. Snooki Polizzi.  

Bones: Jim, I’ve never seen you so negative!  Spock, can you do anything with him?

Spock:  Actually, doctor, I’ve run a probability check.  It is more logical that we will encounter a planet where sane and reasonable phaser control has been implemented than one that hasn't already become saturated with Montgomery Scott Lunchboxes.

Bones:  (Disgusted with Spock’s coolness) Spock, as always, all the sensitivity and warmth  of Federation President Mitt Romney XXIV!  

In comes Lt. Uhuru.

Uhura:  Hello, Captain.  Uhh ... Captain, it being there’s not much to do around here, I ... umm ... was wondering if you’d approve me taking a second job.

Kirk:  As long as there’s no conflict of interest with your primary work on the Starship Enterprise Value.  What would you be doing?

Uhura: Selling secrets to the Klingons.

Kirk: (lifeless) Oh, no problem there.  Good luck, Lieutenant. 

Uhura: (to Spock)  That was so easy, Mr. Spock!  What’s happened to him?

Spock: I’m not sure, Lieutenant, but it may have something to do with his recent realization that for years he has had a dead tribble atop his head.

Sulu:  (breaking in) Captain, look up ahead. A planet!!

Bones:  (encouraging) Ya see, Jim!?

Kirk: Yes, yes it is a planet!  Mr. Sulu? Read-outs, please!

Sulu: (reading from the screen before him) Life forms, Captain.  Straight, gay, and….wow!!    Beam me down, Scotty!

Kirk:  Forget that, Mr. Sulu! What’s important is:  Do they have Captain Kathryn Janeway Blow-Up Dolls

Sulu: I don’t have a “Blow-Up Doll” read out, Captain.  But we are receiving a transmission from the planet!

(Unseen Voice from transmission speaks.)

Glotz: Welcome Starship Enterprise Value!  I am Commander Glotz of the Planet Bilge.

Kirk:  Greetings, Glotz!  We come in peace to bring you a mind-numbing barrage of Star Trek memorabilia to enrich your lives and empty your pocket books. 

Glotz:  Sorry, Captain, we've had it up to the gills with all that stuff.  And we actually do have gills to have it up to here with too!

Kirk: (getting very upset) No!  No! It can't be!  It ... just ... can’t ... be!

Bones: Jim, Jim, now take it easy…..

Spock: Doctor, I think this might be a logical time for me to hold the Captain, while you hit him with a considerable dose of Brain Viagra. 

Spock and Bones grapple with the distraught Kirk as they try to administer the Brain Viagra.

Glotz:  Yes, Captain, we're sick to death of Tickle Me, Yodas,  Mark Hamel Unemployment Application Sets,  and  Princess Leia Expandable Action Figures! 

Kirk: (brightening up) Bones, Spock ... did I hear what I think I did?

Glotz:  Wait a minute, Captain!   Did you say Star Trek, not Star Wars?  We've been hanging for this day!   Do you have the authentic  Pavel Chekov Comb-Over Kit?

Kirk:  (Back to his former self,  praise Roddenberry!)  That and a whole lot more! 

Glotz:  Well, then: Come on Down!

Spock:  It is now logical to assume, Captain, that we’ll be dispensing Star Trek drek for many years to come.  All of which makes me want to dance the hora!   In a dispassionate  and lifeless manner of course.   

Sulu: Set a course for the planet Bilge, Captain?  

Kirk:  Yes, Mr. Sulu,  steady as she goes. Our five year mission continues! Our cause is just, our inventory full, and the fees for all merchandise well, we’re not exactly talking!

Star Trek music is heard.  

You can buy the CD cheap if you'd like!   

The End


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Invention of Birthdays

It's my birthday today, and I'd like to take a moment to thank you all for your expressions of best wishes and many happy returns, if only I'd received any.  As you may know, I don't particularly like or appreciate birthdays as is well evidenced by this picture of me above taken at my joyous birthday celebration just last year. 

How did the custom of observing birthdays begin anyhow? Unless you're under seven, birthdays are generally about as appealing as playing musical chairs with Clint Eastwood.

So I did a bit of research. 

As it turns out, birthdays  were invented in 1674 in England by a man named George Noisemacher, the Earl of Birthday. Prior to that time the duration of a person's life was measured by division into two discrete periods as follows:  

Formerly Cute 

This system had worked pretty well throughout all of recorded history except it required an arbiter to determine when each person was to graduate from Cute to Formerly Cute status. That arbiter was a shaman or high priest during the Bronze Age, an Imperial Tribunal during the Roman Empire, and a panel of annoying celebrity judges during the Middle Ages whose main function was to make fun of the goofier applicants while sniping away moronically at their fellow judges.

Over time the Cute/Formerly Cute System grew bloated and corrupt, however, with many a toothless old coot riddled with gout remaining Cute long after his time provided he was landed, or at least in a holding pattern by Flight Control waiting to be landed.

The Earl of Birthday
(Or maybe it's the Earl of Sandwich. Not sure.)

It fell to the Earl of Birthday to develop the alternative system of "birthdaysas follows: 

First an accounting was made of the gross sum of the times the annual date on which the individual had been birthed had recurred throughout his or her lifetime.  Then a specific number based on this accounting was rendered subject to annual updating according to Manual 10-A which, at least as of yesterday, has still not been issued!

The number derived was referred to as the person's "age" after Lord Birthday's daughter Aggie, who had oddly enough been graduated to Formerly Cute status almost from birth and had apparently urged her father rather strenuously to work up the new system ASAP!

Well, you can imagine just how scandalous all this was! 

The Church inveighed bitterly against the Birthday System, decrying that "No one shall ever give The Lord Jesus Christ a number and take away his Cute."  Throughout Europe birthday partisans took to the streets and the cry "Happy Birthday to You, You Belong in a Zoo" echoed from Britain to Brandenburg and Paris to Prague.  Finally, everything came to a head in London when over 335 people were brutally smeared with ice cream and cake during the so-called "Cha-Cha-Cha-Cha-Chance Riots of 1687."  

Many then set out for the New World in the hopes of finding freedom to practice birthdays as they wished.  The ship Bonholme Dick which sailed from Portsmouth to New England in 1694 with over 327 so-called birthdayers aboard was not atypical, including in its manifest "460 partye hattes, 80 balloones, and two clownes."

Aggie Birthday
Inspiration for the New System?

By the year 1800 almost all nations of the world had adopted the Birthday System except France, where they were just being difficult. Some bizarre glitches remained for several years, however, as evidenced by random documents describing Benjamin Franklin as dying in 1790 at age 12, Andrew Jackson becoming President when he was 482 years old in 1829, and Perry Block celebrating his 62nd (!) birthday in 2012.  

But all in all, thank you, George Noisemacher, Earl of Birthday, for the system you have bequeathed to us that has allowed me today to express my gratitude to all of you for your  best wishes and many happy returns .... if only I'd received any.

Hey, what the hell's the matter with you guys?   

Didn't any of you get Manual 10-A?


 Cave painting from France depicting celebration 
of  tribal member's accession 
to status of  Formerly Cute