Friday, January 16, 2015

Birthday Boons for All!

My birthday is finally here, this year on January 16. I'm seriously glad it's not on the 29th, because I was about to bust waiting on it. Unlike others my age, over 40, I love having birthdays. It only means I'm getting older and wiser. Right now, as has been true of recent years, I'm bubbling over with wisdom. I don't know how much wiser a man can be, but I'm willing to find out!

Thank you, dear kingdom, for your many tributes to me on this day of days. Messages of greetings have poured in in recent days, and I know it will be a major task for my servants to open them all and get them in good order for me to peruse later. If you do not receive a personal acknowledgement of your kindness from me, please let this word suffice, that I do appreciate it and wish boons on you and your household.

Closer to home, here within the palace walls, of course the celebration is already at fever pitch. Several of my servants have dressed me in white robes and fetched my royal mount for my annual march through the city. Two of my most trusted lieutenants accompany me today, the dusky Eric the Great, governor of my harem, and Tommy the Eunuch, who keeps an eye on him. The townspeople follow behind, presenting their grievances, knowing that boons will be lavished on all on this sainted day.

Throughout the day there are carnivals, games of sport, and turkey legs for all. It's as good and better than any Renaissance Festival, including the same massive cleavage piled up everywhere, with the plastic ice coolers they sometimes put there in the very center, keeping cool the meat of the goodie. The women of the realm enjoy getting those with their annual gift packs, which also includes the year's calendar with my birthday prominently featured on every page and a coupon for a side of fries with their turkey leg.

The men, away all year fighting my many wars, are brought back five days before my birthday. It is a gladsome time for them, as they become acquainted with the babies their wives gave birth to after they were last home. We tend to have a lot of October babies, great for the pumpkin farms that are all over the countryside. Plus, every child under 1 gets a coupon for a free pumpkin when they're in season, with the price being 50% off for all other kids. So they're happy.

Other boons are distributed. Every year, through the course of the year, I personally "hide" (or "unfollow," not "unfriend") about half of my Facebook friends for various offenses. They may be too rabidly conservative, too sentimental, too prone to cute cat photos, post too many things, too religious, offering adoration to other kings; the list is endless, all of which drives me crazy. But on my birthday, all is forgiven. Everyone is "followed" once again! For at least the next 24 hours. That's only fair.

The parade is about to begin! I must tear myself away from all distractions and give full attention to the high school bands who have worked and struggled all year to pay their way to my palace. I see one coming into view now. The band that came the greatest distance is always first. The first one this year has come all the way from Ukraine. That's thousands of miles, the other side of the world! The kids of that particular school actually had to raise money for three years to get here today! Quite a sacrifice!

And here they come. Let me watch as they pass. They've got a big sign. I can't make it out. It's some oddball language. I assume it says "High School of Whatever," OK, great. Probably the Fighting Putins, since they're always in a pickle with Russia. They're playing some strange song, sounds like a mash-up of "On Wisconsin" and "O Vladimir." The kid on bass drum is about half the size of his drum, a bad look. But there's a couple cute girls toward the back. Their uniforms probably could've been cleaner, spiffier, nicer, but they did their best ... I hope ... I suppose. And there they go, passing out of sight.

I'm so happy for their coming that one of the boons that I shall grant this year shall be "Full Independence for Ukraine!" The men of my realm shall drive the Russians from Ukraine. They shall do their best. At least liberating this one particular high school. How poor these kids look. I'm sending Tommy the Eunuch to distribute coupons for free turkey legs for all. And a free pumpkin when they're in season. It's the least I can do.

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