Earnest Pettie, comedy writer
My sincerest apologies on this my thirty-third birthday, but due to an agreement between myself and the sovereign nations of Denmark, Argentina, and Freedonia, my birthday has been cancelled this year. What this means for you is that the week-long celebration that had been planned in each of the world’s major capitols will not take place, and parking will resume as normal. Also, the special goggles you had been mailed should be returned since you will no longer be needing them. The team we had working on that special solar eclipse has been disbanded but remain available for bar mitzvahs and weddings (they’re contractually prohibited from working other birthdays). Those of you in municipalities that had been chosen by lottery to receive a statue in my honor, please admire it quickly because we have repo men coming early tomorrow morning.
The tragedies that occurred at last year’s birthday celebrations– I’m very sorry, Oprah– will not be forgotten anytime soon by anyone present. There are some things that you just can not unsee. Again, I’m very sorry, Oprah. Of course, my feeling is that we should let bygones be bygones and that all the damages should be paid for through Paypal but not by me.
It has come to my attention that many of you were looking forward to celebrating my birthday with me. The feeling was mutual. I was looking forward to celebrating my birthday with me, too.
In place of birthday greetings and presents, I ask that you make a small donation to the foundation I’ve started to help people in third-world countries celebrate birthdays. It’s called the “Make A Wish* Foundation.” Were you aware that there are parts of the world with people too poor to have birthdays? It’s because they don’t have the necessary ingredients for cake. They light small bushes on fire and ask the birthday boys or girls to blow them out. If they blow them out, they receive a wish (usually to live elsewhere), and if they don’t, there’s fire. Everywhere. Be sure you give to the foundation with an asterisk in the name. If you don’t, your donation will go toward fulfilling some dying kid’s last wish, which is a real waste of your money, because it isn’t likely you’ll ever receive a Thank You note.
The hardest part of all this is that I may never get to have a thirty-third birthday. All the other parties involved in these high-level discussions have seen fit that I should remain thirty-two at least through these tumultuous times. I’m eager to see thirty-three, but my people at the UN don’t think it’s feasible for at least another four years without military intervention.
Reprinted from the Legal sections of the Tulsa World, New York Sun, and TV Guide.