Friday, 1 March 2013
Happy Birthday, David
It’s my brother's birthday and the rest of us had a little problem deciding what to buy him. We discussed various interesting possibilities, but couldn’t come up with anything concrete. Well, we could, but he didn’t want anything concrete, so it was back to the DIY store with that half-ton of crazy paving, and from there back to square one pretty pronto! What do you buy a man who has everything? Yeah, yeah I know – penicillin!
We decided that birthdays are not the most important thing in the world (the boys said that Australia making the next World Cup finals is the most important thing in the world. Huh???). But still there’s nothing quite like a birthday.
For me nearly thirty years – 10,950 days or 262,800 hours or 15,768,000 minutes. If you’re reaching for a calculator to work out whether all that is correct, you really are terribly sadder than me.
My birthday falls, or rather plummets in May. It makes me a Taurus. This is not a good sign to be. Taurus people are fussy, morally superior, perfectionists, nervous, shy and fundamentally annoying.
So I’ve decided that I’m fed up being a Taurus. Damn it I just want to be something else. In desperation I turned for enlightenment to an ancient book on the Chinese Horoscope. In Chinese terms, I always thought I’d be a swan or something elegant like that – but no! Those of us who had the enormous privilege of bouncing into this world on my birth date are in fact – wait for it – rabbits! Bloody typical. I go from being a fussy virgin to a fluffy vegetarian in one little hop. The book further informed me that suitable professions for a rabbit would include philosopher, diplomat, politician or – of course – cartoon character. It also revealed that my ideal spouse would be either a dragon or a dog. I’m certain that there’s a joke in there somewhere, but I’m not going to even try.
Anyway, I went off to buy a present because I was the keeper of the money. My companion is a hysterical 6 year old (nephew) who came with me because his parents were out doing parenty things. So I decided to take him into Toys R Bloody Expensive. He is screeching that his entire life will be ruined and he will grow up unhappy and never be able to form stable and meaningful relationships and it will BE ALL MY FAULT unless he is immediately supplied with a large Nintendo X-Box Playstation thingy. By this stage I have actually surrendered. I am weeping openly. I have my cash in my trembling, sweaty hands and I would willingly throw my money and the deeds to my soul into a bucket wielded by Satan, if only I could find a Sales Assistant. But I can’t, because there isn’t one. They’re all on their break in the Bahamas or somewhere – certainly not in the shop.
Buying for kids is bad. Buying for kids can give you a breakdown, reduce you to a wreck, destroy your mind forever. But buying for a man? Be afraid, Kate. Be very afraid.