…Dr. Satan told the band to slay
They’ve walked down the Green Mile
Still sharp as a crocodile’s smile
So may I introduce to the world
A band you’ve known for years
Seabass and His Clan of Merry Misfits!
The first person to wish me many happy returns on the day this morning was my lovely wife Debbie, who sang Happy Birthday as I crawled out of a dream about flying around in a car above the streets of San Francisco while being menaced by shadowy and sinister forces. We still don’t have flying cars. I just knew we would by now… but I digress.
The second person to wish me happy birthday was Google, which seems strangely appropriate given our current state of technological mania. Google was also happy to inform me that I share a birthday with Don Rickles, Harry Truman, Enrique Iglesias, and Chiu Yi the muckraking Chinese legislator. Germany surrendered to the Allies on this day in 1945, so that’s a good thing. In addition, Google was kind enough to tell me about two new inmates to the Manatee County Jail: Elizabeth Duerr, on warrants for providing false owner information on pawn items less than $300 and dealing or possessing stolen property, $18,000 bond; and Covington Raney, on contempt of court, no bond. Elizabeth! What were you thinking? You’ve tainted my birthday, shame on you.
Shout out to my birthday buddies Don York, Masuhara Iwasa, and Anthony Reidler. Happy Birthday, guys. Let’s show this day who’s boss around here!
Since I’m unlikely to ever return to my birth weight of seven pounds/fourteen ounces, I’m making up for it by letting my hair return to my birth hair of seventeen thin follicles held in place with superglue. It’s been 17,897 days since the fateful May morning in Sonora, CA in 1968 but if I’m to count my age by beers it’s been 19, 438 so make of that what you will. By shoes, it’s 56 pairs and 14 cleats. By guitar strings… well, you get the idea.
As I ate my hale and hearty morning cup of plain, no-fat, utterly tasteless yogurt made the Greek way (which I hope means it was whipped up on the thighs of Spartan women but it probably doesn’t), which I eat because my cholesterol hangs in the balance between vaguely healthy and OH MY GOD YOU’RE GOING TO DIE, I was given to contemplating what has transpired in the five decades since my birth.
Hits on parade: heavy metal, the Star Wars original trilogy, Swamp Thing, Buckaroo Banzai and the Hong Kong Cavaliers, video games, Tina Belcher.
Swing and a miss: eternal war, Dennis Miller on Monday Night Football, the Star Wars prequel trilogy, bro-country, prescription drug advertising on television.
Rooster Cogburn once told me that looking back is a bad habit, but I mean to make a liar out of that one-eyed fat man. I somehow managed to avoid joining “Club 27” though I did make a run at it. When I realized my life would last longer that twenty-seven years, I did my best to have fun within reason and get a few things accomplished. I’m proud of the words I’ve written, the comics I’ve drawn, the music I’ve played, and the the lines I’ve spoken on the stage. I know I’ve made a few enemies along the way, and I’m sorry about that, but I’ve tried to make more friends than enemies and treat people with the dignity and respect they deserve.
If it’s all a slippery slide from here toward the inevitable date with death (I’m buying, but it’s going to be at the original Eddie’s Pizza so I have some leftover to take with me), then I’ll try to make the balance of my life as fun, loving, productive, and silly as the first part. I look forward to more sun filled days on the diamond scooping up grounders and making weak, off target throws to first. Long walks with my wife. Getting published (finally). Being kind to cats. Sharing my extensive knowledge of obscure cultural references with anyone stupid enough to get within earshot. And of course, more pints of fine ale shared in the company of hobbits.
Time is like a river of green sliding unseen beneath the trees (© Alan Parson/Roger Waters) and I have enjoyed punting down it, occasionally dipping my hand into the waters and letting the fish nibble on my fingers. Tomorrow may creep along at a petty pace from day to day (© Bill “Noodles” Shakespeare) but I plan to make the most of the ones I have still to come.
Cheers, well met, hail and fare thee well. Until we met again, may the hair on your toes fall out and somehow be magically transported to the top of my head.