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Happy unmeant birthday to you

I had a birthday recently. I find the happy birthday greetings sent from computer lists — the Prius Chat Forums and from — to be merely inept marketing. But the jovial greeting from my dentist’s clinic sticks in my craw.

I have no personal relationship with the Prius or widget software, but the dentist is a guy who sticks his fingers in my mouth and asks me to spit in his presence. That’s intimate. So, getting a generic birthday greeting from his clinic’s computer is less than meaningless. If next time I’m in he wants to ask me how my birthday was, that’d be a reasonable topic of discussion. If he were to to call me up to wish me a happy birthday, I’d find that a little forced and weird. But having his computer set to send me wishes for a day that no human there observes, notes, or acts on, well, what type of fool does he take me for?

Of course, you don’t want to express that to someone who puts literal sticks in your craw, and who with a single tap can say, “Yup, that one’ll need to come out.”

I’m fine with telling you that I was born in 1950, but I don’t announce my birth date precisely so people won’t feel obliged to say “Happy birthday.” So, just skip it. I am, however, open to receiving presents. Year ’round. I’m a size should-lose-some-weight, who loves the works of artists-he-never-knew-he-liked.

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