>>> Text-Heavy
By staff writer E.E. Southerby
Volume 118 – February 27, 2005

“Part of a Complete Internet”

Now Playing: “Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta” by Geto Boys

I don't know the first thing about birthdays. I never know if I need to get a present, a cake, whatever. Maybe that's because so many of my own birthdays have been spent lying in the bathtub listening to country music and cutting myself, but there you go. This will not, however, stop me from writing a longwinded column on the subject, because there might be readers out there who are just as confused about birthdays as I am. So put on your conical birthday hats and prepare for 5 to 10 minutes of non-stop hilarity. The comedy train is leaving the station. Here's what happened:

-Determine the Birthday Person's Gender: This may be the most important step when planning a friend's birthday party. If your friend is a girl, she will expect you to make a huge ruckus regarding her birthday. You will probably have to send out invitations with RSVP written in calligraphy on them. If your friend is a guy, you can pretty much ignore his birthday or dismiss it with a sidehanded comment such as “Birthdays are gay.” The guy will never mention his birthday again, for fear of being labeled a fairy or, worse, a communist fairy. Those are the worst kind.

-Off-Topic Corner, Memories of Spring Break: Ever notice how if you're staying at a hotel anywhere in the world, at any time of the day or night there's always something good on TV? There's just something magical about hotel TV that was designed to keep you from leaving the hotel room for any reason, including sightseeing and fire alarms. How many times have you said “I can't go see the Eiffel Tower now! Something good's on!” Damn you hotel TV you've ruined my vacation for the last time.

-I don't mean to harp on this, but sometimes it won't even be something really good, but rather a show you've always heard about but never watched before. So you'll be like “I never watched Everybody Loves Raymond before. It's not bad!” And then you'll get home and try watching it again and it will be boring and stale just because it's not on hotel TV and you'll wonder what on Earth you were thinking.

-Download the “In Da Club” Remix: As those of you with a photographic memory will surely recall, this column is about celebrating birthdays. Since I'm assuming you're on a budget (because if you weren't you'd be able to afford real comedy), I recommend you obtain a copy of the classic fittycent song by any means necessary. Even if it means going on Kazaa Lite and finding the one that says “remix – no loops” but then you download it and it's got fucking loops all over or maybe after about 30 seconds it cuts into a really loud static-y sound like what a puppy makes when you rub #32 sandpaper on its testicles. What the hell is up with Kazaa Lite these days, anyhow?

-Bake Adult Brownies: Now that you've determined your friend's gender and illegally obtained hacked music it's time for you to move on to more traditional birthday activities, like cake baking. Most college students hate to cook but they love to get high, so this solution provides what I think is a fair compromise. There are many recipes for adult brownies available on the Internet, all of which share a common bond: They don't work. Rational people will agree that it is impossible to get high from eating pot brownies. You know what you get when you mix pot and brownies? Really crappy brownies. To work around this minor setback, all you have to do is take a bite, suppress your gag reflex, and then start acting really high and crazy and shit. The birthday person will start to believe the brownies actually work and at about this point you'll realize you could have saved some money by using oregano instead.

-Purchase a Prank Alcoholic Beverage: No college birthday is complete without the birthday person being forced to drink a prank alcoholic beverage. I recommend a prairie fire, which contains tequila and Tabasco sauce and yet somehow tastes even worse than it sounds. If you think your friend might not fall for that one, you could purchase a Cat-O-Nine-Tails, which is made up of Silent Sam and bleach. The goal here is to make the birthday person barf and crap their pants at the same time, with the hope that the next morning they won't remember who was responsible for poisoning them, but they WILL remember who drove them to the ER to get their stomach pumped.

-Give the Gift of Love: I'm not suggesting that you make love to your friend, although feel free to do that if that's what you're into. The best present you can give a friend on their birthday is a hookup. The cool part is, strangers are more likely to have sex with people they don't know if it's someone's birthday, so use this to your advantage. All you have to do is go up to a random guy or girl and announce that it's your friend's birthday so would they mind terribly to come say hi and maybe later they could rut like weasels. I'd estimate about 1 in 5 people will say sure. For the other 4, be sure to carry some pepper spray antidote unless you're like me and have gradually developed a tolerance.

-Visit a Themed Family Restaurant: You might not be with your family, but that's no reason to avoid the themed family restaurant. What you're looking for here is a restaurant where the waiters embarrass the bejeezus out of the birthday person. If you can find a place that makes you stand up on the table, wear a sombrero, pull down your pants and sing “Feliz Navidad” for a free slice of apple crumble you're going to want to beeline it over there. If you don't know any such restaurant, just look up any restaurant named after the owner's first name and his worst quality. “Sneaky Pete's,” “Devious Dave's,” “Dishonest Eddie's,” and “Denny's Fried Assburgers” are all good bets.

-Send a Birthday Clown to Class: Nothing thrills a college student more than having an important class or exam interrupted by a singing birthday clown. If you thought your friend was excited about the free apple crumble, wait until you use your camera phone to capture the expression on his face as Gertrude the Emaciated Entertainer sings some public-domain alternative to “Happy Birthday.” Sure, traveling clowns can be pricey, but can you really put a dollar value on having a friend never speak to you again? (Note: If your friend is Muslim do not send a clown to his classroom unless you have already purchased comprehensive life insurance. Those guys can hold a grudge.)

-It's just that I can't see how those pay-per-view movies in hotel rooms ever make any money. Why would I pay $8 to watch Seabiscuit when I get free Cinemax and HBO? Sure, I get those at home too, but it's never as good as when it's on hotel TV. Don't look at me like I'm crazy. You know it's true.