I'm having a birthday next Monday.
I don't like birthdays. But I guess they're necessary because it's God's way of telling you you're still alive.
Speaking of life and death, I've made plans for my funeral.
To begin with, I want the funeral director at my services to announce to everyone that they must turn on their cell phones and they are encouraged to call their friends and talk out loud on their phones.
People are much happier when they have their cell phones stuck in their ears at all times, and I don't want the fact that I'm dead to spoil anyone's fun.
As to where I am at the time, I want someone to recite Steven Wright's great line: "If heat rises, heaven may turn out to be a lot hotter than hell."
I've instructed my family that no matter what he charges, they must hire Al Sharpton to deliver my eulogy and say wonderful things about me at my funeral. I just want to leave all my loved ones laughing.
I'm not going to reveal my age, but a word of advice to those of you reading this who are in your 20s: It's never too soon to start lying about your age. The day will come when people will start using your age against you. This will affect jobs, promotions, romance etc., etc.
So if you're 30, slice off 10 years right this minute. Tell people you're 20. Okay, you'll get a lot of dirty looks at first and people will mutter behind your back, but when you're 40 people will start talking about what a mature-looking 30-year-old you are. And, trust me, it's a lot better to have people thinking you're a decrepit 50-year-old than a good-looking 60-year-old.
My problem is I have always confused my immaturity with age, thinking as long as I act like a dopey kid I will never grow old. This doesn't always work, though.
Picture this: On my birthday a few years ago I was in my convertible heading out to the Hamptons. I was wearing a bright yellow polo shirt, cut-off jean shorts to show off my gorgeous legs, and I felt that I was looking pretty snazzy. Dark tan, bald head, sunglasses and all. From time to time I would vainly suck in my stomach, but only until I started to hyperventilate and get light-headed. Frankly, I thought I looked sexy as hell.
Just three short hours from New York and five Snapples later I reached Manorville and jumped out of my car to go to McDonald's to use their McBathroom because I had to Mc . . . er . . . you know what I mean.
On my way out I stopped to get myself a cup of coffee. The young man behind the counter took my order for a small coffee but had a little problem with the words "with milk."
"With milk?" he asked. "Yes, with milk," I answered. "Milk?" "Milk!" Clearly an overdose of cannabis the night before had robbed the young man of the mental power to remember the word "milk" longer than three seconds after he left the counter and picked up the coffee pot.
Now I often buy a small coffee at McDonald's and I know a small coffee costs 90 cents, so I handed the young man a dollar and waited for my 10 cents change. Well, he handed me a fistful of change.
Being honest and not wanting to screw McDonald's out of their McMoney, I said, "You gave me too much change."
"No," he said, "it's 35 cents."
"Yes," he said, "it's only 35 cents for seniors."
"Seniors?" I asked.
"Seniors!" he said.
Now I was having as much trouble with the word "seniors" as my young, clear-skin-challenged boy was having with the word "milk." Then I looked at him and thought, "What if I lean over the counter and choke him. Given how slowly everyone on that McSide of the McCounter moves, I could polish him off before any of them can pry my wrinkled old 'senior' hands from his smooth young scrawny neck."
I pocketed the change and walked out the door.
A young, vital birthday boy walked into McDonald's, but an old bitter man walked out, clutching his lousy 35-cent senior coffee.
On Monday, when everyone is asleep, I will celebrate my birthday as I have for many years. I will look for and find the biggest glass in the house, fill it to the top with McCallan Scotch and take it to bed, where I will ponder tomorrow, which, as the cliché goes, is naturally going to be the first day of the rest of my life.
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