Tuesday, April 20, 2004


So, I have by and large rather embarrassingly forgotten everyone's birthday while I've been in the UK. Well, not parents or sister, but everyone else.

So someone mentioned a free web service where once registered you can e-mail your friends and get them to enter their birthdays for you. The website then sends you a reminder three days in advance so you can get your act together in time. Efficient, if slightly impersonal.

I was embarrassed enough to sign up to one of these things, send out four invite e-mails and then promptly forget the whole project.

Until yesterday morning, when I got this e-mail:

Happy Birthday.com Reminder:

Don't forget, it's Vladimir Illyich Lenin's birthday on 4/22!

Gift Suggestions:

Singing Birthday Cards
Imagine their surprise when they hear Happy Birthday being sung to them, and a personalized message from you being spoken by one of our narrators!!

How about tickets to a concert or a sporting event?
Get Front Row Seats - Click here

Does he like gadgets? Get 10% off all gadgets now!
Buy Gadgets here

Thanks again for using HappyBirthday.com!

Your friends at HappyBirthday.com

I imagine that not only old Vlad, but I too, would be pretty surprised if I managed to send him a singing birthday card.

Though it would earn serious cred, I'd imagine, to get front row seats for an opening night event with old Vlad in tow: "Yup, the tickets are on me you old embalmed, commie dog, you. Birthday treat! My your knees do look a little stiff there, don't they? Here, let me just prop you at an angle with your head on the back of the chair and you feet in that lady's handbag."

I have no idea, however, if he was into gadgets. Though a rotating bow-tie with lights could have livened up proceedings at the Congress of People's Deputies no end.

All I can say is, guys ... thanks for taking my cross-continental pain, anguish and confusion so seriously. And don't believe that I don't know who you are ... or at least that I can't narrow it to a choice of two.

(Which from a field of four, I would admit, shows no great deductive skill ... )

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