December is my birthday month. As I have been around these here internets for a few years, I've signed into various forums boards and community sites and created accounts on several retailers' sites. A lot of places, mostly to be nice, will send me birthday greetings and electronic well wishes on my birthday.
Not so, however, with a few places. I wasn't born until the waning days of the month, but that didn't stop Best Buy from sending me birthday greetings on December 1st. To celebrate my birthday, Best Buy invited me to shop at their store, to buy a little something for myself to reward myself for the hard work of living another year. No special offers. No special deals. No coupons. No sales. Just come into our store and spend your money on you. It's your birthday (eventually)! Why wouldn't you?
Now, that's quite a concept. I had never thought of indulging myself in an hedonistic, electronic manner! Why, I can feel the warmth of your birthday greetings glowing all the way through my screen, Best Buy. That's really kind of you to think of me and to invite me to shop at your store where I will give you my hard-earned cash for some shitty gadget that you will naturally want me to buy seven other gadgets for, not to mention the extended warranty on these things. This is how it always goes with Best Buy, and usually gets played out something like this:
I just wanted a box of batteries. Really? For $50, we can insure those batteries. Will they never run out of electricity? No, they'll run out, about an hour after you put them into the device. Will you replace them? No, you'll have to buy all new. You can insure those for another $50, or you could go ahead and insure these AND those for the low price of $125. What say you?
Fuck off, Best Buy.
The other entity that decided to send me birthday greetings, because it's my birthday month, was my alma mater. Not Notre Dame. This was from my undergrad, St. Joseph's. And, well, I could almost feel the warmth and love that the nourishing mother was trying to spread as she enfolded me within her loving arms with this dandy of a birthday card:
*sigh* Really? This is where my donations go? Not to scholarship, not to improving facilities, not to building new dorms, not to raising the professors' pay or to buy books for the library. The money goes to design and draw a shitty cartoon puma with slapped-on clip-art balloons and mixed font text. And what the hell is he leaning on? Invisibul fyrplace mantel? Is his tail made of reinforced steel, and that's propping him up? I guess with the way his right hand is held, his feet could have gotten tangled when he tried to escape after someone caught him masturbating.
Whatever the story, this card and picture are truly awful. Way to step into 1995, St. Joe. This horrific rendering of an anthropomorphic puma truly embodies the ideals of Catholic education proclaimed by the college.
Here, St. Joe, because it's my birthday month, I'll help you out, and for free even. Next year, send something that looks like this:
It's a rather lovely tableau, one of the most recognizable aspects of the college, and it's quite fetching with the snow cover and the frozen fountain. For spring birthdays, send one with the trees in flower. For summer, the trees can be leafed out, the sky blue, the grass green. For the fall birthdays, send a picture with the trees in full autumnal regalia. You can even move the camera around so that you can capture the chapel at different angles. Just don't send anymore of this cartoon puma shit, okay?
If that doesn't strike your fancy, just send us old Calvin and Hobbes cartoons.
Hat tip to Sully for the Calvin and Hobbes idea.