There’s this convenience store down an unassuming hallway in the Thompson Center downtown, and strung across the entrance in red letters is the phrase, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY EVERYONE!” This cracks me up every time I walk by it.
What is this guy trying to say? Have a great day, everyone? Or is he shooting for that “even a stuck clock is right twice a day” thing, but with a calendar? “One day I’ll catch a lady on her birthday, and then it’s like, boom! Slam dunk. She’ll think, ‘How did he know???’ and I’ll shoot her this confident nod and then sell her cigarettes or whatever. Here are your cigarettes, Future Wife.”
This made me realize that I rarely see “happy birthday” messages for groups of people. Maybe your work buys a cake for all the January birthdays in January, but even then, that’s a short list, and there’s some logic to it. (Logically, there are too many of you for the company to care about individually.) But happy birthday EVERYONE? That almost sounds mean-spirited. “Fucking whatever. Happy birthday everyone. Who cares. Everything is bullshit. I hope your cake is made of poison shit.”
But this sign looks so amateurish, so naive that it’s probably the work of some clerk with good intentions and a poor grasp of English and I’ll be damned if that isn’t just adorable.