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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Card Scarred

(What’s new in the land of science? Or Secondhand SCIENCE, anyway?

Why, it’s Yersinia pestis, of course. That may sound like a contestant on an episode of Armenian Idol, but no. Click on over and find out more.)

This evening, I spent approximately three months in a drug store, looking for a birthday card. Maybe longer. I may have had a birthday or two myself while I was in there. I don’t remember it being quite this hard.

“It’s my mom’s birthday next week, so it’s not like picking up any old ‘Bappy Hirthday’ knockoff for a work colleague or mailman or parole officer.”

To be fair, I need a somewhat specific card. It’s my mom’s birthday next week, so it’s not like picking up any old “Bappy Hirthday” knockoff for a work colleague or mailman or parole officer. It’s got to be a quality card — but it also has to be reasonably close to something I might actually say.

(Also, it was going to be at least a mild surprise. But considering my mother and a handful of Googlebots are the only ones reading this nonsense, I guess the cat’s out of the bag now. Ma, you’ve got a birthday coming up. I’m getting you a card. Try to look surprised.)

It’s the “something I might actually say” part where the whole enterprise goes to hell. I started my search in the “FOR MOM” section of the card aisle, where I was confronted with a solid wall of pastel flowers, line-drawn toddlers and scripty fonts normally only seen in the title lines of funeral announcements. One of the cards started with:

What Is a Mother?

Oh, I know what a mother is. Trying to find a stupid normal card — that’s a mother, apparently.

So I slid over to the birthday section of the “hip” cards. That was… different.

I thought the “FOR HER” cards might work. But no. The first one I picked up said:

HEY GURL — YOUR BIRTHDAY IS ON FLEEK! HOLLA!

I don’t know what most of those words mean. I suspect my mother doesn’t, either. Is it Norwegian? Does it involve a pinata? The card might have had a pinata. I don’t know.

Clearly, I was in over my head. I took one last stab in the generic birthday section. I picked up a card with a simple balloon on the front and the start of a poem:

It’s your birthday and another year
Has passed you by, but never fear;
I know you’ll keep the party classy…

I opened it. Inside:

Til the cake and booze make you gassy.

So basically, I’m giving my mother a fortune cookie for her birthday. Whatever the hell it says inside, it can’t be any worse than the shit Hallmark has left for me. Happy birthday, ma.

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Highlights
Me on Film 'n' Stage:
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Me on Science (silly):
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Favorite Posts:
30 Facts: Alton Brown
A Commute Dreary
A Hallmark Moment
Blue's Clues Explained
Eight Your 5-Hole?
El Classo de Espanol
Good News for Goofballs
Grammar, Charlie-Style
Grammar, Revisitated
How I Feel About Hippos
How I Feel About Pinatas
How I Feel About Pirates
Life Is Like...
Life Is Also Like...
Smartass 101
Twelve Simple Rules
Unreal Reality Shows
V-Day for Dummies
Wheel of Misfortune
Zolton, Interview Demon

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  04/30/05: Goodfellaz
  04/09/05: Com. Studio
  01/28/05: Com. Studio
  12/11/04: Emerald Isle
  09/06/04: Connection

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