Tuesday, January 17, 2012

On This Famous Day

Years ago, and I’d be talking donkeys years ago, on one of those horribly dark January mornings that everyone dreads; up in the maternity ward of St. Michael’s hospital, a shrill piercing scream competed with the fog horn on the Dun-Laoghaire pier. It was the 11th morning of January, a Monday, and out I screamed, disappointing the world with my gender, my jaundice and a strong pair of lungs. The mother couldn’t handle any of this, so I was dispatched to the granny who looked after me until I could scowl properly, whence I was returned to the mother.
So every year, on the 11th of January, I mark that day by eating cake and generally celebrating the fact that I was born on my birthday.
So this year I looked up Wikipedia to see what sort of famous things happened on my birthday other than me being born. Turns out, all they can come up with for my actual day and year of birth is some damn Dutch darts player who shares my birthday. How the hell could a Dutch darts player be more important than I am, so much more important that he’s up there in Wikipedia and I aint?
Roland Scholten, who the hell has ever heard of Roland Scholten? And to make it worse, the famous person a year before that on my birthday is some snooker player, Dean Reynolds. It’s not fair. Whenever I see those postcards in shops with famous things and people from the 11th of January, they are always vague and boring.
Why didn’t my mother have me on the due date of 8th of January, then I could have shared a birthday with David Bowie and Elvis Presley, and that would have inspired me so much that I’d now be a famous singer.
Etna Erupts - Nothing Spectacular?
Well at least something important did happen on the 11th.  In the year 630, Mohammad led an army of 10,000 to conquer Mecca. I suppose that’s more important than  David Bowie being born in Brixton to an Irish mother called Peggy Burns, but not in my world of whose brilliant it’s not. And even though Bowie is 18 years older than me, given that I was christened Margaret, and am Irish, I sometimes wish that the mother hadn’t decided to take me back after the initial shock, because than I could fantasize that I’m actually Bowie’s half sister or even his daughter, and that they came over to Ireland to have the baby and then went back to Brixton to forget about the whole thing. So instead, I just imagine that famous adopted people are actually my other siblings who the mother couldn’t handle, like Steve Jobs and Debbie Harry. But what my mother was doing having babies in America from the age of 15 is beyond me. But you just never know…
Well there were other things going on on the 11th of January. Mount Etna erupted in 1693 ( I vaguely remember that one) and more importantly, just a few hundred years later, Romania reincorporated Transylvania in 1919 and in 1935, Amelia Earhart became the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California (women drivers and all that , she couldn’t get anyone to go with her, I suppose).
So the bottom line is this: I was born on a day that nothing amazing ever happened, so for that reason I need to become really famous and successful and well known so that the birthday card people will have something to write on their cards and key rings and other yokes that they sell in those gimmicky card shops.
I think I might take up darts, or snooker or go on a mission to Mecca on my own in an airplane…

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