Greetings to you on what is an important religious holiday celebrated by millions of faithful worshippers. I refer, of course, to Buddha’s birthday, which is generally celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar, but is just observed on April 8 in Japan, where they don’t hold any truck with that lunar calendar nonsense. (It’s called the land of the rising sun for a reason, after all.)
It’s also my birthday. I hope you all got your Petermas shopping done. I’ve been anticipating this birthday for a long time. The last one I looked forward to as much was my twenty-eighth, when I could officially say I’d outlived Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and a heavenly host of other rock gods. Now, at 34, I’ve outlived the Son of God himself. As John Lennon once said, I’m now bigger than Jesus. Well, I’m older and quite likely fatter, anyway.
Other notables who died at 33 include Bon Scott and John Belushi. Interestingly, each has in common that he was succeeded by a guy who essentially built a career on being an acceptable substitute, the former by Brian Johnson, the latter by his brother Jim, who eagerly donned a pair of sunglasses and a skinny tie and hopped over the corpse of Jake Blues to join Dan Aykroyd onstage. One gets the idea that if Jesus and the disciples had been a rock band, his brother James would have wasted no time in taking over lead singer duties following the crucifixion.
Anyway, now that I’ve reached this milestone, the next step is to avoid getting hit by any more streetcars in the coming year so I can hit 35 and outlive the likes of Jeffrey Dahmer, Dana Plato, and professional wrestler Yokozuna. Stay tuned to see if I make it!
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