OK, so my birthday is coming this Tuesday.
In previous years, I wouldn't mention it this early, but the advent of Facebook means that I'll soon be inundated with birthday greetings on my wall. Lest I speak over the head of you non-Facebookers who are reading this, a "wall greeting" is a simple instant message you leave on another person's account for all the world to see. These wall messages always increase exponentially around one's birthday, as Facebook lets you know when your friends' birthdays are coming.
The challenge I embrace when leaving a birthday greeting on someone's wall is to flee from the ordinary. If I see it's someone's birthday, I want to let them know that I've actually thought about them and didn't mindlessly drop a simple "Happy Birthday" on their wall. Seriously, what does this prove? I guess it shows that 1) I check my Facebook account too often and 2) I like you enough to click three times and type 13 letters.
I've been thinking about this for awhile now and I don't want your plain old birthday greeting on my birthday. Don't get me wrong: I appreciate that you're thinking about me but I'll be disappointed if you settle for being a lemming.* My birthday wish this year is that you stretch yourself and perhaps improve your Facebook skills in the process.
So the important news about my birthday? For my birthday, you need to give me a haiku.
You know what a haiku is, right? Basically, it's a small poem that does not have to keep meter. The traditional Japanese haiku 5-7-5 layout is syllable-based and has a few other rules. I don't need all those other rules to be followed. Just adapt to the English arrangement which is defined as:
Use of three (or fewer) lines of 17 or fewer syllables
Here are some generic examples I found on the interwebs:
Steady spring rain -- A tree takes shape At dawn
There is a small mouse, He lives in a windy mill, He is so happy.
You see, it's not hard. And you don't need to do it perfectly. Just give it a chance and show us your creativity. Write a little birthday haiku [it doesn't even need to be about me] and post it on my Facebook wall. And you non-Facebookers can participate by leaving a comment here on my blog. At the end of my birthday, I will pick my favorite haiku and give that person my sincere respect and the honor of my Facebook status for the following day.
This might sound like a conceited request, and it might very well be. But if you're really going to take the time to write me a birthday wish, make it original.
That's all I want. Get to work.
*In case you never knew this, the myth that lemmings follow the pack aimlessly off cliffs was concocted by the Walt Disney Company. The documentary crew flung those critters off a cliff to make it look better for TV. Makes what happened to Bambi's mom seem less diabolicle, huh?