Happy Mirthday


by Allen Klein

For the past three years, every time it was my birthday, I have been out of town either because I was attending a conference or presenting one of my own humor programs. This past year, I was once again not pleased to have to spend my birthday in an unfamiliar city with a group of strangers who had no inkling that it was a special time for me. So I decided to change all that. Before I left town, I was determined to create an outrageously fun birthday for myself in spite of the fact that I was far from home.

The first thing I did was to let everyone I came in contact with at the conference I was attending know that it was my birthday. Then I told them that I wanted a hug from each of them. I not only got hugs throughout the day but throughout the conference as well.

Later on in the day, in a crowded elevator, I announced my birthday and asked twelve total strangers to sing "Happy Birthday" as I exited. What a wonderfully funny sight seeing an elevator filled with adults singing "Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you..." as the doors were closing.

Next, I bought some flowers for myself. After I selected a stem of lilies, I asked the florist if she had a birthday card to include with my selection. She handed me one and then noticing how much time and thought I was taking in writing the card she asked, "Oh, are you buying these for someone special." 'Yes," I said. "Me." She looked puzzled and then laughed as I wrote,'"To Allen. Happy Birthday. I love you." And then I signed my name.

What I noticed throughout the day was that everyone I told that it was my birthday, from the hassled hotel desk clerk who gave me a bud vase for my flowers to the convenience store clerk who looked like she hadn't smiled in years, not only willingly participated in my off-beat requests but, without an exception, immediately smiled, became friendly and a most willing participant to help me celebrate my special day.

Then it struck me-- I had just discovered "The Mirthday Phenomenon." Tell someone it's your birthday, whether it actually is or not, and suddenly they cheer up.

So, the next time you are down when out of town (or even in town for that matter) tell someone (or everyone) it's your birthday (even if it isn't)-- and you'll create a Happy Mirthday too.

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