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Happy Birthday, Who Are You Again? -- Writer's Poke #106

For Writers:

It was my first week on the job as Dean, and I was attending a state conference for college Deans and Academic Vice Presidents. I had made the mistake of mentioning to my Vice President that it was my birthday, and he quickly made his way over to the Vice Chancellor with the news.

Before she began her talk that morning, she announced that the system had a new dean starting out, and that it was his birthday. She requested that they all sing me Happy Birthday, and so 200 complete strangers belted out Happy Birthday at 8 a.m. in the morning.

I wasn't embarrassed by that, but I couldn't take much joy in it, either, as these people were total strangers to me. Somehow, it would have meant more to me had it been 200 of my closest friends. Instead it was just 200 strangers singing not for me, but at the request of the Vice Chancellor.

Has anyone (or a group of people) ever sang Happy Birthday to you in a public setting? How did you react?

"Why is a birthday cake the only food you can blow on and spit on and everybody rushes to get a piece?" -- Bobby Kelton


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