BIRTHDAYS REQUIRE 
GOOD TIMING

   When I am King, one of my first acts will be to outlaw sexual intercourse during the month of March.
   That may sound harsh, but it is for the common good, and that's what being a good King is all about. I can think of no other way to protect future generations from having December birthdays.
   My wife has a December birthday, and I've had about enough of it. It's coming up next week, and every year it's the same thing. I think and think and think about what to get her and if I'm lucky, I'll come up with something that makes her relatively grateful.
   Next thing you know, it's Christmas Eve and I've got to go through the whole process again. I'll have just given her a nice present, and now she'll expect another one? How much brainpower can any man have? I need more time to recharge.
   December birthdays are just plain difficult. My parents were wise enough to have me conceived in September, giving me a birthday of June 21st, almost exactly six months removed from Christmas. Now that's planning.
   Meanwhile, my wife's father just couldn't wait a few months. He died a few years ago, but after I struggled with December gift ideas for the zillionth time, I distinctly remember calling him at his home in Canada before he died and explaining my gift-giving problem to him.
   Then I asked him the obvious question: "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?"
   I remember him pausing, perhaps trying to remember those glorious times back in the 1950's. Finally, with a slight chuckle, he gave me the predictable answer: "Not much."
   He knew they celebrated Christmas in Canada. He basically had no excuse. He had simply gone braindead on that March day long, long ago.
   As a man, I could understand. That's why I told him to hand the phone to my wife's mother. Surely, she would have had some sense of responsibility. I repeated my predicament to her.
   "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?" I asked.
She giggled as she remembered. "Not much," she replied.
   They clearly had no regrets, even though they had to spend many years doubling up on toy purchases in December as my wife was growing up. But between Barbie outfits and fire trucks, they had plenty to choose from.
   I don't have that luxury. My wife is much more picky than she was as a 10 year old. Trying to find something she'll appreciate is not easy. Trying to do it twice in one month is pretty much impossible.
   No one deserves presents two weeks in a row. It's just not right. I'll think of something, but I'm not happy about it.
   Needless to say, it's not easy for the recipient, either. It's only natural that those with December birthdays get shortchanged at some point in their lives. They have to compete with Christmas parties, New Year's Eve, and most importantly, they have to deal with unimaginative gift givers like myself.
   All December birthdays are tough, but some are even worse. I know they're out there, but I don't think I've ever met anyone who was born on Christmas Day. I can only imagine how traumatic that would be. I'm sure there's a way to put a positive spin on it, though. I certainly wish them luck.
   It may be too late for them, but there's hope for the future. You read it here first. When I become King, I am outlawing sexual intercourse in March and perhaps the first 10 days of April, just to be safe.
   As a benevolent King, I will consider making exceptions for certain religions who don't celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah. I'll just create another blackout month for their respective celebrations. No one said being King was going to be easy.
   Future generations will hail me as a visionary. Past generations, and especially those poor lost souls with December birthdays, will mourn that I wasn't King when their parents negligently conceived them.
   To be fair, I'm not the first to suggest that parents practice better planning when conceiving a child. My inspiration was a local sports columnist. In a 1985 column, in all seriousness (unlike this column), he chastised Joe and Jennifer Montana for having the distraction of a baby due in late January, right when the 49ers were preparing to play in the Super Bowl.
   He was fired shortly thereafter. Obviously, he should have praised them for avoiding a December birthday.
 

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