I mentioned yesterday that I had three birthdays at the first of this month, so tonight I went out to buy cards. I usually go to Hallmark because they have my same sense of humor. Their Shoebox cards are hilarious.

But tonight I was lazy and stopped at a close-by department store. I read card after card and came to a couple of conclusions about a certain card company’s humor: (1) they believe with all their hearts that if the word “fart” is on the card anywhere, it’s funny. There were pigs, cows, and goats passing gas, old women, men, and newborn babies passing gas, and gassy humor about standing too close to a lit birthday cake. I love a good gassy joke more than the next person, but some of these were too juvenile even for me. I just can’t picture a pig holding a long match and talking to a cow about her recent explosion. Sure, cows are known for passing a tremendous amount of methane gas, which scientists believe contributes to global warming because of the millions of cattle on the planet eating grass all day long. With four stomachs that turn grass into gas, each cow is an assembly line for noxious, flammable emissions.

But that is neither here nor there, nor funny either, in my book. Blatant fart jokes don’t appeal to me. What kind of person am I going to give a birthday card to that has an old woman farting and saying, “Hope your birthday is a gas?” The saying went out with Elvis to begin with, and I can tell you that none of my girlfriends, nieces, nephews, in-laws or anyone else would appreciate getting such a card. On the other hand, Hallmark did an amusing spin on this subject that I’ve given to a couple of people. It has two cartoon snakes on the front of the card, and one snake says to the other, “Pull my finger.” Now that’s funny. I’m laughing out loud right now.

This is so funny because it’s subtle – Hallmark assumes everyone who has been a kid in the USA knows what “pull my finger” means. My brother used to ask me to pull his finger all the time. I did it once, and we all know what happened. I was a quick study, and every time after that I said, “NO!” but he never gave up. From about age 5 to 23, I bet I heard that line 80 million times. For that matter, I still hear it.

The other thing that is so funny about that card is, (1) snakes don’t have a finger, and (2) I never knew them to be in the family of gas producers. If you had two bulldogs or pugs on the card, I don’t think it would be as funny. Everyone knows that these breeds would rather pass gas than eat or sleep or scratch or breathe. This is why I like Hallmark cards, they appeal to a little classier consumer, like me, who can appreciate the subtleties of bodily functions and present them in a tasteful way.

Hallmark had another card that I bought for a girlfriend who always gives me mean cards. She’s such a witch. I hate even opening them. She picks out these sweet cards with little flowers and nice sayings, and then you open them and they have some spiteful comment about how old you are. She throws her head back and laughs like a lunatic, then passes it around to everyone so they can laugh at me on my birthday and make me feel horrible. Just kidding, I’ve grown to like the cards now that I know I’m going to be slapped in the face when I open them. So I’m giving this one to her. On the cover it’s got that cartoon old lady, Justine, who says, “You’re not getting old…” and you open it up and it says, “Hell, you were old last year.” Touché!!!!

The other thing I didn’t like about those supermarket cards was their predictability. On one it had a cartoon drawing of a pretty cake and said, “I was going to give you a cake for your birthday…” and then you open it up and, SURPRISE, there’s an empty cake plate with some crumbs and a comment like, “but it was chocolate. Oh well, happy birthday.”0 I can guarantee you that any card starting out with, “I was going to….” will have a “but” on the inside with some lame excuse why you will only get a card and not the thoughtful item mentioned on the front. This simply highlights the person’s cheap, inconsiderate nature. I’ve gotten a couple of these kinds of cards, and you know who they’re always from? Some cheap, inconsiderate bastard who freeloads off of you whenever s/he can and wouldn’t think of being generous for even one day of the year.

Finally there was a card with a sexy guy’s belly in low jeans whipping up some whipped cream on a table about the height of his you know what. Splatters of whipped cream were on his jeans and tanned six-pack. The caption was something about licking it off. I guess this would be humorous to give to a single girl, but it was just so crass I can’t think of any of my single friends I’d give it too. Who wants to lick whipped cream off of blue jeans? Besides, if that idiot was whipping cream in my kitchen and splattering it all over the place, I’d give him a lickin’ all right. I’d scream like a banshee and hand him a sponge and stand over him until he cleaned it all up, then I’d make him take a shower and wash that sticky mess off. But that’s just me.

I finally purchased three of the least offensive cards I could find, but next time I go by Hallmark, I’m going to stock up again so I don’t have to wade through so many tacky cards.  And no, I’m not being paid to say this by Hallmark, but if you’re listening, Mr. Hallmark, send me a card – and please enclose cash.