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It was my birthday last Saturday

Posted: February 20th, 2004, by John Coburn

I’m now 24. I’m pretty sure I’m not the oldest blogger on here (Chris Haikney is 46), but by god, I think that’s rather old. 24 is closer to 30 than 17. A terrifying statistic, I’m sure you’ll agree. Being born on February 14th, aka Valentine’s day, I’ve always been able to deceptively brag about the number of cards I receive on that particular day.

(man who just thinks it’s Valentine’s Day and not my birthday)

“So then, John. Get any cards this year?”


“Yes, I got 23. And 14 of them contained cash”.

Some of those who know me have said this joke is tired and is well past it’s use-by-date. But y’know, every year I love getting the chance to say it and I’ve always found it funny (between the ages of 14-19, I might have used this line 5 or 6 times every birthday). And in a small kind of way, it makes me feel like a better man. But for the first birthday in a long time, I opted not to play the guaranteed top trump of a gag this year. Not because I no longer found it funny (it’s still funny), but because I only received 6 fucking cards. That’s awful! I’m aware that relatives and friends and aunties who aren’t really your aunties feel less compelled to send you a birthday card as you get older, but honestly, 6 cards is a really poor show! Some might say it’s the end of an era. I feel ‘comedy’, as a genre, is poorer because of it.

This next month will be fun. For the next week and a half I will be out and about with my band Paper Cut Out, playing some rock music for any interested parties. Glasgow, Manchester, Norwich, Brighton, London, Nottingham, Leeds, Belfast, Dublin, Newcastle, starting on the 21st (tonight!) and finishing on the 3rd of March, for those really wanting to know. So if you’re coming along, please say hello, buy my a drink, and maybe stick around for the bands? It’ll be great, I know it. Then on the 9th of March we’ve got the consistently tremendous Newcastle half-dayer 9×9 (No-Fi promote this- lots of innovation and rocking. Everybody come along), I know I’ll like that. Then it’s All Tomorrow’s Parties- I’m fearful the week I’m going (week one) is looking decidely inferior to the second! But who cares, everyone will still have a really good time, I’m sure of that. And then…at the very end of the month, my contract at work will hopefully be renewed! If not, March can only be remembered as a truly shit month.

John Coburn

John is an enigma of a mystery wrapped in a question. Stalking the Northern streets by night, he collects compliments like a true professional, his hair combed neatly into the finest cut this side of David Bowie circa 1967. Hurrah, hurrah and thrice hurrah for this giant of words. John's interests include racing pigeons, counting votes and collecting toy cars.

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