‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Friday, August 8, 2008


Shannon called yesterday and said it was a shame one couldn't sell one's birthday on eBay. Which is silly, because of course you can sell your birthday on eBay. Except that you should think about it in advance or you will be selling it for cheap.

For instance, if your birthday falls on 8/8/08, as mine auspiciously does, it would probably get the highest bid from someone in Asia. And by the time we (she) thought of it, I'm afraid it was getting on toward tomorrow in the east.

I know it would draw the highest bid in the east because once a woman from China nearly gave me heart failure when she checked my passport at JFK. She looked at it and gasped. And looked at me. And nodded. And smiled knowingly. And I was just sure she wasn't going to let me go on vacation. Then she said "8/8, very auspicious!" and gave me back my passport.

She said the number 8 had something to do with wealth. I didn't think much about it at the time as I was quite clearly not wealthy and she was quite clearly WRONG. But now I'm curious, so I look it up on Wikipedia and....

Oh dear, now I'm truly sad I didn't move on this:

Because of the supposed auspiciousness of certain numbers, some people will often choose, attempt to obtain, or pay large sums for numbers that are considered to be lucky for their phone numbers, street addresses, residence floor (in a multi-story building), driver's license number, vehicle license plate number, bank account number, etc.
and specifically:

The word for "eight" (八,捌) in Chinese (Pinyin: bā) sounds similar to the word which means "prosper" or "wealth" ( - short for "发财", Pinyin: fā). In regional dialects the words for "eight" and "fortune" are also similar, eg Cantonese "baat" and "faat".

There is also a resemblance between two digits, "88", and the shuang xi ('double joy'), a popular decorative design composed of two stylized characters 喜 (xi, 'joy', 'happiness').

Telephone number 8888-8888 was sold for USD$270,723 in Chengdu, China.

A man in Hangzhou offered to sell his license plate reading A88888 for 1.12 million yuan.[2]

Phooey. I could have used 1.12 million yuan.

And I have to say, although I never wanted a tattoo (okay well there was that one time but I got over it) I would be tempted by this "double happiness" thingy. If I had that on me somewhere I would never forget my own birthday. Handy.

Maybe I will make it my profile picture. There. Just like a tattoo. A tattoo for sissies.

Which reminds me, it's my birthday.

It's my birthday!

That is why I'm sitting on the couch at 3am, waiting for the cards, cake and shiny trinkets to come rolling in. Hello shiny trinkets, I'm here!

In lieu of shiny trinkets, what I would really love is for you to say hello. From time to time it occurs to me that there may be someone besides my mother reading Trout Towers (either that or mom is posing as random strangers).

Are you reading? Will you say hello?

Happy auspicious day. May 1.12 million yuan appear in your coffee cup.


Anonymous said...

Hello! Happy Birthday! Are you still waiting for your birthday goodies? They are sure to come....I found your blog a while back-and sat up reading it-and was hooked. Yes-I have a life-but sometimes it slows way down-well, often it does. My favorite topic is anything about the chickens, of course. Or your trips here and there. Or that you let your house just be-why are so many people chained to obsessive cleaning and organizing? I guess I always feel better after I have done it and can find things again-but forget that feeling soon enough. I could relate to yesterdays post....one year on Christmas Eve when we had a group over, my son put it on the TV-and mind you, the real thing was burning just a few feet away-in the fireplace. I guess August and December are close enough. I like numbers. And special days. So have a special 8/8/08! You have a following!


Lesha said...

Hi there! I hope you have a great birthday with many many shiny trinkets (and maybe a few elastic waistbands)!


Fred said...

I used to have (who am I kidding - I almost certainly still have it SOMEWHERE) a one-sided flexi-single that was called something like "A special birthday song for Freddy" ... I still remember the first couple of verses, which I am modifying today in honor of our 8/8/08 birthday girl:
Hey Susan, it's your birthday
I'm in charge of the stars
and I'm here to say,
"Hey Susan, you're the big star today"

My name is Zoom
and I live on the moon
But I came here to earth
Just to sing you this tune
Hey Susan, it's your birthday today!

Wow ... I just found this site, which has the whole thing (and will prompt you for your name so you get your own special version) ... I actually got all but one or two words right!

Happy Birthday, Susan!

Mary Alice said...

Happy Birthday...whether auspicious or not, it is certainly a great day because it IS your birthday. Hope it is fantastic and filled with your favorite sweet treat.

Sturdy Girl said...

Happy Birthday! I mean, Hello! Helpful hint: Turn your birthdays into birthweeks and you can take a more leisurely approach to gift anticipation.

My b-day lasted 2 weeks once. It was awesome!

8/8/08 - very lucky!

PS I read Trout Towers every day - I don't always comment but I always enjoy

thefoodsnob said...

Happy Birthday! I heard it was a lucky date, even before the Olympics.

I don't have a tattoo either, and I'm convinced now that given the number of them out there I am different for NOT having one.

(And no, I am not your mother.)


Bella said...

Susan, this is your mother. The number doesn't matter. It is a wonderful day because of you.

no really, all these eights ARE pretty cool. sorry i forgot to send your shiny trinkets but i kept thinking i would show up on your doorstep before now. and you know shiny trinkets are just distractions that could cause you to miss something amazing that is happening today so i guess it's better i do it another day.

i'll have the little peanuts sing to your machine later.


Ha-Hoo said...

"I look it up on wikipedia" This double happy auspicious Asian persona is really taking over.
next year my birthday will be 999 - crazy

Ambley said...

Here I was, all proud that I woke up this morning, grabbed the paper, saw the (auspicious) date, and KNEW that it's your birthday. Now everyone can help me celebrate, which is good, given that I'm nowhere near your vicinity, as you know.

Happy Birthday! I think of you always on this day, which makes it auspicious for me too. :)

May Studley not pee on your floor, may Chris bathe you in gifts of chocolate and magic, and may Lucy continue to be the wonder that she is.

tess said...

happy birthday :)

Lisa said...

Best wishes for a most wonderful birthday, Susan. I am reading and enjoy these glimpses into your life. Thanks so much for sharing it!
I don't think you need the trinkets - your life is so shiny already -

Don't give in to the tattoo urge - you don't need to change a thing.


JAbel said...

Susan,Happy Birthday! and I hope you didn't 8 to much Cake.How you'd get those Chinese symbols into your post?

Susan said...

wow! Thanks everybody!

Sophie - goodie laden, sugar-buzzed and ready for bed, thank you very much.

lesha - I'm going to need that elastic after all the cake.

fred - I do love it when you sing to me!

mary alice - oh I'm glad you're still coming by! I'm hooked on yours.

Sturdy - I always love your advice and this is some of your finest. Also, are you marrying fatso? None of my business, which is why I'm asking.

Food Snob - we were just talking about that! My mom used that line with pierced ears. It didn't work.

bella - sing, peanuts, sing! Also I have a belated trinket for you. But don't hold your breath because I'm pretty unreliable.

ha-hoo - 999? That rocks. (bows back).

ambley - it boggles my mind that you remember my birthday! Also shames me as I am the worst birthday friend ever.

tess - !!! Well hello there!

Lisa - I checked your profile bc I seem to collect Lisas and wasn't sure which one was writing. I also collect Virgos but that's a different thing altogether. Thanks for popping in and for your kind words. I think life is pretty darn shiny, too! I like your blog.

jabel - drew them on my monitor, of course! and I have to say, sweetpea and knuckle sandwich are my most favorite names ever.

Chris made fun of me for begging for comments, but it was pretty darn fun. Thank you for humoring me. I'm glad to know you all are out there (and I do mean Out There).