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Tomorrow will be my 200th birthday. It’s quite an achievement but, these days it’s not that big a deal. No one dies of “natural causes” like old age anymore. At least not if they can afford it. All the biological problems that plagued humanity since its inception have been solved. Still, 200 years is pretty cool and I expect the family is planning a celebration of some sort. I hear them whispering among themselves followed by an awkward silence when I enter the room. They’re up to something. I could easily jack up my artificial hearing implant and eavesdrop but I’d rather let them plan their little party in private. When the time comes, I’ll act all surprised.
I expect there will be cake. There’s always an excuse for cake. Some customs never die. Still, the whole candle thing is on hold. Putting 200 candles on anything is both dangerous and extreme. For oldsters like me it’s one candle per century—so two candles it is. Two candles is not all that unheard of. It won’t be long before the early birds will have three candles.
What gets me a little nauseous is hearing Happy Birthday sung for the umpteenth time. I wish they would either cut it out entirely or find something else to sing. After a time birthdays lose their significance and you wish they would just go away. Thanks to advances in transplants, medicine and micronics, the human life span has no upper limit. It all depends on how long you want to keep going. A few more happy birthdays and I might want to cash it in.
While birthdays have become less and less important, there is still one rite of passage that is worth celebrating—Phylum day. That’s the day when your artificial body parts outnumber your biological ones. When that happens, technically, you are no longer human. You enter a different phylum, you are a cyborg: Homo cybourgian. Now that’s a celebration I don’t want to miss. It’s a genuine milestone in a man’s life. At the rate I’ve been going, my Phylum-day won’t be too far off.
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