Monday, December 10, 2007

Witz Pickz: Holiday Gifts (Part 1 in the Series)

Let me say, right now, on the....seventh day of Chanukkah, that I do not want to receive a star registered in my name.

I heard the commercials on the radio for International Star Registry (I'm not sure how that differs from National Star Registry-- I mean, they're stars right? So, if I register it nationally, does that mean that some dude in Russia might have his national rights to that star as well? Does International registry trump all previous national registries or do they break down like those little bits of shares of stocks that somebody confused me with years ago? And more so, what's the problem here? I mean, other than the fact that my star might actually be named Witz-Yeltsin-Schmitt-VonDerling-Osaki who's ever gonna know? Might I be travelling the world some time, drinking at a bar and hear some drunken broken English coming from a corner saying, "Star coordinate 56 87 43 93 51 a/z...zat's my star..." and then I have to call him out and go, "No! That's MY star!" Clearly I don't think that would happen and clearly I have no idea how star coordinates work.) and immediately thought, "Now there's something I don't ever want. Ever." Other than the fact that it's completely useless and self-absorbed, the odds of ever knowing or seeing your star are literally a million to one or more. Then, assuming you somehow find your star, when you point and say to someone, "See that star, it's named after me," they will have no actual way to react to that besides, "Really? Where? Oh, cool..." and that's it. There's no more conversation there. The next part is, "how'd that happen" and then, "International star registry" and then, "I don't ever want to receive a star registered in my name." End of conversational topic.

So logically, I looked at the website to see how their service works. First of all so I could talk more informed about it, but also because I wanted to know how much these things cost. And the reason for that is because it occurs to me that this could make a great prank. The idea that you could spend some money and have an entire packet with information and star coordinates sent to someone saying, "The star 'Matt Hates Black People' resides at coordinates...." makes me warm inside. At you'll find all sorts of information, but we want the packages. You can choose from the "custom" which is star talk for "cheap" package, or the "deluxe" which in my experience comes with bacon on it, or you can get the "ultimate" package which runs a stout $139 + shipping and handling, so you're better off leaving the star at will call or the bill might add up. All packages come with a certificate (sweeeet), and get this, "a booklet on astronomy written by a professional astronomer with additional sky charts." Now, to me, that means that the book was not written by a professional astronomer. Anytime somebody is giving me a book or booklet about assumption is that it is by a professional astronomer and nto just some guy dabbling on his roof with a laptop. Apparently, as star registry blatantly hints, I should be more careful. This means I can finally start my jewelry company I've always wanted called "Diamonds by Witz." Then I can sell whatever I feel like until the courts force me to change the name to "Fake Diamonds by Witz."

Anyway, the cheapest package is only $54 which is actually pretty fair since you will be attaching a name to a star internationally, "forever," but I have a problem with the claim of "...a gift that will last a lifetime." I'm not saying I'm going to live a really long time, but if I bought a star registry for a newborn baby (i.e. "Tova Hates Black People") who knows which will be around longer? If the baby lives to be 100, that star could be long gone. This is the problem with stars-- those effers pop off all the time. They blow up and disappear and we don't know about it for a while. So who's to say that my star isn't already gone and the light's gonna wink out at a moment's notice? They assume I will either lose interest, assume it's cloudy, or not know which star is mine, but if I am diligent and attentive, my star just might not exist anymore. I bet this is a huuuge issue in the star registry world. I bet people get hired and fired over shit like that.

As far as I can see, the only difference between packages is the quality of the certificate you receive, and that on the higher end packages you get little wallet cards with the star name and coordinates on it-- which is kind of a must. I mean, the opportunity that affords you at bars, parties, weddings, funerals, Safeway, Bob's Stores, Borders, concerts, hiking trips, whale watches, etc. is too much to pass up. Imagine the pickup lines you could create with that sucker. I'm not gonna list any, but you can bet at least one was a killer penis size joke.

So please, no star registry for me-- although stars might be the last frontier for us to claim and name, they are also the least interesting, most forgettable, most indistinguishable in all the deepest meanings of the word, gifts. Save them for pranks, and shutting your kids up and giving them false hope by wishing upon. After all, you can always just SAY that a star is named after you, and nobody will really know the difference.

Now that you know what I don't want, I'll be posting a series of cool and interesting gifts for this holiday season all week long, so keep checking back.

"Gimme All Your Supermarios,"


JKow said...

$54?!? siriously?

JKow said...

"Comment moderation"? Siriously?

so, wait: does this mean no more "insightful" anti-James slurs from everyone's friend anonymous?

Anonymous said...

And, to quote an article in Wired:

"'The star names sold by the International Star Registry are not recognized by any professional astronomical organization'...The International Astronomical Union is the only scientific body authorized to name astronomical bodies."