Tick Tick Tick

If you had something absolutely critical you needed to tell me while I was still 39, now is the time to say it.

84 Comments on “Tick Tick Tick”

  1. Yeah – watch out when the rollover hits. You may or may not feel anything, but trust me, it’s never gonna be the same again.

  2. (P.S. – that doesn’t necessarily mean bad stuff. Plus, happy birthday!)

  3. Once you pass 40 you won’t be able to remember how old you are without thinking about it. That bit of data refuses to stay in your head.

    Whenever I’m asked I have to think about it, hmmm 67 to 09, 42, no wait, 41, I’ll be 42 in September…

    Happy Birthday, I hope Athena makes you a cake.

  4. Yes. I have some critical information for you:

    Ignore the blinking crystal. Do not report to the Carousel. You will not Renew.

  5. Why, yes: Here’s wishing you a

    Happy XL B-Day John SCALVIII!11!!one!

    And many score more…

  6. Ignore Marko, of course you will Renew … not. Everything starts to fall apart after forty. It happens slowly, oh so slowly, but it happens. Until some friendly nanotechnologist comes along… hopefully.


    I am so glad you reminded me; I would have forgotten to send this (VITAL) message!

  8. Well now that you’re joining the club, we can let you in on a secret. Every birthday up to #40 inspires the thought, “Ooh, look how mature I’m getting”. From #40 on, it becomes, “Damn, I’ gettin’ old.” (“Where did I leave my hip?” kicks in at different ages for different people.)

    P.S. Don’t be alarmed if someone with a shotgun confronts you in the near future. He just wants to teach you the secret handshake.

    (Happy Birthday.)

  9. Being 40 ain’t so bad. The first couple of days were heavy but I got over it.

  10. Hey, wait: So last weekend…you were A Pirate.Looking At Forty. >If desired, insert Buffett snark here<. (Sorry about that. Hope it doesn’t cause an earwig. That would be unfortunate.) Happy birthday.

  11. The next person who tells you “forty is the new twenty”? Punch them in the mouth. I can’t do it, I’d lose my license.

  12. One , Happy Almost Birthday, two, I will be forty later this year as well so I will know through you how that is, and three, this came from a friend that once you reach forty you are more likely to die of old age now than anything else. And P.S. as I have always thought why try to say you are not as old as you are, it does not make you stop aging so get over it and get a life.

  13. Well, most of this is in the handbook you’ll get in the mail, but off the top of my head:

    Rosebud wasn’t a sled
    Professional wrestling is real. Pro football is fake
    Atlantis is nice enough but doesn’t live up to its reputation
    The capital of Ohio is Zanesville

    See you at the meetings.


    Well don’t, actually – you’re getting to the point where you can’t handle too much fat :p

    Anyways, happy birthday man

  15. As someone who just turned 40 apparently the key thing to remember once you’re 40 is “Don’t trust anyone under 40”

    (Oh and eat bacon)

  16. Don’t watch All in the Family once you hit 40. My wife and I made that mistake. Turns out Archie and Edith were supposed to be 43 or 44. We discovered this after we saw the episode where they go to their 25th high school reunion. Talk about feeling old. That was a very depressing and confusing day for us.

    Oh, yeah, Happy B-day!

  17. Remember that you’re ALMOST TEN YEARS younger than Xopher, who still maintains his boyish charm…albeit not in the boyish body any more.

    You are leaving a cool number age (39 == 3 * 13) for one less cool, but more easily divisible.

    Now begins the time when you will appear to be increasingly patient to those under 25. This is an illusion; what’s really going on is that time passes faster and faster for you, so waiting, say, a year for something to happen isn’t such a hardship any more.

    Practice shaking a cane in the air and yelling “you kids get offa my lawn!” Just holding the cane up is surprisingly athletic.

    When actually walking with a cane, remember that it goes on the OPPOSITE side from the bad leg (House does it wrong) and goes forward at the SAME time as the bad leg. Knowing this will save you lots and lots of pain when your joints start failing. Had I known this before my hip corroded, I’d’ve suffered much less.

  18. Happy Birthday John!!
    I turned 51 on April 10th. Just think, they say that 50 is the new 40, so 40 is the new 30!!! I hope your wife does something really special for you on your birthday. You are a lucky man!!!
    I hope you are having a great time at the book festival this weekend. I’m still recovering from Jazzfest from last weekend.

  19. Forty is when you begin to realize there’s a significant disconnect between what you *think* you can do and what you actually *can* do. I’m just sayin’.

  20. It’s just a number. Seriously.
    One of my cousins said to me just before my 40th – the 50s are SO much more fun; just wait until you get there!

    Happy pre-Birthday

  21. You’re not turning 40, you’re turning 28.

    In hex, but you just leave that part out.

    Doesn’t work so well past 41, though. Telling people, “I’m twenty-B” makes you sound too much the geek.

  22. Gah! Sorry about the double partial pre post. Don’t know how that happened…??? Hour glass just popped up. I ignored it and kept typing. Then that. sigh.

  23. I’ve resorted to telling people I’m 2, as in two score.

    Enjoy your last day in the 18-39 demographic — from this poiont forward, you will no longer be the target audience for anything except old-people products.

    Happy birthday, Scalzi!

  24. Happy B-day and here’s a birthday wish from the sentient: PLEASE, OH PLEASE be a better consultant for the new Stargate than whomever J.J. Abrams did not listen to for the new Star Trek movie. That’s the very first movie of my life that I wish I had never seen (out of? who knows? thousands). It’s got something for everyone to hate: all people who are the least bit literate in science, all previous Star Trek fans, all fans of science fiction. Oh, where are the Men in Black when you really need one.
    Oh, happy b-day again, but I just HAD to get that out, whew. You can now return to your regularly scheduled program.

  25. P.S. Don’t be alarmed if someone with a shotgun confronts you in the near future.

    Nathan, are you talking about me again? I only use that shotgun for moose, I swear… and the velociraptors.

    Welcome to the heartburn decade, Scalzi. All the stupid shit you did yourself over the years? Yeah, this is the decade when the bill comes due.

    But, you know, Happy Birthday. ;)

  26. I suggest you just *stay* 39, no matter what the calendar says. Jack Benny was right — it is so much easier to be 39. Really. I’ve gone back to it, myself.

  27. As a wise man once said, “Its not one damn thing after another, its every damn thing all at once.” I wish I could remember WHO.

    Welcome to the Twilight Zone: hypertension, porous bones, diabetes, strokes, heart disease, dementia, Alzheimers. All that and depression, too, no extra charge! Woo hoo!

    Tomorrow is not the first day of the rest of your life, it is, in fact, the last day of the first of your life. Not the beginning of the end, but certainly the end of the beginning.

    This message is brought to you by the number 55, as a public service announcement.

  28. You know those Animal Style fries you adore? Trans-40 you’ll discover that the human digestive system begins to rebel against things like onions. And beans.

    You’ll eventually find yourself in an aisle of Walgreens surveying types of antacids. And a few years later, you’ll be reading labels of Beano.

    And you thought degrading telomeres was degrading.

    Dr. Phil

  29. John, you’re gonna ROCK 40 and make it look good. With your fantastic wife and daughter (and cats), and the awesome work you get to do, what’s not to love about life right now?! Happy almost birthday, dude.

  30. Alisha has been wondering what to get a successful SCI FI author for his birthday – and has decided on a multitude of home-baked goodies.

    You were complaining about being thin and scrawny, right?

  31. You’ve still got a couple of years before that old man smell kicks in. But dude, frequent scrubbings will be your buddy by 43.

    And I’m not saying that because I just turned 43.

  32. My first thought when I read this was: the wrong person is drunk at the moment. Then I remembered that you don’t drink, which can only mean that my first thought was incorrect and my present state is subsequently justified (by itself in that I am not the wrong person).

    Oh to hell with it, have a good birthday and remember that you’ll be 280 in dog years (by the old rule of thumb), which means you would be a deity in the canine kingdom…

    if you were a dog.

    Alas, you are a man, but, on a happier note, not a minor one… It’s not the years. It’s what you’ve done with them.

  33. As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters always point the other way.

  34. Well, I suppose the only critical thing would be “Happy Birthday, Dude.” Of course, this just proves I’m also a sheep… or maybe an alpaca. A mildly aggravated alpaca.


  35. If the choosing of fleece-able herd animals is mandatory, I choose the Vicuña.

  36. The Obin are coming! The Obin are coming!

    And they’re bringing delicious birthday bacon cake.

    Happy birthday!

  37. If you had something absolutely critical you needed to tell me while I was still 39, now is the time to say it.

    i, It’s not gas; you really are getting fatter.

    ii, Yes, teenagers and twenty-somethings really are that annoying; you just didn’t notice it before.

    iii, What we may lack in stamina, we can make up for in guile and good cunnilingis skills.

  38. Hey Cool! Next year, you have a Prime Number birthday – prime numbers are the absolute best! And after midnight, you only have a year to wait!

  39. Happy Happy Birthday, don’t sweat 40, as males we’re genetically redundant after about 17 anyway.

  40. My advice…watch more Sesame Street. It’ll always make you smile and you, like me, are old enough to get the pop cultural references.

    Happy Birthday :-)

  41. Repeat to yourself..

    it’s just a number. that’s it. just a number.

    Happy Birthday!

  42. Time to start donating to the practical nanotech research fund. Right now. If they hurry…

  43. The “under” and “over” crowds are both wrong. The proper quote is, “Don’t trust anybody who is *exactly* forty.”

    Now I’ll just wait over here for another hour and a half to start watching you. I WILL be watching you.

  44. Um… um…the pen of my aunt is in the garden! The rise of the urban proletariat! Don’t cut the red wire!

    I suck under pressure.

    Have a happy birthday! Don’t eat strange combinations on whim. No pickle juice, hear?

  45. But pickle juice is delicious, Mac! Almost as delicious as the pickles themselves. Admittedly drinking a jarful of pickle brine gives you a terrible bellyache, but it is so worth it.

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