Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Please Don't Buy Me A Star

I beg of you.  Okay.  We've just limped through the major gift giving holidays and my birthday is months away so the likelihood of anyone giving me anything exists only in my imagination but just in case you do decide to surprise me with some sort of gift please don't make it my very own star.
Driving home this evening I heard advertised on the radio the invitation to give the perfect gift -- a star named after and belonging to the person of your choice.  No price was mentioned but I'm thinking that if you have to ask the price you already can't afford the star.
Here are my concerns and why I truly don't want anyone to give me a star.
First, is it really possible to sell something that you don't own?  Isn't that sort of behavior the stuff of which prison sentences are made?  Okay.  Perhaps it might be argued that no one owns the stars but does that uncertain area really make it all right to sell and give?
In the second place, if we can see a star isn't it already dead?  I don't know much about astronomy and perhaps some of our learned NASA/JPL readers can provide more information on this dead star visibility stuff but really, if I'm right, would it seriously be okay to give as a gift a dead star?  That would be kind of like giving someone the gift of your dead cat.  I mean, come on.  We've had two dead cats during the past several months and we didn't try to give either of them away as a gift.
Thirdly, is there anyone actually buying stars to either give as gifts or, against the wisdom of the radio ad, keep as personal possessions?  If there are then I fear the end of all rational though is upon us.
Oh, wait.  Rational thought already ended.
Whatever your opinion of this star buying thing, you won't catch me buying one.  I don't have any money left.  Several years ago I bought the  Brooklyn Bridge.  It was really expensive and I couldn't afford it but I've never regretted the purchase because as proof of ownership I got, in addition to the actual bridge, a t-shirt with a bridge photograph.
But stars?  Come on.  Really.

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