No, Neil, my L.A. neighbor, my inspiration 30 miles south on the 405. When the lovely Sophia told me of her plan to gather your readers in an orgy of commerce to celebrate your birthday, I said, "F**k that noise; Neil, our most generous patron of page hits via his extensive linking, must be honored in the way that suits him and his famous member best: bloggy-style!"
But Sophia, I quickly realized, is indeed a force to be reckoned with. Plus, I get the idea she likes presents. I mean, I know you wouldn't put all those conservative titles on your own commie-left-wing Amazon WishList. So the Gift Bonanza was on, although Sophia graciously if reluctantly gave her blessing for this, the First (and, unless someone else does it next year, the last) Carnival of Neilochka!!!
For awhile, I thought we might have to name this "The Carnival of Neilochka's Penis". Neil's penis has inspired many a blog post. And while Finn reminds us that when it COMES to Neil a talking penis is just the TIP of the iceberg, I still smell a penis, out to steal the limelight!
Friends! This is shameful! Citizen Neil is more than his member only: he is a man of depth as well as breadth (not to mention length and girth). And, as his friend (and pre-birthday host) Danny Miller of Jew Eat Yet? points out, Neilochka has the deep, dark secrets that accompany such depth.
And if it weren't for Our Citizen of the Interwebs and his brilliant sense of humor, where would poor Nancy French be? Stuck out there in Deliverance territory with nothing but an old Annie Hall DVD to stave off her pizza-free gloom, that's where!
Besides, given Citizen Neil's growing popularity, it may be time for him to broaden his horizons. Via TherapyDoc, Headline WSJ: Neil runs for President of the United States, Wins Handily. (Direct Quote: "My mother told me to be nice to people and you know? She was right! It's SO key!")
And Nance over at Dept. of Nance, clever and intrepid journalist that she is, actually traveled forward in time to grab an exclusive interview with Neil-of-the-Future, the famous self-help book writer, for USA Today! Take that, Carnival of the Mundane!
I think Neil owes a huge popularity to his way with the ladies. If I could divine his method and bottle it, I could retire a multi-billionaire tomorrow! Seriously, folks, Neilochka has all sorts of lady-fans from all over the world who wanted to wish him well on his special day, like Breann of Firefighters Daughter; Tara of Paris Parfait; FitÃ¨na of C'est la Vie!; Miriam, of Miriam's Ideas (keeping it real with what looks like an original, if unauthenticated, Hugh MacLeod).
More than anything, something about Neilochka seems to bring out the poet in people.
Befitting her unofficial title as Poet Laureate of Neal Nation, Pearl has composed a second poem for Neil on his Name Day, set to the tune of The Brady Bunch theme song, so you can sing along! Hopefully, Neil will at some point share Pearl's other opus when he's done hanging with the hippies in Mendocino or making his estranged wife, Sophia, take baths without water.
Not to be outdone, Jane Doe of By the Way... also penned an Ode to Neil. That infamous hussy, Two Roads, combines two, two, two songs in one to note this auspicious occasion. Wendy, of Quiet About a Lot of Things, added a picture and a promise to her poem. And Roberta, of Roberta's Voice, has a whole category devoted to Odes to People on their Birthdays.
Even a carnival is not all fun. It takes effort, and planning! (That may be the understatement of the Citizen of the Month.) Better Safe Than Sorry of Shake It Like a Polaroid Picture fretted over what to give the Man and His Penis Who Have Everything, before arriving at the perfect solution.
"Legend", huh? So that's what the kids are calling it these days...
UPDATE: Since this was all done under cover of darkness with a blind captain at the helm (wait...that would mean I was competent, scratch that), a few tributes did not make it to the post in time for publication, i.e., me scrambling to figure out at 8:03am why this did not autopost at 2:51am. (So much for my super-spy tactics.)
Ariel, one of Neil's legions of fans from Across the Pond, weighs in with her well wishes and a typical British "howdy-do" at the end, on from fuck-up to fab!
Jill (aka Introspectre) finally pulls out of her "migraine" long enough to post an excellent birthday poem to Neil. (Warning: this post is safe, but the rest of Introspectre is an adults-only website.)