Baby, you’re a star

I was driving around running errands last night, pretty much tuning out the commercials as they came on the radio when the absurdity of something being advertised struck me like, well, like a falling star.

The radio commercial was advertising the ultimate romantic Valentine’s Day gift: for just $54 you can name a star after your beloved. Not that this is new, this idea has been around for some time and the ads pop-up this time of year on schedule along with the ones for beauty spa gift certificates. (Nothing shows your lady how lovely you think she is like giving her an all-day pass to a beauty spa. Why not just get her a pair of pants and say, “I thought you’d like these because they won’t make you look fat.”)

Back to the star thing. $54? For what? I mean, what exactly is the company delivering here? Just like those pork belly futures you bought, a star is never actually going to show up on your front porch (though if either should happen, run!). So what we’re talking about here is a certificate, some flowery language and a nice envelope. Dang, I know I can do that for my readers, and it would only cost you, oh, about $34.95. Sure, they throw in a “star map” and directions for finding “your” star but even Peter Pan can do that and besides, how are you really going to know? It’s not as if you’re ever going to be able to drive by and look at it, or use it as collateral on a loan.

Oh sure, they tell you your star is registered with the International Star Registry, but don’t you kind of question the jurisdiction of something that’s merely “international”? Wouldn’t you feel better if it was the “Galaxy-wide Star Registry”? Furthermore, that’s just darn right presumptous. How do we know they have legal title? What if some operation on another planet has already claimed that particular star? Are you going to have to go to court on Betelgeuse to resolve your claim?

Look, if you want to offer her some grand, intangible gesture then just tell her you had her name tattoed directly on your heart, rather than over it. If she doesn’t believe you, give her a certificate.

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