It’s Stan’s birthday, and here’s how to celebrate.

Everybody! Join in! Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday to me!

Yup. Another one has come and gone, and this year we did something interesting. For the past year or two, in most restaurants, whether we ate a $10 coupon special or dined in a better steakhouse, we found comment cards that asked for opinions along with my e-mail address and date of my birth. About two weeks before that special day I started receiving coupons for desserts, drinks, pretzels at the mall, and even complete meals.

We began the day with a wonderful breakfast compliments of Denny’s and finished the day with an outstanding $46 Rodizio at Texas De Brazil. The manager there said that this was the company’s way of thanking me for past patronage along with insuring that I will continue to be a customer.

He was right. We will be there again next week with several friends paying full price.

And there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that my friends will be filling out those comment cards.

• • •

In a recent Letter to the Editor, a reader stated that I must have been collecting Social Security for more than 20 years. Just as he was incorrect in his disagreement with me, he was so wrong in his statement. Sir, it’s not even half that amount. This was birthday number 73. You do the math and then think of me the next time you see one of those comment cards.

• • •

I know that some of us do not like FOX News. That’s OK. There are more of us that do. Here’s the proof. The top-10 news shows on cable television aree:

10. “Politics Nation” with Al Sharpton, MSNBC

9. “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC

8. “The Rachel Maddow Show,” MSNBC

7. “Hardball” with Chris Matthews, MSNBC

6. “The Ed Show” with Ed Schultz, MSNBC

5. “On The Record with Greta VanSusteren,” Fox News

4. “The Fox Report” with Shepard Smith, Fox News

3. Special Report with Bret Baier, Fox News

2. “Hannity” with Sean Hannity, Fox News

1. “The O’Reilly Factor” with Bill O’Reilly, Fox News

Note that the top five shows are all on FOX. None of the others even broke a million and Mr. Bill is still number one. FOX is on top in spite of what Ellen Barkin spewed while being interviewed by Joy Behar. By the way, you can see that Ms. Behar didn’t even make the roll.

There’s another FOX show, “The Five”, which is catching on. I predict that in a couple of months it will make the list. Watch it once and you will see why.

• • •

And speaking of the number five — the results of a Rasmussen survey of one thousand likely U.S. voters conducted on Nov. 16 tells us that 69 percent of those asked believe that the federal government does not have the authority to force us to buy health insurance. Sounds good to me, but it is not up to any of those who participated in the poll. The magic number is five. It will take five judges on the Supreme Court to make that decision for all of us.

• • •

Tempus Fugit. It was 23 ago this week that I sat down at an old typewriter and created my first column for this newspaper. On that very same day, my colleague and great friend, Shavana Abruzzo, became employed here. Many others have come and gone but we’re still hanging on. We must be doing something right. I am StanGershbein@Bellsouth.net raising my glass high to wish my dear friend a Happy Anniversary. Here’s to a whole lot more.

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