"Oh!" said Greg. "Oh, well, that's nice of you. But nothing, really. Maybe a card if you'd like to do one."
Brigid frowned. "That's no good. You've got to want something for your birthday."
"There's nothing I want in terms of stuff," Greg said. "Really, all I want is ... well ... I want people to get into the lane they want in traffic and then stay there. I want for people to stop muttering under their breath and then being annoyed at me when I can't make out what they're saying. I want the people working at counters to stop getting my order wrong and then acting like I'm a jerk for not ordering what they served me. I want that guy in Nigeria to stop asking me to help get his funds out of the bank. I want people to stop asking my opinion when what they really want is for me to guess the option they'd already chosen and tell them what a good choice it is. I want the Demidupes and the Publioobs to stop shrieking hysterically about the other. I want people to sit down, shut up, and chill the heck out for a while."
"Yeah?" said Brigid. "I want a pony."
Greg clicked his tongue and headed for the hallway. "Right, well, I think I'd better lie down. Tell Ozymandias that if he wants to come in and sleep on my head, he's welcome."
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