Every year, on April 21st, I receive a text message from Vodafone España (my mobile operator) that reads as follows:
VF Publi: Hoy, dia nacional de Reino Unido, date de Alta GRATIS en Mi Pais marcando *189# y llama por 18 cent/min ese dia (20,88 IVA inc).+info:www.vodafone.es
Now, I’ll leave out any criticism of a deal that costs me 18 cents a minute to call the UK (“€20,88 included”).
What first amused me about this piece of text-spam was the bit about the UK having a ‘national day’. At first, I thought they must have sent the message a couple of days early and were wrongly assuming that they could get away with calling St. George’s day ‘the UK’s national day’. But no… the truth is that they made an even bigger mistake: Vodafone thinks that the Queen’s birthday (she was born on April 21st 1926) is some sort of national fiesta that we all celebrate and that I’d probably want to call my mum to wish her “Happy Queen’s birthday, Mum!”.
Yes, silly Vodafone.
Or rather, silly Tom. Because after some deep investigation (well, putting ‘Queen’s Birthday’ into Wikipedia), I divined that the Queen’s “official birthday” actually is Britain’s national day. It’s just that no-one told us about it. The official birthday happens one Saturday in June (no one knows when), and so is never made a public holiday.
So, silly United Kingdom for having a Queen who has two birthdays. And silly me for not knowing we had a national day to sullenly ignore. And silly Vodafone for sending me their spam on the wrong birthday. Idiots.