Monday, September 01, 2014

Labor Day


Some of the more astute (and long-suffering) among you may recognize this as a (partial) rerun. A week or so ago, I rewrote it a bit and tried submitting it to a couple of newspapers (no names, but they rhyme with Gerald and Chimes) for inclusion on their pages today. Alas, neither bought it. Since you, however, give me much more than money (unconditional love; forgiveness for writing about softball; the occasional fruitcake) I now foist it once more upon you. Have a great holiday!


Let's hear it for Labor Day, the only holiday specifically created as an excuse to do nothing!

I hear someone saying, "Oh, yeah, wise guy? You don't have to do anything on New Years Day!" Hangovers, my friend. The only reason New Years Day is a holiday is because most everyone gets wasted the night before. You can't expect much the next day except to have them lay on the couch like slugs watching a procession of formerly somewhat important bowl games that now mean nothing at all.

Next on the calendar is Martin Luther King day. Nice guy, but it's also 24 hours of history lessons. Then you get President's Day. This used to be Washington's Birthday, and in some places you also got Lincoln's Birthday off, but now you get a combined day honoring Harding, Taft, Clinton and whichever bozo we elect in 2016. Lots of car shopping, for some damn reason, so let's move on.

Saint Patrick's Day. This is one of those days that isn't really a holiday because you don't get the day off - unless you hold certain government jobs in this state, in which case they call it "Evacuation Day" and you get the day off to admire everyone else going to work wearing something green.

Then comes Memorial Day, which is one of two days specifically set aside to honor folks who served in war. The other is Veterans Day. Veterans Day started out as Armistice Day, a remembrance of peace at the end of World War I. Of course, in those days they didn't number their wars; they just called it The Great War because they didn't expect their children to be stupid enough to have another one. After World War II, folks realized the calendar was likely to get awfully crowded if we took a day off to celebrate the end of every war to end all wars, so it became Veterans Day. For some folks, it is the day you trade off at work so you can have the Friday after Thanksgiving instead.

July 4th! Fireworks! Parades! Speeches! Concerts! Way too busy to even be considered!

Although I'm really fond of Columbus Day - honoring someone utterly mistaken concerning his destination - it has become so politicized in recent years that it doesn't lend itself to total relaxation. Later in the month you get Halloween, nominally for kids but also an excuse for adults to wear silly costumes and drink copiously (which is what most holidays eventually devolve into, by the way.)

Thanksgiving. Eat gigantic amounts of food and watch the Detroit Lions embarrass themselves nationally (as opposed to locally, which they do the rest of the year.) Thanksgiving is followed by Friday After Thanksgiving, which doesn't really have an official name. I've been proposing "Leftovers Day" for some time now. Thus far, nobody with any clout has listened to me (which is probably the very reason they have clout.)

Finally, we get to December. Religious holidays abound. While fun, the weeks beforehand require more work than any other holidays - shopping, wrapping, cursing - and take so much out of you, both mentally and physically, that the day or two you get off don't even come close to giving you enough rest and that's why you get blotto on New Years Eve.

So, let us be thankful for Labor Day. Or not, if that seems like too much work.

[So far as I can tell, the image was free at  http://www.laborday-pictures.com/ , but if it turns out I'm mistaken, I may end up doing hard labor...]

Soon, with more better stuff.