Friday, September 01, 2006

Labor Day

Keeping with my recent slothful trend, here is another reprint. However, I don't feel too bad about putting this one out here for a couple of reasons:

1 - The subject matter fits.

2 - It's so old, many of you might never have seen it before. It's also so old that, if you're a forgetful old fart like me, you might have forgotten about reading it before even if you did.

Just one disclaimer: Whereas previously the reference to USC vs. Oklahoma was about history, let's pretend that it's a prediction instead. That way, if it happens again, I can get another column out of this by bragging about it.


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

Oh, sure, there are those other days throughout the year when you don't have to go to work, but they all require at least a grudging acknowledgement of somebody or some thing; a few minutes of prayer, a hurried history lesson, a gluttonous feast. Labor Day asks only that you revel in sloth (which is my second-favorite deadly sin.)

I hear someone saying, "Oh, yeah, wise guy? What about New Years Day? You don't have to do a damned thing on New Years Day!" It troubles me that I'm still hearing the voices, but I'll answer that question. Hangovers. The only reason New Years Day is a holiday is because you couldn't get diddly-squat out of the work force after New Years Eve anyway. Everyone gets stinky drunk and stays up until at least 2 am the night before. You can't expect much else from folks the next day except to lay on the couch like slugs watching Oklahoma get their asses handed to them by USC.

Next up on the calendar is Martin Luther King day. Nice guy, but you get history lessons all day. Next!

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 day honoring Harding, Taft, Clinton, and whichever bozo we elect in 2008. There are some mighty fine deals on cars, though.

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 work for the state government in Massachusetts, in which case they call it Evacuation Day and you get the day off to try and figure out what the hell that means. However, most folks recognize Saint Patrick's as a special day. This is because they see the Irish getting looped and beating the bejeebers out of each other. They figure that if they'll do that to themselves, what will they do to me if I don't wear something green?

Memorial Day. One of two days on the calendar specifically set aside to honor those folks who served in war. The other is Veterans Day. Veterans Day started out as Armistice Day, and was created as a remembrance of the day that peace was declared at the end of World War One. Of course, in those days they didn't have to number their wars; they just called it The Great War, because they didn't expect the world to be stupid enough to have another one. After World War Two, they realized that the calendar might get too full of holidays if we took a day off to celebrate the end of every war, so they changed it to Veterans Day. For some folks, myself included, Veterans Day is the day you trade off at work so that you can have the Friday after Thanksgiving.

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

Columbus Day. Nice little holiday to honor the man who thought he was going to Asia, but ended up here. Although I really like the idea of a holiday to honor those who become famous by mistake, this has become way too politicized to totally relax about. Let's move on.

Halloween. See Saint Patrick's Day, but exchange "children" for "Irish", "sugar addled" for "loopy", and "give 'em some candy" for "wear something green". Actually, in recent years this has become more of an excuse for adults to wear silly costumes and drink copiously, which is what most holidays eventually devolve into.

Thanksgiving. Eat gigantic amounts of food and flop down into an easy chair to watch the Detroit Lions embarrass themselves nationally, as opposed to locally like the rest of the year. Followed by Friday After Thanksgiving, which doesn't really have an official name. I propose National You Thought I Gorged Myself Yesterday Wait Until You See What I Do To The Leftovers Day.

Finally, we get to December. Religious holidays abound which, while fun and all, do require you to go someplace and mumble stuff at the very least. Anyway, the weeks beforehand certainly require more work from you than you do for any other holidays - shopping, wrapping, cursing - and take so much out of you, both mentally and physically, the day or two you get off don't come near to resting you up enough to make up for it, which is why you get bleepfaced on New Years Eve.

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

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