Monday, September 06, 2010

Labor Day




Keeping in the true spirit of this holiday, here's a reprint. I trot it out of the mothballs pretty much every year around this time to do it's semi-humorous little dance. I believe this is it's fifth appearance.

(I know "it's", with the apostrophe, is generally incorrect when referring to something inanimate, but I figure this post has been resurrected enough times to qualify as a life form.)

(By the way, I know, from what I promised in my last non-reprint posting, some of you might have been expecting something completely different. You'll get it soon, but, as alluded to above, I've taken to heart the "let's not do any work" part of this holiday.)

Be that as it may - and, if it isn't now, I bet it might have been during one or two of the previous times I published this - here's...

LABOR DAY

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 acknowledgment of somebody or some thing; saying prayers, listening to speeches, the preparation of 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 the 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. 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 for them to lay on the couch like slugs watching Oklahoma get their asses handed to them by Florida/Boise State/West Virginia/The Little Sisters Of The Poor.

Next up on the calendar is Martin Luther King day. Nice guy, but you get history lessons for 24 hours. Next!

President's Day. This used to be Washington's Birthday, and in some places you also got Lincoln's Birthday off, too, but now you get a combined day honoring Harding, Taft, Clinton, Obama, and whichever bozo we elect in 2012. There are some mighty fine deals on cars, but that's not enough to make up for the gratuitousness.

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 time off to try and figure out just what in 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 someone else if that person isn't wearing green? So they do.

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 that day when 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 their children 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 to end all wars, 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! Parades! Speeches! Concerts! Way too busy to even be considered!

Columbus Day. Nice little holiday honoring a man who thought he was going to India, but who ended up here instead. Although I really like the idea of a holiday honoring someone who became famous via the expedient of being utterly mistaken, the day has become way too politicized in recent years 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, by the way.)

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, 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 "National Shitloads Of Leftovers Day" for some time now. Thus far, nobody with any clout has listened to my suggestion (which is probably the very reason they have clout. However, I digress.)

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 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 come anywhere near to enough of a rest to make up for what came before, which is why you get shitfaced on New Years Eve.

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


48 comments:

lime said...

a little over 5 decades ago my MIL got very confused about the meaning of this holiday and she wound up going into labor on labor day. silly girl.

oh, and if you want to celebrate oct 12 without it being politicized you could always substitue my birthday for columbus day. :)

Sandra Ree said...

Now that our school system here starts way before September, Labor Day is celebrated as a much needed break from school! (at least in the eyes of my children it was and is)

As a child I remember Labor Day as a frenzy holiday getting all the school supplies before school swung back into full force and trying to talk the parents in taking that last "mini" vacation!

Frank Baron said...

Wonderful post as always, but ahem.. it's LaboUr day (Silly Amurikans)! ;)

Suldog said...

Lime - OK. From now on, October 12th will officially be "Lime Day" in my house. I will celebrate by filling my bathtub with Key Limes (peeled) and then diving in naked. The combined citric acid will eat my skin and I'll die. Of course, if I could dive into a bathtub filled with YOU (peeled) that probably wouldn't happen. Alas, we are both previously engaged (as well as married - and both happily, I believe) so I guess I'll just have to die.

SR - I still think it is terribly wrong to send kids back to school at any point prior to the day after Labor Day. If I was a kid, I wouldn't go. And, the way my marks were, it wouldn't have mattered, either.

Frank - Now, see, here's the problem with that. By adding that extra "U" to the word "labor" ("labour") every time you spell it, you cost yourself 1/1000 of a second and .000000002634 of an amp. Also, if writing it out, you use up approximately 0.000000000000000003% of the ink in your pen.

This may not seem like much, but when an entire country is doing that, day in and day out, well, all you have to do is look at Moosejaw, for goodness' sakes.

mlh said...

Sorry, no holiday stories from me when it comes to Labor Day. I usually forget this day exists until I go down to the mailbox and discover the letter carrier never arrived. I plan on just laying back in my undies eating leftovers and watching dirty movies all weekend.

Actually, it seems I do the same thing for every holiday...

Suldog said...

MLH - Dirty movies? Undies? Leftovers? What's your address?

John-Michael said...

Each visit with your thoughts provides a 'Holiday' from the all-too-usual clap-trap of life. so, I celebrate YOU. That's a fact! (and I can decorate [or not] at will)

Love ya, Jim, my SulDog Friend.

Suldog said...

John-Michael - Don't you know that you're supposed to leave a comment that I can then answer with a snide/funny/moronic/altogether inappropriate rejoinder? All I can do with this one is say, "Thank you, my friend!"

Geez.

John-Michael said...

[HUGE GRIN]

Having screwed up the placement of parenthesis on my comment ... (and knowing the Sacred place that parenthesis hold in that strange world that is your mind) ... I deleted my first attempt ... and made respectful corrections as you were responding. TAG!

Suldog said...

And, now... Useless story time!

John-Michael posted his comment. I answered. Then I saw that John-Michael had deleted his comment, so I deleted mine. Then he re-posted his comment, and I re-posted my answer.

I don't know why John-Michael removed his comment the first time, but I know why he put it back. He saw my answer to his comment and, not wanting to ruin my silly answer, he put his original comment back up, even though he no doubt wanted to do something to it, otherwise why would he have removed it in the first place?

(Some of this is supposition on my part, of course, but I think I'm correct. In any case, John-Michael is a true sweetheart, and he cares about feelings, and I just thought it should be acknowledged, even if my supposition is way off.)

Suldog said...

And now, John-Michael has posted another comment that basically makes my supposition look silly. But, he's still a lovely guy!

mlh said...

Now, Suldog. There is no possible way you would get here in time for the holidays, and I'm not sure I have enough leftovers: sausage and sauerkraut, meatloaf, chicken breasts, pasta. Oh! A piece of cuban sandwich.

Besides, I just discovered that I need to do laundry. So it looks as if I'll be going "la natural" this weekend. I'm glad I live in a rural area. I'm all for having "buff days" until I can get the clothes out on the line.

Anyway, what would YOUR WIFE think about this?

Suldog said...

MLH - Sounds like plenty to me. I'll run down to Popeye's for some chicken if we run out. And, Au Naturel?!? Even better!!!

As for MY WIFE, yes, she would probably be upset at first. However, after she found out what a pleasure it would be to not have a nut like me underfoot all the time, she'd probably thank you.

Buck said...

...watching Oklahoma get their asses handed to them by USC/Boise State/West Virginia/The Little Sisters Of The Poor.

Thanks for this! I have a friend who's a rabid OU fan (a redundant expression, if there EVER was one) and I plan to work this into the conversation... somehow, somewhere... before football season is over. You da MAN!

Chuck said...

That's quite the buff family on that stamp. Rather far from the actual average American family, I'm afraid...but hey, I'm willing to do nothing as long as possible on Labor Day, assuming I'm not driving inland due to an approaching hurricane.

Jeni said...

You sure do put a really interesting spin to the reasons for all the various holidays and how best to observe them too. However, one item -a correction, if you will -the Friday after Thanksgiving is a holiday now too, of sorts. "Black Friday!" In my opinion, it should be called National Obsessive Compulsive Shopper's Day -or at least where my older daughter is concerned, that is what that day is.
And feel free to take any of the awards I've given you, or any you see on my sidebar too that might have caught your eye or are appealing in any way shape or form, and berate them to your heart's content on your sidebar too!

Janet said...

The Mountain Man's birthday is August 31. Occasionally, like this year, that means his birthday weekend is more fun. We like days off. And we tend not to bother with some of the more rigorous trappings. Although as you know I have been known to dress up in silly costumes and drink copiously on Halloween. Alas, all I have now is the silly and not the copiously. Pass the chocolate.

Sarah said...

Ooh, I can't stand that dang Columbus! Having to celebrate his stupid day would be so much easier if we had a day off from work!

p.s. i tagged you for a meme! don't you feel honored?!?!

Shammickite said...

You spelling is all cockeyed.. it's LABOUR DAY!

Shammickite said...

uhoh Frank already told you....

Miss Understood said...

Grrrrr. Why don't we have one of those. Not fair.

Oh, actually, we have Bank Holiday Monday. What am I complaining for?
*slipping out quietly*

Hilary said...

Oops! Confession time...

That third comment up there.. the one where Frank's smiling face is looking at you while he corrects your Amurikan spelling in such a neighboUrly way? That was actually me. I was commenting from Frank's place and didn't realize that he'd signed me out, and himself in. I never would have noticed had you not commented as you did on his blog, so I'm just as glad you got a laugh out of the deal. ;)

CrazyCath said...

Whilst I don't even understand half of the holidays, I understand their meaning and I am with you on this one. Each holiday has something tied up in it. Alas, no Labour (Labor) day for us. So no day for us to enjoy sloth.
Unless you count August Bank Holiday Monday. A true day of sloth. ;0)

Chucka Stone Designs said...

Is it the kids or adults beating the bejesus out of each other on Halloween? Companies that are open on Labor Day are evil and have no soul.

Don't forget about the MA/ME holiday Patriots Day! People in ME get to do nothing while those of us in MA have to deal with marathon running screwing up traffic from downtown to Hopkinton.

Chris Stone said...

you forgot Patriots day... and V day! i'm always surprised when V day happens around here. it really is a holiday. and since its only celebrated by RI nothing much is done. its like an even more low key labor day.

Catmoves said...

Oh, please don't ignore the March 17 holiday.
After all, "In Suffolk County, Massachusetts, March 17 is Evacuation Day, an official holiday commemorating the evacuation of the city of Boston by British forces during the American Revolutionary War."
Anything good enough for Suffolk County should be good enough for us. Where else would our millionaires go for vacations?
My darling likes to spend Labor Day (invented by unions?) shopping for various things. I wonder why the people in the shops and stores are laboring on that day? Any answer?

Frank Baron said...

Ok. You've convinced me. Even if you can't spell "labour."

Oh wait...I see I've already said something like that in an earlier response. Funny...I don't recall posting that....

Hilary!! Have you been impersonating me again? Take that pillow out of your shirt this minute, young lady! It's not funny!!

CrazyCath said...

Now I have learned how to use parentheses (and also have spelled words in my post especially for you).
:0)

david mcmahon said...

I'm working hard, in the Yukon. Does that count?

Stu said...

It's never officially Autumn for me until I read this essay.

Michelle H. said...

You know its a reprint when the comments from 2008 still appear. Great post anyway. Take it east, tip back a few, and relax on this find day without labor (which defeats the purpose of calling it Labor Day when it seems to mean the opposite and you should do tons of menial work.

Catmoves said...

Re your problem with its and it's.
"I know "it's", with the apostrophe, is generally incorrect...."
Simple cure: If the sentence reads idiotically, try reading using "it is".
Works every time.

Thumbelina said...

Now you confused me. I was reading down the comments (which are FAR more interesting than the blog post. *ahem* jk!) and suddenly came upon that imposter CrazyCath. Uh? I thought. I don't remember that!

Then I looked at the dates on the comments.

You cheat!
But I still love you. Nice to see some old friends in there - John-Michael, David, etc. :)

Thumbelina said...

PS. Its and It's.

When it is possessive, it is ALWAYS without the apostrophe. Animate object or not. So it should always be "its" because it is an appearance that belongs to "it".

"It's" always ALWAYS means "it is" or "it was". Since "I believe this is it is fifth appearance" would make absolutely no sense whatsoever, it is definitely possessive and "its" - no apostrophe.

Here endeth the English lesson.
Just sayin'! :)

Thumbelina said...

Ok. I left two comments on here, and now they have gone. What is happening to your blog?

I was just saying that it was confusing me to see my alter ego here... till I noticed the dates on the comments! You cheat!

And the second comment was explaining why "its" should be without and apostrophe and I can't be bothered to write it all again now! Basically - it is possessive in this sentence. "Its" is always without an apostrophe when it is possessive. It is only "it's" when it is saying "it is" or "it was". If you insert "it is" into the sentence and it doesn't make sense, it's possessive and should be without an apostrophe.

English lesson over.
Third attempt to post comment!!!

Thumbelina said...

Ok. I left two comments on here, and now they have gone. What is happening to your blog?

I was just saying that it was confusing me to see my alter ego here... till I noticed the dates on the comments! You cheat!

And the second comment was explaining why "its" should be without and apostrophe and I can't be bothered to write it all again now! Basically - it is possessive in this sentence. "Its" is always without an apostrophe when it is possessive. It is only "it's" when it is saying "it is" or "it was". If you insert "it is" into the sentence and it doesn't make sense, it's possessive and should be without an apostrophe.

English lesson over.
Third attempt to post comment!!!

Suldog said...

This is just bizarre, people.

(Not that you people are bizarre. That's why there's a comma in that sentence.)

Anyway, I have no idea why the old comments showed up again. Usually, when I run a re-print, the comments section starts off clean. In this case, I'm afraid it's (it is) as I supposed in the opening. I've resurrected this thing so many times the comments have also become a life form.

Nice to see some of these folks again, though!

Hilary said...

Only you could exhume old comments along with the post. I'm guessing you didn't copy and paste the content into a new post but changed the posting date on the old one and hit publish, bringing its comments along with it.. or something. A fun reread.. comments and all.

Craig said...

I'm sorry; in my mind I keep adding an extra comma in mlh's comment above - "sausage and sauerkraut, meatloaf, chicken, breasts, pasta."

(*ahem*) Now. . . where was I?

Oh, yeah. . . in our house, we always thought that Labor Day was a celebration of childbirth. Altho, unlike Lime's MIL, Jen never actually went into labor on Labor Day. . .

And listen. . . Lions' games on Thanksgiving Day have been some very historic occasions. The shortest overtime game in NFL history was a Thanksgiving Day game (the Bears ran back the overtime kickoff). And who can forget the referee getting the Steelers coin-toss call wrong? Major, historical stuff here, Sully. . .

Land of shimp said...

So let me tell you about Dark Wing Duck, Jim. What? It is too apropos. You just haven't seen me in a while, and forget that this is how my mind works, but it always ends up making sense.

Wait, no, I'm sorry. What I meant to say is that it seldom ends up making sense.

There was this cartoon show called Dark Wing Duck (when there's trouble we call D. W., Dark Wing Duck, let's get dangerous!) and in it, Dark Wing Duck's Daughter had to write a report for her history class about U.S. History. Since it was a cartoon, this was a far more interesting endeavor than it would be in real life. Plus, feathered creatures had the gift of speech...and fashion...so right there? Already more interesting.

So Daughter of Dark Wing makes use of her father's Superhero gadgets and time travels all over the place to investigate history. The first place she travels is to Christopher Columbus, discovering the New World. Rolling up in an impressive ship, leaping to the ground, and in tones of great import declaring, "I claim this India, in the name of Spain!"

And whatever point in history the daughter visits, she seems to have attracted that lost sailor, so that as she does things like investigate the Moon Landing, up rolls that lost moron, to "Claim this India, in the name of Spain!"

I mention this because it's a brilliant approach to take to any holiday, of any kind. Claim it, in the name of India (or Labor, or Felcher, 'cause why not?) and do nothing, good sir.

Be Taoist, claim in in the name of Spain then we'll all get drunk together. But I suggest we skip the syphilis-getting portion of the reclamation because that's the pits.

Hullo :-)

Buck said...

Ummm... WHAT were you doin' in the office on Labor Day? Or did you schedule this re-run?

Thumbelina said...

I have never, in my life, posted the same thing so many times on one post.

Consider yourself honoured. With a U.

Your comments section is jinxed. None of those comments appeared to me before. Now they are all there.

And I'm not even blogging now!

Shammickite said...

Labour Day here.

Shammickite said...

oooops I already told you that, and so did Frank.

Chris said...

"Shitload of Leftovers Day".

I love it. All the grocery stores could close for the day.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

A lovely ode to a lazy day! Almost like Thanksgiving but without stuffing...or gravy...or apple cranberry pie...ok now I'm hungry.

St Patrick's Day, ah yes, the day us Irish folk (even the state employees I'm sure) dub 'Amateur Day'

i beati said...

and did you work excuse me labor that day . I surely did sandy

IT said...

Evacuation Day is the day before a colonoscopy.