'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
SHORTEST MONTH HAS MANY HOLIDAYS
Although February is the shortest month of the year, it has more holidays and special days than any other month on the calendar. This is why February has become my favorite month. Except for May and September. Oh, and June and October, too. But February is better than January, and it’s definitely in my personal Top 10. Here is a list of the major holidays in the short month of February:
Feb. 2, Groundhog Day – This day proves that joyous festivals and important holidays on the calendar do not necessarily have to be based—and I’m trying to be generous here—on anything sane. Let’s summarize the basic concept of Groundhog Day: the world waits breathlessly for an oversized rodent from Pennsylvania, who is afraid of his own shadow, to play the part of a meteorologist. (No, I’m not talking about Scot Haney. He’s originally from Long Island.)
Feb. 3, Super Bowl Sunday – This major national holiday was created when people realized it had been a full five weeks since New Year’s Eve, and therefore a special day was needed as an excuse to attend another cholesterol- and alcohol-saturated party. Super Bowl Sunday is quickly becoming one of the most important holidays of the entire year, as measured by the amount of onion dip spilled onto living room carpets.
Feb. 5, Mardi Gras – In French, the term Mardi Gras means “Tuesdays with Morrie.” This is the last day before the religious season of Lent begins, and Catholics around the world, and especially in New Orleans, demonstrate how holy and reverent they plan to be during Lent by getting blind drunk and flashing their breasts to strangers. Sometimes the women will do this, too.
Feb. 6, Ash Wednesday – This is the first day of Lent and is often known as “I Didn’t Know You Were Catholic Day.”
Feb. 12, Lincoln’s Birthday – This date commemorates the birth of our nation’s greatest president: George Washington. No wait, my mistake. That’s February 22nd. The 12th is the birthday of Abraham Lincoln. In recent years, it was decided to lump all presidential recognition into a single day, Presidents’ Day (see: Feb 18). However, before their deaths, presidents Lincoln and Washington made it clear they did not want to share a holiday with Richard Nixon. Therefore, both Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays are still celebrated as individual holidays.
Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day – This is a special day for love—as in, the retailers who sell greeting cards, candy, and flowers to panic-stricken men at a 500-percent markup, just LOVE this holiday. Valentine’s Day can be rather stressful and sad for people who are not currently in a romantic relationship, unless they happen to be the guy I read about recently who makes a point each year of breaking up with his girlfriend in early February to save money on Valentine’s gifts, and then gets back together with her toward the end of the month. (She must feel REALLY special.)
Feb. 18, Presidents’ Day – Thankfully, there is finally some recognition for the heroic deeds and charismatic personality of Calvin Coolidge.
Feb. 22, Washington’s Birthday – Please see the Feb. 12 listing for a discussion of the holiday that honors the father of our country: Benjamin Franklin.
Feb. 29, Leap Day – This very special day was created when it was discovered that the earth actually takes 365-1/4 days to revolve around the sun (the extra quarter-day delay is because the earth, just like everyone else, often gets stuck in rush hour traffic on Interstate-84). Leap Day, February 29th, is so special, three out of every four years it celebrates by calling itself “March 1st.”
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