Back in the Day

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Back in the Day

by Joey Green


Back in the day, we specified the precise date. Nowadays, when someone says "back in the day," they really mean "roughly somewhere between the Big Bang and last weekend." No one memorizes dates anymore   not because they can just ask, "Siri, when was the War of 1812?"—but because today's Gregorian calendar (created by legendary actor Gregory Peck, says Siri) is completely out of whack.

October is the tenth month of the year, even though the prefix oct- means "eight"—as in octopus, octane (eight carbon atoms), and Octomom. Just as October should rightfully be the eighth month of the year, November (from the Latin novem, meaning "nine") has no business being our eleventh month, nor does December (from the Latin decem, meaning "ten") have any right masquerading as Duodecimber. Our civilization is teetering on the brink of disaster because the calendar is running three months late.

We could easily straighten this out by designating March the first month of the year, which would make January the eleventh month and February the twelfth month. Of course, this slight adjustment will force us to observe the Fourth of July on Labor Day, celebrate Halloween on Christmas, and watch the Super Bowl on the first night of Passover. What's more, we'll get to celebrate New Year's Eve on the last night of February, creating a whirlwind of confusion once every four years on Leap Year, adding to the excitement.

The holidays have never made any sense whatsoever. On the Fourth of July, we're supposed to celebrate America's independence, but how do we do that? We eat hot dogs and hamburgers (both invented by the Germans), sauerkraut (again the Germans), mustard (developed by the French), ketchup (created in India), watermelon (which originated in Namibia), and enjoy parades (pioneered by the Romans) and fireworks (invented by the Chinese). When you really think about it, we should call the Fourth of July "Dependence Day." The fireworks aren't really a celebration. They're a cry for help.

And why do we take a day off from work on Labor Day? I mean, seriously, on Labor Day, we should all be working overtime. I'm talking an 18-hour workday. Ideally in a coal mine. With no lunch break. And we should bring all our kids to work, too. That's what Labor Day is all about. How will we ever make America great again if we can't even celebrate Labor Day with a halfway decent work ethic?

And what's the story with President's Day? Back in the day (before Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1971, requiring Americans to wear uniforms on Mondays), we celebrated Abraham Lincoln's Birthday on February 12 and George Washington's Birthday on February 22. Two great American presidents, each with a separate birthday holiday.

But thanks to the catastrophic muddle called President's Day, Washington and Lincoln have to share their birthdays with the likes of Rutherford B. Hayes (born on October 4), and Zachary Taylor (November 24), and Martin Van Buren (December 5). That's just wrong. The only reasonable solution? Make every president's birthday its own national holiday. The benefit? Great deals on mattresses 45 days a year.

Not convinced? Sleep on it. That's how we did things, back in the day.

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Copyright Ⓒ 2016 by Joey Green. All rights reserved. Reprinted from The American Bystander.