Experiments in Chaos—Failures from April 17, 2015

I like holidays. It used to be you could always count on email on a holiday. Of course, it was just a virus email trying to trick you into letting some nerdy criminal access your bank account, but the attention was nice. Nowadays, I just get a bunch of exclusive offers in my snail mail box addressed to Resident, because the senders apparently don't own a dictionary. But that's attention of a sort, so it's still nice.

I had a calendar sometime in the eighties. I don't remember exactly when, because I did a lot of partying during a good portion of that decade. So things are a bit blurry. But I remember the calendar. It was a freebie from a local drug store, which was appropriate because I used it as an excuse for that day's partying. Every one of the 365 days had some sort of event chronicled. ("Today's the anniversary of the invention of paper clips. Let's get high.") I don't miss much about the eighties, because I don't recall much about the eighties. But that calendar was a hoot.

I like birthdays too. When you were young, you'd get a card, and sometimes there'd be money in it. You'd just blow it on candy, toys, movies, and like that. Now, you're an adult. You've got dependents, a mortgage, car payments, and if you get a card on your birthday? Now that you could really use it, you don't get one thin dime. But if you think about it, the attention is nice.

I don't really celebrate my birthday, although I have begun feeling some satisfaction about being a year older. (There were some dire predictions when I was young.) I do try to treat myself, though. This year I bought a couple turkey and bacon sandwiches at the local convenience store, instead of making my own in the kitchen, because that's the kind of party animal I've become. I can hear the seventies and eighties rolling over in their graves.

Then there's Labor Day, when just about everyone gets a day off. In fact, I call it Day Off Day, and I'm kind of hoping it'll catch on.

And of course we have Thanksgiving, when we're supposed to count our blessings. In over a half-century, I can't recall counting a single blessing. Except possibly during the seventies and eighties which, as I've mentioned, I can't recall clearly. But I also can't recall being able to count very high during those two decades, so I probably didn't.

We can't forget Christmas, although I couldn't for the life of me tell you why not. That's the time of year you have to guard against being run down by shoppers determined to share the joy and cheer of the season. And they don't care who gets hurt in the process.

But I think my favorite is Columbus Day. A whole day dedicated to a guy who didn't know where he was going and didn't know where he was when he got there. All government employees get Columbus Day off because, in his honor, they can't find their way to work. Every once in a while, a government employee forgets what day it is, heads off for work, and is never seen or heard from again. Just another casualty of the holidays.

But a whole day devoted to Columbus is sort of unfair. I spent the better part of the seventies and eighties wandering around aimlessly and bumping into things, and nobody named a day after me. They did give me medication, but it's not the same. Still, the attention was nice.

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