The end of the President's Day weekend marks the longest grind between legal holidays on the US calendar. In this particular year, there are ninety-five non-holidays between Prez Day and Memorial Day, or almost twelve straight five-day work weeks. Some people get off Good Friday or Easter Monday, but not everybody, and spring break is a festive interlude for drinking and bikini-top discarding for people with attractive young livers and breasts, but the post office stays open. People who really work don't get three days in a row to take an afternoon nap while letting their beer get warm on the coffee table until it's almost June.
The American people suffer in comparison with the citizens of other countries. For the nation, there are only eight real holidays a year, or even seven, if you don't count President's Day, as many people's employers don't. The French have twelve. Sri Lanka has twenty-five. You see "Made in Sri Lanka" on one of your shirts, be grateful that they found the time.
Making it compulsory to let people have Columbus Day, Veteran's Day, or Martin Luther King Day off would go a long way towards rectifying the situation, but none of these days occur during the real blank spaces on the holiday calendar. What we need are new holidays to break those maddening Monday-Friday and start over again on Monday work cycles, in the months that offer none. Suggestions follow.
March: This month of madness and indifferent weather would be much improved by the addition of DAY AFTER SAINT PATRICK'S DAY, March 18, or the following Monday if St. Paddy's Day fell on a weekend. The nation's only other required drinking day is followed by a holiday. Why do we insist on dragging ourselves off to work with throbbing heads and parched throats on the 18th? No mas, this writer says. SEIS DE MAYO should also be considered.
April: All religions have their holidays, and Christmas is a legal one, but now atheists and agnostics will have a day they can call their own on DARWIN DAY, April 19. It marks the anniversary of the great man's death, after which he was buried and NOTHING ELSE HAPPENED. This will be the holiday most like Christmas, as Darwin, also a kindly old man with a beard, will arrive in the middle of the night in a magical flying sailing ship and bring chemistry sets, cheap telescopes and annoying puzzles to smart children all over the world. Later in the day, the family will gather round to eat mock turtle soup off of the Table of Elements and decorate the evolutionary tree.
June: THE PRO FOOTBALL EQUINOX. Approximately halfway between the Super Bowl and the beginning of the new season in September, this second Monday in June is celebrated in stadium parking lots all over the land. Uncomfortable cheese hats, brightly painted faces and pointless fistfights between opposing fans are the order of the day, along with liquor in cleverly concealable flasks and beer chugged as if rushing to the gates for the opening kickoff. By four o'clock, all celebrants have achieved that numb, hollow, pre-hungover feeling that comes with watching one's team blow a last-second field goal to lose the game, and everyone goes home resigned to watching baseball until September.
August: LABOR DAY FOR PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY WORK DAY. Second Monday. Self-explanatory. Could be we'll only have one of these, as non-workers (celebrities, children, trophy wives, sales managers) will have to take over the jobs of real workers (cops, construction engineers, air traffic controllers etc)., and the nation collapses. Most likely, though, we'll be back on Tuesday to pick up after all of you. As usual.
That about covers it. October has no real holidays but between Columbus Day for banks and government workers and Halloween for women, children and gay people, the majority of the population gets in on some sort of festivity during this month already.
Many other possibilities for holidays occurred to this writer as he was researching this article, worthwhile and useful celebrations such as SPOUSE HAS TO BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU SAY DAY, or the equally compelling COPS HAVE TO BELIEVE etc. DAY, or the urgently needed SHUT UP STEVEN SEAGAL DAY. While well worth being instituted, these holidays don't rise, in this writer's opinion, to the level of day-off-work worthiness. They could become useful additions to the calendar, though, like Groundhog Day. Possibly they could inspire another great movie. Especially that last one. Pay to see that.