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Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

BASIC BIITTNER : Short on days, long on holidays

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

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For being the shortest month of the year (yes, I know it has an extra day this year, but it's still the shortest month), February seems to have a lot of holidays - both official and unofficial (UH).

It starts right off, too. February 2 is Groundhog's Day (one of the unofficial holidays, in case you didn't know). This year, the very next day is "Super Sunday," (another UH) where all pro football fans gather around the television set, be it a 13" black-and-white, a 60" HDTV, or anything in-between, and watch several hours of mostly worthless pre-game activity, so that they can view what MAY be a good football game between what MAY be the two best football teams in the NFL (Go Pack!) - and the cleverest new commercials (voting optional), all the while consuming their favorite "low-calorie" snacks and adult beverages. Nothing says America like Super Bowl Sunday!

But wait - just two days later, we have what the media has called "Super Tuesday" for the last ten years or so, and which now has become "Super Duper Tuesday," according to the media. Super (Duper) Tuesday is, of course, the day most of the "Johnny-come-lately" states hold their primaries. Hopefully, the additional 22 elections will shed a little more light on who will "lead us out of the wilderness" next year. Or - maybe confuse things even more.

Following "Super Week," for those who aren't celebrating Hank Aaron's (the 5th) and/or Babe Ruth's (the 6th) birthdays, or are not Christians, you have nine days to heed the call and get something nice for your sweetheart on Valentine's Day (that's the 14th, guys). Christians - Wednesday Feb. 6 is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season.

After three weeks of "unofficial" holidays, we finally get a Federal holiday on Monday the 21st - President's Day. The Post Office and many banks will be closed that day, but for most of the rest of us, it's "back to work after the weekend" day.

For those of you old enough to remember, President's Day is a fairly new holiday. We used to celebrate Abraham Lincoln's birthday (Feb. 12) and George Washington's birthday (Feb. 22), but those were UH's too. Then, someone decided that we should honor all the Presidents, not just two of the guys on Mt. Rushmore.

I've got a better idea, I think. Instead of having one special day where a few people get the day off to honor the presidents (which, I'm sure, they will all be doing), let's have a national holiday on each former president's birthday - kind of going back to the old Lincoln and Washington birthday thing, but expanding it to cover all of the 40-some men who, for better or worse, have held the nation's highest-elected position. Of course, when we someday elect a female president, her birthday would be a holiday, too.

These days would, of course, be paid holidays for all of us except those people who have to work to serve the rest of us - like retail workers and bartenders, for example. They would, of course, get double pay for working.

For some of you who think this plan mght be a tad excessive, don't worry.I don't think my plan would add 40+ holidays to our lives. I mean, some of the presidents must share a birthdate, don't you think?