Saturday, February 7, 2009

Presidents' Day

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, you can see it in the eyes of children and on the faces of their parents, it is a special season and it only comes once a year. It’s Presidents’ Day, the holiday where we honor our chief executive by giving them the same birthdays, like race horses and English Royalty.

It kind of hacks me off that I never get write about this holiday because I’m busy doing my taxes, (That’s right, I’m not an Obama cabinet selection.) and if ever a holiday deserved 3000 over wrought and sarcastically ironic words from me its Presidents’ Day.

Both of you who are reading this have probably suffered through my Presidents’ Day Song Medley and know how enthusiastic I am about boring people into a coma with facts about obscure presidents; like how Franklin Pierce kept a small shaved monkey under his desk that he would introduce to dignitaries as his son. (I’m kidding; Pierce is not an obscure President.)

This is an important holiday with lots of history attached; it’s more than just an excuse to hold a white sale although for the life of me I can’t think of another reason right now.

It used to be that we only had to remember Washington and Lincoln, conveniently born within a few days of each other during Black History Month and each with a special place in the hearts of black Americans, one for freeing slaves beyond his control and the other for freeing slaves he controlled albeit after his death. But there are forty two other presidents to be remembered, (Let’s settle the Cleveland issue once and for, Cleveland was a pair of identical twins both named Grover and the Baby Ruth bar was named after his daughter who went on to have a spectacular career with the New York Yankees setting many batting records.) and not all were born in February or even memorable in their own time ( Garfield during his own bullet shortened term was referred to by members of Congress as: “That guy a disappointed officer seeker plugged.”) so a remedy was needed.

Briefly, celebrating every President’s Birthday was tried, but it was a logistical nightmare, Calvin Coolidge was born on July Fourth and Chester A. Arthur’s birthday frequently conflicted with Columbus Day. Also it was thought that taking the additional 42 days off each year would undermine the economy; postal workers, government officials and GM workers disagreed and continue to observe the extra holidays to this day.

At any rate our dark overlords cobbled together Presidents’ Day, conflating Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays into one nameless pointless holiday to ensure bankers and bureaucrats weren’t over worked. My imaginary family and I will celebrate this year in the traditional Presidential manner, I will make promises I have no intention of keeping, pretend I care about the lives of others and hit on cocktail waitresses when Hilary isn’t looking.

So enjoy your Presidents' Day, it has no songs associated with it, no parades, no games, no events, you don't even get to plant trees but enjoy it any way and please join me in promoting a new holiday, Vice-Presidents' Day on July 11th. Its the day sitting Vice President Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton and the last time one of these non-entities did anything useful while in office.