After deep and meaningful thought, I have come to a conclusion that is brief, yet powerful, and cannot be sugar-coated: August sucks. This is how I cleansed the calendar of the scourge that is August.
Born purely from compassion, I made every effort to find another month to banish along with August, so that when August went to wherever months without merit go, it would not go alone.
I began, as so many things seem to do, at the beginning. I called January in and told him to state his case to deny his deportation. Indignant, he immediately threw New Year's Day in my face, offering not so much as a cocktail napkin to wipe it off, and scolded me thusly: "I begin the year with a national holiday, are you mad? Go ahead, give it a go, and when the millions with their hideous hangovers hunt down the soul who vacated their one day of rehab and made them go to work on New Year's Day, still breathing bourbon mind you, yours will not be a painless termination. I daresay the shots from the previous eve's festivities will now be aimed your direction. Shall I continue?"
"You shall not," I said to January, his argument a compelling one, I dismissed him forthwith.
February came forward and was asked how he could evade eviction. He tossed a stuffed animal on my desk, a marginally cute groundhog, and remained silent.
"The world is rife with rodents," I replied. "I can find another to step out into the chill and check the weather."
He spoke now, "Sir, the dirty deed you desire to do with February is destined for disappointment. It smacks of bullying, targeting my feeble 28 days as you do, but none of that matters. The presidents honor their own in my month, you shall never get their approval for such foolishness. And lest you forget the lovers and the little ones? Valentine's Day? The folks who make those little heart candies know people who know people who have no heart. You eliminate their best day to move product, I fancy it doesn't end well for you."
Two months and two death threats. Who knew the calendar was so callous? Nothing malicious came to mind for March, did better luck await?
March meandered in and stood meekly and mute, nary a word to derail his dismissal. "Have you anything to offer?" I asked.
"Well, I have Daylight Savings Time and the occasional Easter. I had put my faith in St. Patrick, but they told me in the waiting room you weren't Irish."
"Sir, if that's it, I'd say August has a bunkmate." March started toward the door, then suddenly spun around and came to life.
"Wait a minute. Isn't your wife's birthday on St. Patrick's Day? And your twins, weren't they born in March, too? You sure you want to do this?" Damn that stork, March would live to play another day.
To stand trial for exile, April wore a smile and dressed like a flower child. This had to be my man, after all, he started his month with a day for fools. I knew he'd throw Easter at me along with all those chocolate eggs, and that steroidal rabbit could be an issue, but March had the rights to Easter next year, why not make it a permanent thing? "Whatdaya say, April? Wanna go on the road with August?"
"Sure, man, do whatever you gotta do, but just so you know, whole lotta folks gonna be bummin'." Before me stood a talking bobblehead doll from Woodstock.
"Oh, yeah, why's that?" I asked."Haven't you heard, man? The whole world's going green, man." I was aware the tree-huggers had tightened their grip, but April's point eluded me.
"So, I'll order another recycle bin for me and a backpack for you, how's that sound?"
"Earth Day, man, Earth Day. April 22nd this year, next year, every year. Most of my people are non-violent. You do away with Earth Day, all bets are off, brother." Freakin' hippies. Another death threat. The whole calendar is just one big mob family.
My best hopes for August were fading. May had Mother's Day and Memorial Day. If May wasn't the godfather, he had his ear.
June has Father's Day and my birthday. See above.
July is our nation's birthday. If I'm afraid of the people who make chewable heart candy, logic dictates I don't anger the fireworks folks. I doubt they'd settle for just blowing up my mailbox.
September looks around and see's he's next so he just walks in. "What?" he says, but before I can respond, he says, "Look, don't even think about it, I got Labor Day. You mess me with me, I make one call to the union. One call, you got it? Then nobody prints the newspaper your little chuckle column is in, nobody delivers it and down at the docks, nobody even wraps fish in it, which, from what I hear, is what most people are using it for anyway. We good?"
"We could not be better, September. Would you like me to validate your parking?"
October was my last shot. Everybody knew November and December were untouchable. You didn't call November and December, they called you.
October walks in and I'm playing hardball, "I don't care about Halloween, it's so close to November, I'll push it into there if I have to. Unless I'm missing something, you're going with August."
"Well, I think you are missing something," October said smugly, "look a little closer."
"What? Columbus Day? That should have been recalled with my Toyota. If that's all you got, pack a bag."
October shrugs his shoulders and says, "Suit yourself. Or should I say 'shoot yourself'? The post office is closed on Columbus Day. At least it was. You wanna give those folks a reason to go postal, that's your call."
"See you at the Halloween party, bring some apples."
August walks in sweating, like everybody does in August. "Look, I tried to find you somebody. They're all either psycho or sacred.You got nothing, not even one of those stupid bank holidays. Thirty-one days and not one single holiday?
"Look, August, your heat is ridiculous. It's like they open the vent shaft down in Hell come every August and close it September 1st.The kids hate you because they have to go back to school in August and the grownups just want you over with so they can get to Labor Day. You make it so hot and then, when people stay inside, you don't have anything on TV for them to watch. All re-runs and no sports.Stop it. NFL preseason games are not sports, you're embarrassing yourself. I'm sorry. Really. Clean out your desk and turn in your keys."
August was never heard from again. One rumor had him holed up at the Days Inn just outside of town, while another had him staying at the Holiday Inn. Sadly, he knew and I knew, that was impossible.
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