Let’s say you’re someone who really enjoys fasting (bear with me, this is going someplace.) You don’t have an eating disorder and you’re not protesting anything, you just like to find any excuse you can to be really, really hungry. Well, if you’re a Muslim- you’re psyched- you’ve got Ramadan- a whole glorious month at the all you can’t eat buffet. If you’re Jewish, you may not get a full month, but there are still ample fasting opportunities- you’ve got Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), Tisha B’Av (commemorating the destruction of the Second Temple), Tzom Gedalia (the fast of, um, Gedaliah?) and other fast days sprinkled throughout the year.
But what if you’re a Christian? If you’re Catholic, then you might fast by giving up Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for Lent. If you’re a Protestant of some sort- well, the closest you’ll get to fasting is running out of Light Miracle Whip so you can’t bring deviled eggs to Bible study or skipping lunch after church because snake handling makes you queasy (I don’t know what you people do.).
So, clearly this doesn’t bode well for the Christian or secular fasting enthusiast- but, fortunately, there is a totally non-religious solution- the Master Cleanse. This invention gives fans of brutal self depravation a near endless opportunity to consume almost nothing save for a repulsive beverage with the sunny nickname “lemonade”, as in “when life gives you self-loathing- make lemonade!” The Master Cleanse doesn’t care what race you are or what god you worship or whether you bother to worship any at all- it just wants you to starve- a fast even Christopher Hitchens could have loved.
The holidays in February are just like the Master Cleanse- except they encourage you to fill your body with toxins rather than empty it. From Groundhog Day and Super Bowl Sunday to Valentine’s Day and President’s Day- the month is filled with special occasions that do not discriminate by religion or ethnicity and instead celebrate the All American universal traditions of rodent worship, overindulgence, gambling and exchanging Whitman’s Samplers for sex. Here’s a quick round-up of all this month’s bull-shit holidays:
Groundhog Day- Feb 2nd:
There was a time in this country when critters of all sorts were used to tell the future: if the canary keeled over, it was time to leave the coal mine; if the rabbit died there were wedding bells in your future; and if a gerbil was discovered in your rectum, you would be a punch line for generations to come (Buddhsim, shmudism- you’ll always be gerbil boy to me.) Groundhog Day is the last remnant of this once proud tradition. On Groundhog Day a rodent named “Phil” awakens from his slumber, pops his head out of the ground and watches the Weather Channel for 20 minutes. If conditions around the world seem normal to him, he buries his head back in the sand and votes Republican. If, however, he see’s what’s happening and loses his shit, he buys Al Gore’s book and campaigns for climate change legislation until he is hunted down by Mitt Romney and strapped to the top of his car until he “Romneys” all over the place in terror. (Wondering what that means? Google “Romney” to find out. Then tell everyone to Google it over and over again.)
Of course, Groundhog Day is rather quaint and outdated given today’s fun-sized climate conditions so, it’s going to be phased out in favor of a new weather holiday: Plummeting Bird Apocalypse Week. If you want to remember how this new holiday works- just use this little rhyme:
If the birds fall from the sky,
Heat wave’s comin’ go outside
If the fishies turn up dead,
Ice storm’s comin’- stay in bed!
Super Bowl Sunday- Feb 5
When I was a high-school freshman, I was regularly beaten up by football players even though I let them copy off of me in Biology. These men among boys assumed that because I was smaller, weaker and less athletic than them, I was inferior and could be abused and exploited- and I went right along with that assumption. Now that I am older and wiser, of course, I know that they were absolutely right. Every Sunday I watch guys like the assholes who used to pummel me make millions playing football on my massive 27” CRT screen while I eagerly cheer them on like a needy puppy desperately begging for table scraps of vicarious glory. Of course, I can take solace in the fact that none of the actual football players who bullied me (that’s right, YouTube generation, you didn’t invent bullying, you just went viral whining about it) actually made it to the NFL, or for that matter, out of their parents’ basements. Bloated on canned beer and stale memories, looking like the Thanksgiving Day Parade Float of their former selves, they too watch the big game with envy knowing that the closest they’ll come to a victory trip to Disney World is a Saturday morning in Lake George with the sullen brats they never see because that cold-hearted bitch of a former cheerleader who thinks she’s still hot-shit even though her tits are all saggy won’t give them more than one weekend a month and the Pakistani asshole who bought the JiffyLube franchise won’t let them trade shifts after the last time. Honestly, I can’t wait for my 25th High School reunion so I can go home and rub my success in their fat fucking faces. I hope they like me now J
Last year, Steeler fans and Laker fans experienced the emotional roller coaster that goes along with supporting a defending world champion led by a rapist. This year, Tom Brady inspired the nation by showing us how to lose the Right Way, namely by having his supermodel wife fight all his battles for him since his mommy was unavailable.
Of course, the highlight of the Super Bowl was the Halftime Show. Legendary Jewish performer and Kabala Scholar Esther used an army of Egyptian clad male dancers to teach valuable lessons about Passover while simultaneously quintupling the gay population of Indianapolis- Let my girlfriends go! I have to admit that I loved her performance. Sure, it was painful watching her shake her menopausal coochie in LMFAO’s faces like getting hit on by your roommate’s drunk mom in your dorm room and, sure I was worried about her hips everytime one of her nurse’s aide’s helped her complete a gymnastic dance moves- but, honestly, I didn’t care. All I knew is that when she started singing Like A Prayer with Cee-Lo Green and a Gospel choir I got goosebumps and was on the edge of my seat. Like baby-boomers watching Paul McCartney, all I knew was that I was hearing one of the voices of my generation sing on the biggest stages of all, and even though she didn’t quite sound like she used to and couldn’t dance to save her life, it didn’t matter. I heard her call my name, and it felt like home.
My Mother’s Birthday- Feb 6
Happy birthday Mom! Sorry again about the whole naked with the pool boy crack in the last post. Anyone who knows you would of course know that I was just kidding and it was really the gardener. (I stole that joke from my mom, BTW- that’s how awesome she is!)
Boy scout Day- Feb 8
I’ve got one word for anyone surprised by the number of gays in the Boy Scouts: “neckerchief.” They might as well make them wear a fucking tiara.
Valentine’s Day- Feb 14
Valentine’s Day is a cynical, exploitive holiday made up by greeting card companies, stuffed animal manufacturers, jewelers and chocolatiers designed to make people in relationships feel guilty if they don’t buy each other presents and to make single people feel like inadequate failures for not being in a relationship. I love it! I’m an underpaid, out of shape arts administrator with a tiny house and a hairy back- I feel like an inadequate failure most of the time- why shouldn’t I feel like a winner one day a year for being happily married for over 10 years and let all the rich, pretty single people with slammin’ pads and manscaping regimens feel like losers for a change. And what’s wrong with getting presents? I love presents! Russell Stover hearts full of nougaty goodness, stuffed apes in boxer shorts that talk when you squeeze them, nattily dressed little bears from Starbucks with hearts on their outfits and a song in their hearts- what the hell is wrong with any of that? Even if we don’t exchange gifts, it’s all good- because I know I get to spend time with the love of my life and you don’t. The Christians have Easter, the Irish have St. Patrick’s Day but on Valentine’s Day- I feel like CVS has been redecorated just for me and the world is my warm, fuzzy oyster.
I realize this sentiment of exclusivity is somewhat at odds with the whole “universal holidays” theme of this post- but Valentine’s Day does not discriminate by age, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation- that is, until Proposition V passes and gay people are required to refer to it as Heart Shaped Partnership Day so that they don’t taint the sanctity of Valentine’s Day.
President’s Day- Feb 20th
On this holiday we celebrate George Washington and we remember how this great nation was founded by rich, white men who didn’t want to pay taxes on crops grown by slaves on land stolen from Indians. We also celebrate Abraham Lincoln who made a bunch of dumb crackers lose their shit by telling them they couldn’t keep slaves and more and later got shot by an actor who was promoting his one person show Sic Semper Tyranus: Daddy Never Loved Me so I Shot the President – all while wearing the most awesome hat ever worn by a president and a beard any douchebag hipster would be proud to call his own.
Of course, for me, President’s Day is the unofficial start of BBQ season, but that’s because I live in Southern California so I’m not freezing my balls off like the rest of you suckers. Suck it, groundhog! How’s about six more weeks of kiss my tanned ass?
Hope you enjoyed this round-up of secular bullshit holidays. Pretty soon, it’ll be time for Purim, Passover and the rest of the spring holidays- until then- happy Plummeting Bird Apocalypse Week!
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