The story of a boy, who enlisted in the Navy, who became a man, who still retained the emotional maturity of that boy, yet convinced a woman to marry him.

Monday, October 10, 2011

No, I Didn't Have It Off, Either

Thank God I had this goofy hat.
I wish we had Hair Cuttery, though.  I have a coupon.
    I love October.  The air is redolent with the sweet aroma of burning leaves, high school gridirons thunder with the sound of fiercely-waged contests to push that pigskin across the goal line, Christmas lights-incredibly-start going up, and early-morning frosts warn of the coming winter.
    October also lets us celebrate the exploits of an intrepid band of explorers who set sail from Barcelona in search of a western route to the fabulous wealth of the East (yeah, going west to get east doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, either).
I said 'Everybody sit down! I'm getting sick!'
    In other words, the tenth month gives us a chance to bemoan the rape and pillage of a pristine wilderness by evil European males who wouldn’t know a bar of soap if it smacked them in the heads.
    So, in recognition of their accomplishments, mailmen get the day off and Bed, Bath, and Beyond trots out its very best Columbus Day displays of sheets and pillowcases (“Just imagine how comfy the Santa Maria would have been if Chris and the boys only had these sheets!!”).
    As a holiday, though, Columbus Day really doesn’t rank up there with the Big Four of Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, and Canadian Thanksgiving.  It doesn’t draw in the romantics like Valentines Day, the psychopaths like the Wing Bowl, or even the corned beef and Guinness crowd like St. Patrick’s Day.
    More times than not, we hardly know it’s happened until Channel 10's 6 o'clock news greets us with, “Happy Columbus Day!  Too bad you hadda go to work!  The Schuykill's bumper to bumper, though. That's strange.”
    My family has for many years celebrated each holiday, no matter how innocuous.  For example, on Presidents’ Day, we used to dress up as our favorite Commanders in Chief until my brother spoiled it for everyone a few years ago when, dressed as Bill Clinton, he got arrested for having his pants down in front of a convent.
    For some reason, though, we never did much to celebrate the day in 1492 when Ferdinand and Isabella’s favorite Genoan set foot in the New World and proclaimed, “What the frik you mean this isn’t China!?"
    In order to make it easier for everyone to properly observe one of the most significant accomplishments in world history (right behind statues of the Amish made of Scrapple), might I offer the following ways to celebrate Columbus Day:
Apparently, Northern Indians were tougher
than the ones down south
10.  Slash the tires of those obnoxious, know-it-all “Vikings were here first!” punks at the Leif Eiriksson Community Center.
9.   Try to convince anyone that parrots, monkeys, and coconuts are just as valuable as jewels, gold, and silk.
8.   Go to the one of those tribal casinos in Connecticut, extend a heartfelt apology, drop a bundle at the craps table.
7.   Put on a wrinkled raincoat, chew on a cigar, try to figure out who put the poison in Miss Van Dyver’s highball...oh, I’m sorry, that’s how to celebrate COLUMBO Day.
6.   Grab some library books, cross out all references to ‘America’ and replace them with ‘Chrisville.’  Draw moustaches on pictures of Amerigo Vespucci.
5.   Bring Christianity to your neighbors at the point of a gun before selling them into slavery, claim Fairmont Park for your family, pass out blankets riddled with smallpox to the homeless, and shake down passers-by, insisting they tell you where their gold is.
4.   Go to a Chinese restaurant dressed as Columbus, walk in, and shout, “So, HERE’s where you people were all hiding!”
3.   Forward a petition to the city council demanding equal time with Labor Day.
2.   With your friends, build a scaled-down replica of Columbus’s fleet, drift aimlessly on the Delaware River, claim New Hope for Spain.
1.   Once more dressed as Columbus, visit a deforested national park (or strip mine), issue “Ooops, my bad!” statement to the press.
    There now, I hope this list inspires you to do something other than complain when you can’t use the drive-up window at Wells Fargo. 
    But, if it’ll make you feel better, go get yourself a cannoli.
    Chris would’ve wanted it that way.

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