Poor August

Poor August.  Loneliest month of the year.  Trapped between July, proud owner of the 4th, and September’s celebrated Labor Day, August sits forlorn in the corner like a wilted wallflower without a holiday to call its own.  If anything, folks point at August with derision and cry ‘Dog Days!’ without a moment’s sympathy.  Folks can be so cruel.  Even though it has a full thirty one days, poor August is treated as if it had less than February.  Even February can puff out its chest and brag about Valentine’s Day.  August has nothing to hang its hat on.

Well, if you want to be technical, you can honestly say August has holidays, but come on.  How can National Mustard Day (the first Saturday of August) compare to, say, Mother’s Day?  What chance does Bad Poetry Day (the 18th) have against a holiday as popular as Halloween?  For cryin’ in the mud, what sort of perverted mind decided to put Wiggle Your Toes Day (the 6th) in August?  There’s no doubt about it:  August is home to all the crazy celebrations no other month wants.

I can just see it now.  All twelve months are seated in a conference room around a huge table donated by Arbor Day.  Before them squats a potato, pleading its case.  “Everything else has a day!  What about us?  If it weren’t for potatoes, Idaho wouldn’t even exist!”  Mr. Spud glares at the months with hiss forty seven eyes.

January pipes in, “Can’t do it.  Wouldn’t be prudent.  I’m overbooked as it is.  Not only do I have to support everyone’s hangover on the 1st and ring in the New Year, I’ve got Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and to top it off I’ve got the Chinese New Year.  Can’t do it.”  January shudders and crosses its icicles.

The other months complain that their dance cards are also full.  August keeps its mouth shut because it doesn’t really have a real holiday to its name, and knows what will happen next.  Sure enough, the other months turn and stare at August as if it had passed gas.  Unable to stand the tension, August blurts out, “Fine!  I’ll take it!  Might as well, since I’ve got nothing important on my schedule.”  So National Potato Day is given the 19th, which also happens to be Bill Clinton and Snuffleupagus’ birthday.

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with a holiday that will measure up to the likes of St. Patrick’s Day and Flag Day.  The only thing I can think of so far that hasn’t been made a national holiday is Take Your Imaginary Friend to Work Day, but even this doesn’t rate equal billing to something as benign as April Fool’s Day.  Personally, I think National Left-Handers Day (the 13th) should at least give all us southpaws the day off work, but good luck trying to that one through Congress.

August really should go on strike until it gets a real holiday.  Just imagine going to sleep on July 31st and waking up on September 1st.  This would mean one less month of summer, and what an impact it would have on students and teachers!  I may be on to something here.  Between the legions of kids haranguing their parents about having to go back to school after only two months off, and the army of teachers had to face those screaming meemees one month sooner . . . why, that alone could create mass hysteria, inflame irritable bowels and incite a rash of hair pulling, not to mention all the teeth gnashing.  I bet August only has to sit out one cycle to get the respect it deserves.  Let March have Sea Serpent Day (currently August 7th).  Give Strange Music Day (the 24th) to November – it can handle it as long as it doesn’t interfere with the beginning of Christmas music, which happens to start one day earlier each year.  Let some other month be saddled with the moniker of Air Conditioner Appreciation week.  If the holiday makers in power don’t give August it’s just reward, I say let August take a month off to teach them all a lesson.

Those of you wonderful readers who had the misfortune to be born in August, write your Representative, contact your Senator, irritate the President with your persistence.  You of all people know how important your month is – don’t give up until August is given equal status.  Rise up with one voice and demand a holiday more sophisticated than National Trail Mix Day (the 31st).  Remember, though, to mention me in your protests, as I am more than willing to contract with the government to create a fitting celebration worthy of the grand month of August.  Good Luck!

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