Elvis Costello said, “Every day I write the book.” Little did he know, every four years his book is one page longer than he expected. I’m talking about Leap Day! Leap Day was last week. February 29, to be exact. Leap Day is an extra day added during a Leap Year, making the year 366 days long instead of 365 days long, like a normal year. SNORE. I’ve escaped most of my life not knowing what a Leap Day was and I’ve gotten along fine. Hell, I’d somehow never heard of Leap Day till just two weeks ago.
Leap Year yes, but a leap day? What the F? What the capital F! Now I wish I’d never known. My innocence is lost. It’s like when you meet someone who genuinely asks, “I’m sorry, but who are the Kardashians again?” First, you can’t believe it. Second, you want to cover their ears, wrap them in a blanket, dash away on a horse to a mountain top where mystical creatures will raise them as their own, for they are the chosen one and must not be corrupted by man. I was that swaddled chosen one. Now my mind and spirit are tainted by the knowledge of Leap Day.
I only found out recently that Julius Caesar started Leap Year 2000 years ago! That’s a long time to be doing something that is such a waste of time. Leap Year became effective in 45 BC. It had to be BC. I don’t claim to know what Jesus thinks, but I’m sure a mellow and cool cat like him would have told everyone not to sweat it. Leap day is right up there with silly events that just don’t mean anything, like Daylight Savings Time, or Boss’s day. You’re the boss. Everyday is your day. Geez! It just seems so arbitrary.
A day is a day is a day regardless of a few minutes or hours. The Earth’s revolution is not a punch card for your local sandwich shop. When you get ten holes, you’re not thrown off your axis into turmoil and plummeted into a black hole of oblivion. You just enjoy that meatball sub and get a new card next week. It’s very simple. Days on Earth are longer in the summer, shorter in the winter and apparently every four years, they’re running a few hours late. Heavy traffic in the universe I suppose. That planet Venus is a road hog.
And don’t give me that Leap Year birthday business. I do agree that it’s kind of cute when someone who is born on February 29th makes jokes about their birthday since February 29th comes around only four years or so. Grandpa may kid around and say he’s 22, but at the end of the day, you’re 88, gramps. Perhaps I’m being too cynical. Maybe I should enjoy the Leap Year and Leap Day. According to timeanddate.com, “Leap Years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the sun. It takes the Earth approximately 365.242199 days to circle once around the Sun. If we didn’t add a day on February 29 nearly every 4 years, we would lose almost six hours every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days!” Oh my God. Just imagine. We’d be cast into civil unrest. The local ramifications would be catastrophic alone! With 24 days missing (practically a whole month) how would we know when the Alabama/Auburn football season would begin or end? It might butt up even closer to the holidays. The Iron Bowl is soon after Thanksgiving. The entire Thanksgiving holiday would be about three hours long, so kick off might be right when we’d all be in a turkey coma and we’d sleep through it. The horror!
The Twelve Days of Christmas song will have to be changed to the 3-day weekend of Christmas. Black Friday would become Black Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and noon. That’s way too long to put on an ad for a JCPenny white sale! Good thing Hanukkah is eight days long. By my calculations, that’s 2.6 dreidels a day. That’s one fast mitzvah.
Spring break would become such a small window of opportunity, that teenagers would have to make decisions they’ll regret at an alarmingly faster pace than normal! Dear God, girls won’t even have enough time to get their t-shirts properly wet. Boys will have to wear two or three Ed Hardy shirts at a time just to not waste their entire spring break wardrobe!
And what about the most important thing in the world? Television! T.V. seasons are already too short. There will be less time for good, well written, smart shows like Community to find their audience. Then they’ll be put on hiatus while shows like The Bachelor, Toddlers & Tiaras and Hillbilly Handfishin’ will gain in popularity. It’ll be a televised sea of mediocrity, full of skanky housewives, inbred shirtless yokels, mean spirited pageant moms and the worst of them all... the Kardashians. Oh no! The Kardashians! The prophecy is true. Quick, someone get on that horse and ride back to the mountain. Bring back the chosen one! We need them more than ever! Damn you Leap Year! Damn you to hell!