Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Day ReRun

Leap Day ReRun

From the "My Don't Time Fly" files....this one was written for the last Leap Day we a point where I'd been keeping this cotton picking blog for a mere year and a half....

So, a few thoughts on Leap Year:

You know, our culture's got a huge mad-on for days that happen once a year. Fourth of July. Thanksgiving. Super Sunday. I mean, we start getting ready for Christmas five months in advance.

You'd think the furor surrounding February 29th, the day that happens once every four years, would be four times as big. Maybe it's my math that's faulty.

(Voice in my head:'s your math that's faulty...)

But you'd figure there'd be parades, and games, and prizes and rides. A nation...nay, International...Day of Celebration.

Facts compiled by Joanne Mamenta, found in the Tennessean:

--If it's your birthday today, you're one of 187,000 leap day babies in the U.S., and 4.1 million worldwide.

--Why do we have leap year? To keep the calendar in line with the seasons. The article asks if I want to see it snowing in September. Yes. Yes I do.

--The Egyptians were the first to come up with the idea of the leap year. Later, the Romans adopted this solution, and designated Feb 29 as leap day.

--Leap year became the traditional time for women to propose marriage to men. According to English law, Feb 29 was ignored, and had no legal status. Folks assumed the time's stricter rules of courtship went out the window, such as the taboo on her asking for his hand in marriage.

--A few leap year babies: Dinah Shore, singer-songwriter Gretchen Christopher and rapper Ja Rule.

--It's also Superman's Birthday.

A few other facts about leap day, that may or may not be true:

--In Wyoming, each citizen is entitled to one pre-meditated murder, without fear of criminal prosecution, on Leap Day. You must be a natural born citizen of Wyoming.

--Ricardo Montalban invented Leap Year, Leap Day, and the Cotton Gin.

--Your chance of being born on February 29 is one in 3.1 billion.

--Children born on Leap Day have wondrous, magical powers. These powers include, but are not limited to: Flight, Telepathy, Transmigration of the Soul, X-Ray Vision, Blaster Heinie, Healing Factor, Big Wings out of the Back, Optic Blasts, Manipulation of the Weather, Communication with God(s), Invulnerability to Advertising, Inability to Recognize Texas, Eye of the Tiger, Gator Jaw, Zombification, Leprousy, Super Speed and Really Big Left Hand.

--Free Will technically does not exist on February 29. Or is it Free Willy?

--Here's a neat trick: Bite the ends of your pinkie fingers. Hard, but not painfully. For about a minute. Then hook them together, and try to pull them apart. That weird, kinda painful feeling in your fingernails? That couldn't have happened without February 29th. I'm not sure how that works.

--It is possible to communicate with each of the dead Presidents of the U.S. on Leap Day. But you have to know the phone number. If you find out what the phone number is, remember that William Henry Harrison's kind of a prick, so don't ask to talk to him. History doesn't teach us all of these things.

--It's best not to leave the house at all on Leap Day.

--The concepts of the "mob mentality" and "mass hysteria" were both invented on Leap Day. But they work any day of the year. But it just feels special on Leap Day.

--The technical name of Leap Day is "Anybody Can Be an Astronaut, Especially You, so Let's All Eat our Quaker Oats and Make a Leap for the Stars" Day. But that won't fit on calendars.

--Mmmm. Leap Day Stew. Secret Ingredient? Hamster.

--The Laws of Thermodynamics have occasionally been known to fall out of whack. For one day, Perpetual Motion is possible. If you have the cash. That's why it's not such a special day. The only two people who could afford a device capable of perpetual motion? Bill Gates, and Ricardo Montalban.

So. Go Enjoy your February 29th. Wish your family Happy Greetings, and enjoy the Leap Day Brunchelsupper. My Leap Day Feast: Broccoli, Carrots, Diet Mt. Dew, 3 Gallons of Water and the Travel Section from the Sunday Paper.


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