Monday, October 10, 2011

Goodbye, Columbus

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 'Sit the F 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, white, 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 shopping malls trot out their very best Columbus Day displays of bed linen (“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 Boxing Day.  It doesn’t draw in the romantics like Valentines Day, the patriots like the 4th of July, or even the corned beef and Guinness crowd like St. Patrick’s Day.
    More times than not, we hardly know it’s happened until the evening news greets us with, “Happy Columbus Day!  Too bad you hadda go to work!  Ha, ha, ha!”
    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 invention of “The Clapper”), might I offer the following ways to celebrate Columbus Day:
Apparently, Northern Indians were more
bad ass 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 local tribal casino, 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 your street 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 town pond, claim YWCA summer camp 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 the bank. 
    But, if it’ll make you feel better, go get yourself a cannoli.
    Chris would’ve wanted it that way.

  To my good friends north of the border:  Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!  May your harvest tables be blessed with bountiful feasts and happily free of moose and Celine Dion look-alikes.
  As Martin Frobisher would have said, “Sure, it makes more sense than eating outside in Massachusetts in November, but don’t you think we could’ve thrown in a four-day weekend like the United States?”



  1. It's cool to see that you enjoy October because personally I hate from now until March next year. Maybe I should try and hold your optimism sometime buddy, it seems like a good position to view life from.

  2. I don't think that women were invited onto the original party boat- so what's for me to celebrate?

  3. Pretty sure most of America wouldn't even know it was Columbus day until you told them... what are we celebrating? Taking over countries?

  4. we just did a little unit study on columbo day today for school. since i forgot that all the other kids get a day off from school today. oops.

  5. @Yeamie: The best thing about winter is that it makes you appreciate summer even more. Plus, I can wear socks to hide my toe fungus.
    @laughingmom: What self-respecting woman would want to get in on that gig?
    @Sub-Radar-Mike: It really is a bust. And, I'll bet you're right.
    @Sherilin: We all had to go to school today. That's okay, though. I claimed the cafeteria for the King and Queen of Spain.

  6. Wasn't Leif Eriksson 'Big John Cannon' in High Chaparral. He must have been almost as old as he looked if he also discovered America. What the hell is a "chaparral" anyway?

  7. Outstanding! Not many people would remember that. It WAS Leif (without the horned helmet). I think a "chaparral" is a type of trousers. The fact that they were 'high' made the other boys tease Leif. So much so that he burned their villages and took some British monks prisoner.

  8. Great and funny post! I'm with Yeami. Put me in a coma the day before halloween and revive me the day after Valentine's Day.... Not because of the weather though, we don't really have any here.

  9. There are too many gems in here to comment on. I started laughing loudest at the episode with your brother's pants down at a convent.
    PS Thanks for ranking Hannukah up there with Boxing Day.

  10. @Pat: Chocolate for Halloween and chocolate for Valentines Day keeps me going. For chocolate at Christmas.
    @Robyn: True story (no, really): Mrs. Penwasser I was Jewish (she presumably still is). She didn't go to temple (in fact, her family never did, either), but she faithfully observed Hannukah (and Passover, by the way). I grew to really enjoy the Festival of Lights (and not just because I got a present each night for a week. Although...). Likewise, I enjoyed Passover (and not just because of the challah and Mogen David. Although...). Luckily for me, she observed Christmas (and not just because of the presents. Although....).

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  12. As one of your Canadian peeps, I thanksgiving you.

  13. Apparently, those northern Indians were from Jersey. You're too funny!. Love the hat.

  14. We should all have some type of pork too. That would be to celebrate Columbus bringing pigs to the Americas and turning them loose and bringing our first wild boars.

  15. Great ideas one and all. I hardly know where to start. Probably at the Indian casino, but since I really don't know what craps are I guess I'd lay my money down at the buffet. Of course then I might be dealing with a whole different kind of craps.

    Tossing It Out

  16. Hei you, I will change this fatastic mirrors for your useless pieces of gold! and th rest is history xD

  17. I knew there was some Jewish wit there (wit by spousal association). Mazel Tov. Latkes are the best, nu?

  18. @Joshua: Thanks! I guess I'm bitter because I'm not a mailman. Not only did they have yesterday off, but they get to wear shorts and those bitchin' pith helmets.
    @dbs: I hope yours was great!
    @Barb: ESPECIALLY, the warriors from the Soprano tribe.
    @Ruth: I coulda sworn Columbus didn't bring pigs to America. I think Rosie O'Donnell, Roseanne Barr, and Octo-Mom were BORN here.
    @Eva: You should see me when I'm off my meds.
    @Arlee: Craps stinks. I prefer to lose my money at the blackjack table.
    @Orang3: And, seriously, you wouldn't mind several million of my close personal friends moving in and slaughtering the buffalo?
    @Robyn: Latkes rock. I also really like matzoh bread with peanut butter.

  19. True story, the last time i dressed up as bill clinton, i pulled my pants down, and started the best helicopter you've ever seen. fortunately for me, i was at a party and not a convent.....also it was halloween and i was drunk. it def was not presidents day lolol.

  20. The best stories are based on fact. Nicely done.

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