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, 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!"|
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 they 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.
|"Hey, I don't give a frik what the school district says. |
My kids get the day off, capiche?"
NOTE From 2014 Al: 'The Sopranos' is no longer on the air.
And not just because James Gandolfini is dead.
The others may be, too. But, who cares?
More times than not, we hardly know it’s happened until the evening news greets us with, “Happy Columbus Day! Too bad you hadda work! Ha, ha, ha!”
My family 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 nursing school.
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 celebrateCOLUMBO Day.
6. Grab some library books, cross out all references to ‘America’ and replace them with ‘Christopopolis.’ Draw moustaches and bucked teeth 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 were all hiding!”
The big chicken.
3. Forward a petition to the city council demanding equal time with Bastille 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 pies.