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August needs a holiday

By Merrill Ogden - | Aug 17, 2022

Here we are more than halfway through the month of August. As I looked at the calendar, it occurred to me that there are no holidays this month. That struck me as quite odd. I know that there are some months which have no legal holidays. But those months, March, for example, have at least a day like St. Patrick’s Day to spice things up a little.

My calendar doesn’t show a single event to commemorate for August. It does show that we had a full moon on the 11th; but that’s as good as it gets. Don’t get me wrong, full moons are nice. Seeing a huge moon rise over Sanpete’s east mountains is spectacular.

I’ve told you about my brother who considers each full moon a holiday of sorts. Since he bought a 4-wheeler many years ago, he has taken a ride, even if it’s a token ride, on the night of the full moon each month. He has had very few missed rides over all the years since he made the commitment.

Speaking of moons, I’m reminded of one of my favorite riddles that I’ve told so often that some people groan when they hear me start telling it. (including some of you)

Question: What is gray, sits on a cliff, howls at the moon and is full of cement?

Answer: A coyote. (I just put the cement in to make it harder.)

I checked another calendar to see if my wall calendar was just being chintzy on the August holidays. My hopes were raised when I saw something. Then I realized it was a Canadian thing called “Civic Holiday” which occurs on the first Monday of August. So, being Canadian, that doesn’t really count. Even if I felt like celebrating that (whatever it is), it’s already past.

I took at look at the internet and noticed that there were a few things that could be mentioned. “National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day” has also already past us by. That was on the 4th. So, you don’t have to worry about gifting me Toll House cookies this month. (However, whenever Snickerdoodle Cookie day comes along, I’d appreciate you remembering.)

The 13th of the month was “Left-Handers Day.” I checked and approximately 10% of the population are left-handed. It’s a myth that they are smarter. But it is true that lefties tend to have more accidents in a world where tools and equipment is generally made for use by right-handed people.

There are some Catholic related dates in August, but I don’t think they’re very widely celebrated around here. I haven’t had any invitations to go to a party or take a road trip for St. Bartholomew’s Day. That’s on the 24th.

So here we are with a month smack dab in the middle of the warm season when we don’t have a dang holiday! We need a legitimate day off in August when business life can pause and we can enjoy life.

It needs to be on a Friday. (If you’ve read this column for very long you know that I routinely complain about Monday holidays that sandwich church obligation Sundays between the two days off.)

Sure, a day can be taken off without it being a holiday. But the problem is that everyone else is working and they expect you to have your nose to the grindstone as well.

When they want you for something and find out that you’re gone, they don’t often say, “Oh good for him, he deserves a day off.” No, the response usually is, “Who does he think he is running away to play and leaving us in a lurch.”

It suddenly occurs to me that Sanpete does have a quasi-holiday in August. It’s the Friday of the last week of the county fair. That’s the 26th this year.

It’s a busy fair day and sometimes people kind of wander away from their workplaces. The carnival opens and it’s the day of the Demolition Derby. I think we need to jump on this and formalize that day as an official holiday.

There are just two small hurdles to get over to make this what it should be. First off, Sanpete needs to declare the holiday. Easy enough. The county commissioners just need to wave their magic wand and bang! – It’s done.

Secondly, we need to get the rest of the country to get on board with it. Not quite as easy.

The key element for success will be naming the holiday. “The Sanpete County Fair National Holiday” sounds good, but it probably wouldn’t get very far in Congress. Besides Sanpete shouldn’t be linked to two national holidays. (I’m personally carrying the load to have Thanksgiving made into an official two-day holiday with the second day being “Sanpete Left-Over Turkey Day.”)

I would suggest that the new August holiday be named something along the lines of: “Summer Is Soon Over and August Doesn’t Have Any Other Holidays and I Don’t Want to Go to Work Day.” It might be hard to fit on a calendar, but I think America might be ready for it. What do you think?

—  Merrill


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