13 September, 2006

The Greatest of All Human Beings

As the school year begins again, every student is already anticipating the first days off. Days off scattered throughout the school year are like delicious chocolate morsels scattered throughout a pit of rusty needles, like the one in Saw II. Yeah, everyone hates that part and now you're probably upset that I brought it up. Ew, that part is so gross when the needles are all stuck in the girls arms and legs! Ok, I'll stop there to keep you reading. So I'm not going to focus on the needles, I'm focusing on those delicious chocolate morsels. Yes, those days that have become the most anticipated of all during the otherwise mundane school year. Because these days are so highly sought after, I think it's safe to claim that the people responsible for these days are the greatest people to have ever graced the face of our humble planet. Here's my countdown and commentary on The Greatest.

THE LIST:

7) George Washington/Abraham Lincoln-In my mind, the best holidays are those that only one man is responsible for. Since President's Day is a combination day celebrating these two men's birthdays, it takes a way a little bit from its glory. However, a holiday is still a holiday and a three day weekend in the middle of February can speed things up a little bit in the slow time between New Year's and Easter. Not to mention, who doesn't love seeing 29 "Macy's President's Day Sale" commercials every hour on television.

6) Christopher Columbus-The man popularly given credit for discovering America has his birthday celebrated as part of the first three day weekend of the school year. I'm glad he "discovered" America but if we're celebrating his birthday, I feel that we should be getting a three day weekend for Leif Ericson too. Columbus, you're a good guy for giving us a day off and all, but you're really disrespecting Leif through all this hullabaloo. Thanks for everything Chris, just don't forget Leif, alright?

5) Martin Luther King, Jr.-Normally, this is a great holiday because it, like President's Day, helps get you through the cold, unforgiving stretch between the New Year and Easter. This is also one of very few holidays to celebrate one person's birth, so props to MLK. I would like to note that Boston University is totally dissing the entire African-American community and advocates for civil rights everywhere by making us go to school on this day this year. Anyway, he was an undeniably great man, and this is now an undeniably great holiday.

4) Founding Fathers-Sure, they decided to sign a very eloquently letter to the British on a July afternoon some two centuries ago. But they should have signed it during the school year. I know that's what I would have done. Come on guys, you were among the smartest living men on Earth when you pulled this little stunt off, but you didn't even consider that your descendants and the American citizens in school wouldn't reap the benefits of your deed? I'll give you guys some credit for somehow getting the Fourth associated with blowing stuff up for recreation. Who doesn't love fireworks and who doesn't love freedom?

3) American War Veterans-These men and women have provided our country with numerous years of service and bravery carrying us through the wars of the twentieth century, and more importantly, we also get two holidays out of them. Memorial Day is a more or less a universal school and work holiday and it unofficially kicks off the summer, which is always awesome. Veterans Day isn't that great. It's normally overlooked in terms of schools and workplaces, however, I do have off for it this school year so I have a new found appreciation for this holiday. Thanks for everything and keep up the good work veterans!

2) Pilgrims/Native Americans-The landing at Plymouth Rock and the subsequent "First Thanksgiving" between the Pilgrims and their newly found Native American buddies has become that annual occasion when we get about three days off and are culturally expected to act as gluttonous as the rest of the world likes to portray us. Just kick back, eat and eat and eat for hours and then fall asleep from all the trytophan chemically embedded in the turkey we consume. Then after a nice turkey-induced sleep, we may up a an ungodly hour and go shopping for stuff at insanely low prices. My mouth waters already, three months in advance of the holiday.

1) Jesus Christ-Well, here he is: the undisputed champion. Right here, we have Jesus Christ, The Greatest of All Human Beings. He has inspired millions of followers world wide for two millenium now and get this, he can be credited, at least partially, with getting us off of school for well over a month depending on your school. He can be given credit obviously for an extended weekend around Easter with the inclusion of Good Friday, nearly a month before and after Christmas and often Spring Break falls immediately before or after Easter, so I'm going to give him credit for it. True, an extended Christmas Break may also incorporate the New Year holiday and other religious and cultural celebrations, like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, but he is undoubtedly responsible for this break for the most part. And because of all this time we get off for him, I think it's safe to make the proclamation that Jesus Christ is The Greatest of All Human Beings.

THE REST:
I didn't want to call this the "Dishonorable Mention" section but, that's more or less what it is. These are people or groups I feel need to try a little bit harder to get their holiday out there and get us out work and school.

Patriots-Sure, we get a day for these guys up here in Massachusetts. The rest of the country, with the exception of Maine and Wisconsin (neither part of the original 13 mind you) is S.O.L however, as Patriot's Day only gets people out of school and work up these ways. Sure, it's a day off, but distribute the wealth Patriots, this isn't what you would have wanted.

Jewish Culture-Guys, I love all of you, but could you do something so I can get out of school for the entirety of Hanukkah, Rosh Hashanah, Passover and Yom Kippur? I'd really appreciate these few extra days off. I mean, I'm not Jewish, but you guys aren't Christian and you get off for those holidays so could you throw us a bone?

Mexican-Americans-Cinco de Mayo anyone? Probably only a third of Americans know what this day celebrates (French defeat at the Batalla de Puebla). Mexican immigrants make up such a large portion of our population that we should probably use this day to miss school and work, and to celebrate Mexican culture through the devouring of Margaritas and Quesadillas. I'd be up for it.

Betsy Ross-Flag Day is perhaps the greatest joke of all patriotic holidays. I'm going to have to blame this one on Betsy Ross, often cited as the creator the flag that is celebrated on this day. Betsy, are you going to take this and just sit there sewing, or are you going to get us out of another day of school and work?

Irish-Americans-There are sure enough of us around that St. Patrick's Day should be noted enough to get out of school and work, right? At a very minimum, the day after should be given off because the way in which this one is normally celebrates does not grant participants a very easy time getting up in the morning.

National Football League-Right here, I am sincerley the most passionate about. I'm not even too crazy about football, but I mean the Super Bowl is watched by more people each year than just about any other television program airing in the same year. Not to mention the countless parties that are held, the fattening food and alcohol that is consumed over the course of the game by the American public. Unfortunately, the game is always on a Sunday and that means work and school the next day. After a Sunday like that, no one wants to go to school or work, and numerous people, especially those who work, just call out anyway. I don't always love the game, but I always love the party and hate going to school the next day. Here's to Super Bowl Monday.

Ah, I love the numerous amount of days we get off for all these reasons and I could always go for a few more. Here's to the greatest people around who get us out of our schooling and working.