Friday, March 31, 2006

IT'S ALL THE SAME

It’s all the same.

I worked with a guy once who said this every time someone asked him where he wanted to eat for lunch.

“I don’t care – you pick. It’s all the same.”

Yeah, there are plenty of different options to choose from, but when you get right down to it, lunch is about finding a place you can fill up for under six bucks. That’s it. And if you have tacos today, you’ll have a tuna melt tomorrow. And if you have a sub sandwich today, you’ll grab a couple hot dogs tomorrow. Fast food sandwiches and corner bakery salads. They don’t all taste the same, but they’re not really all that different either. Sure, Arby’s Roast Beef is a different experience than a Quizno’s Steakhouse Dip, but it’s really all about getting a little food in your belly so you don’t pass out on the job. Again.

So, yeah - lunch - it’s all the same.


Life is a lot like lunch. There are a lot of different things going on out in the world – and we all make decisions from day to day – but year after year, the foundation of our existence doesn’t change a whole lot. Take a look at what you did this year, and last year, and the year before that, and a pattern emerges.

It's all the same.

All of us, like it or not, are on this dizzying loop called a calendar year. When we were born, we were dropped by the hand of God right into the middle of this spinning blue wheel - living, breathing roulette balls - articles of faith, hope, and mixed fortune. Roulette balls hit a lot of different numbers and colors as they spin around that wheel, but the numbers are always 1-36, the colors are always red, black, and green, and the ball itself always comes to grinding halt – just as we all will someday.

Our big blue wheel was spinning for some time before we were dropped in, but we've been here long enough to get a good feel for the lay of the land.

For modern Americans, life looks a lot like this:

Happy New Year, the Superbowl, Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day, St. Patrick’s Day, March Madness, Spring training, April Fools Day, tax time, tornadoes, spring cleaning, Easter, graduation, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, summer vacations, heat waves, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, back to school shopping, Labor Day, tornadoes, World Series, Columbus Day, Halloween, election day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, holiday shopping, Christmas, blizzards, ice storms, New Years resolutions, the Superbowl, Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day, St. Patrick’s Day, March Madness, Spring training, April Fools Day, tax time, tornadoes, spring cleaning, Easter, graduation, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, summer vacations, heat waves, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, back to school shopping, Labor Day, tornadoes, World Series, Columbus Day, Halloween, election day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, holiday shopping, Christmas, blizzards, ice storms, New Years resolutions, the Superbowl, Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day, St. Patrick’s Day, March Madness, Spring training, April Fools Day, tax time, tornadoes, spring cleaning, Easter, graduation, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, summer vacations, heat waves, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, back to school shopping, Labor Day, tornadoes, World Series, Columbus Day, Halloween, election day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, holiday shopping, Christmas, blizzards, ice storms, ad infinitum/nauseum...

Every so often we mix things up with a Leap Year, Olympic games, or the invasion of a country on false pretenses, but things are otherwise the same year after year. The same holidays. The same sporting events. The same seasonal rituals year after year after year. Add a few birthdays and weddings to the mix and you’ve got yourself plans for a lifetime.

This is what I want.

I want a randomized calendar of events that’s compiled by a computer and announced on January first (by Dick Clark). All annual holidays and events are to be assigned completely at random and can fall on any day of the year. Imagine the possibilities.

We could have Halloween the day before St. Patrick’s Day. Christmas in April. Thanksgiving turkey cooked on the grill. We could vote for a president on April Fools Day (appropriately?). Our taxes could be due on Labor Day. It might be a little weird to postpone the Superbowl until the following September, but at least the teams would be at full strength. Randomizing annual events every year would really mix things up – for the better!

And to really mix things up, I propose we add another week (5 work days) of holidays. They would fall on completely random days and each one would celebrate a different American person. Not famous Americans, just average everyday normal Americans like you and me. So October 7th, 2006 could be AYNtK day. And people would get off of work in honor of my naughty monkey. We need more time off in this country anyhow, and celebrating the lives of ordinary citizens at random points during the year would be a fun way to do it. No more Casmir Pulaski days. If I'm going to celebrate a person I've never heard of before, I want that person to be every bit as mediocre as I am. And the best part of all of this is that every year would be completely different.

So what do you say? Are you with me? Let's do it.

Otherwise life will continue to be like lunch – a six dollar sandwich, soda, and side.

1 comment:

Sheila K said...

I'm all for October 7th being AYNtK day...it's my Birthday!!!

Wooo Hooo!

I SEE YOU!