Sunday, February 27, 2011


I am so glad this month is over! Not only do I have to make a special attempt every single year to figure out exactly how many days I have to wait until March 1, but I get a bunch of grammarians (perhaps they would more accurately be called pronunciationists, but I’m pretty sure that is not really a word) telling me, “That’s not the way you say it.”

Sure it is. February. I’ve been saying it that way since I was a kid.

“You’re saying Febuary,” they say.

I know. February.

“It’s pronounced ‘Fe-broo-ary.’ There are two Rs.”

I know how to spell it, for goodness sake. I also know how to say it. February.

“You’re still saying ‘Febuary.’”

Febuary. It is how most of us say it, unless we are trying to be one of those effete elitists. FebRuary. Ugh.

Never mind all that. Let’s talk about something else. How about the fact that the whole leap year trauma, when I wake up and have to figure out if it is February 29 or March 1, will enjoy an unfortunate twist just before my 138th birthday in 2100 . . . which I do plan on being around for.

Taken from the Internet without proper attribution: “Years that are evenly divisible by 100 are not leap years, unless they are also evenly divisible by 400, in which case they are leap years. For example, 1600 and 2000 were leap years, but 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not. Similarly, 2100, 2200, 2300, 2500, 2600, 2700, 2900 and 3000 will not be leap years, but 2400 and 2800 will be.”

Great. Just great. I have to trust the printers of 2100 calendars to remember not to include February 29. 2100 will be the first leap year not to actually be a leap year in two hundred years. This is Y2K all over again. Traffic lights will go on the fritz; elevators will plummet from the tops of skyscrapers. All because we will be inundated with inaccurate calendars. Maybe that’s why the Mayans didn’t make calendars after 2012. They were just sick and tired of worrying about the leap year nonsense and went back to building temples out of shoddy construction materials that would eventually turn to ruins and committing ritual acts of animal sacrifice and bloodletting.

Go Mayans!

And while I complain about the lack of uniformity when it comes to the month of Febuary, excuse me, February, I don’t know why we have to make a list of which years include twenty-nine days for the second month. To make the statement that 3000 will not be a leap year means that you think someone is jotting down right now what is being discussed and that note will be found in the back of some futuristic kitchen drawer just in time to remind everyone.

Trust me, that’s not going to happen. If there is anyone still alive in 3000, I’m pretty sure they will be too busy flying around on their cloned pterodactyls to care about leap years. Daily information (date, weather, historical fun fact, plus that evening’s TV programs) will be automatically uploaded to their iBrain™ upon waking, and the global economy, like global warming, will remain an unfulfilled prophecy.

Until that time, people born on any given leap day will have to wait four years to throw a legitimate birthday celebration (except for the poor saps born on February 29, 2096: they’ll have to wait eight years for their first party). February is just one big messed up month. (Except for daughter Kelsey’s birthday of course. The 23rd. If you haven’t sent a present yet it’s not too late. Hallmark makes plenty of belated birthday cards.)

February is to the annual calendar what Ringo Starr is to the Beatles. Really! See: February has the fewest days, and Ringo wrote the fewest of the Beatles’ songs. It makes perfect sense. Of course, at this point Ringo is quite possibly going to be the last Beatle standing, and will happily be the winner of their unexpected musical tontine.

Ringo can be a shining example for February. It just has to outlast the rest of the months. By 3000 February could be the name of the entire calendar.

Or Febuary.

1 comment:

  1. Tontine---- good word. Who's the effete one now?

    If you say Febuary, you might as well say libary, too. I'm just saying.