Men’s Club News – Look for update to come

Yes sport fans, it’s actually happened, truth being stranger than fiction: this very year, two of our country’s iconic holidays are falling on the same date. It’s everything that everyone everywhere is talking about.
“Imagine,” Ernie said, “Christmas and New Years being celebrated on the same day!”
“Makes sense; nothing ever got done on the days between anyway; I know I sure don’t do anything,” someone said.
“Great,” said another. “It’ll mean a lot less overeating, obnoxious parties, and too much booze.” Then he reconsidered: “Well, let’s think about it…”

We were breaking bread at Jason’s; one of our bimonthly coffee klatches. Seemed like same old, same old on the carte, ‘til Larry espied something new and different on the specialty menu: Chicken Pot Pie!
“How,” Barry quizzed the waitress, “do you fry chicken pot pie?”
“Oh no, it’s not fried,” she replied. To which Larry, indignantly, re-replied: “Not fried? This is Jason’s, isn’t it?”
The pot pie—chicken soup with a crust—was actually quite edible, so much so that Harry demanded to see the manager. A trepidatious young wench, a scant 6 weeks older than the waitress, promptly appeared.
“Why, “ Harry insisteded, “isn’t chicken pot pie on the menu more often?”
Looking like she just got a reprieve from the governor, the manager assured us she would correct that error, that we’d have chicken pot pie every second Tuesday, or if need be, every single day of the week!
Such graciousness! At which Larry checked the menu again to be sure we really were dining at Jason’s.

But back to the subject at hand. Thanksgiving has always been a mutable holiday, heretofore always celebrated on the second Monday of October. In Canada. And, by US Federal Law, on the fourth Thursday in November, at least since 1941. Before that the celebratory date varied year to year, or depended upon when the crops came in. Can’t celebrate ‘til the pumpkins turn orange and the marshmallows have ripened! Thanksgiving, known to Native Americans as “scalping day,” has always been a time for deep thought and decisions: Turkey or Ham? Or maybe lasagna?
So that all the great uproar about having Hanukah on Thanksgiving Day—latkes with cranberry sauce— is no great departure from holiday orthodoxy. Why, in Canada, Hanukah is celebrated at Eastertime, and in Australia, people actually sleep in their pajamas!

Our nation does have a troubling history of moving holidays around for the sake of convenience. Once we celebrated both Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays as distinct, commemorative events. And those noble national leaders clearly deserved such adulation, on the dates of their birth. Today, those holidays have been subsumed by President’s Weekend, which always, for unknown reasons, falls on Sat. Sun. and Mon.—convenient for school holidays and discount merchandise sales. Most distressing, celebrating President’s Weekend, instead of those individual birthdays, might lead one to think that, say, Millard Fillmore or George W. belong in what was previously  august company.

We’ve come to celebrating Martin Luther King’s birthday on the third Monday of January, forgetting he was born on the 15th, and the Fourth of July on a convenient Friday or Monday, so as to again achieve a three day weekend. Labor Day should mean working, but it implies a holiday, again on a Monday. Then there’s the Monday of Memorial Day—established to commemorate the official kickoff of the summer holiday and sales season—as if we couldn’t otherwise tell that it was getting warm outside.

And the recently venerated Veteran’s Day? It was set aside to remember those we couldn’t memorialize on Memorial Day, and to give merchants a leg up on the Holiday shopping season.  The day chosen was November 11—something about the 11th second of the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day, something about the ending of World War I, a moment of true reckoning as it commemorated the ending of the war to end all wars. Well, maybe it is better that we use the occasion to shop.

“So I understand that in 2022—excuse me, 5784—Yom Kippur will fall on Rosh Hashanah,” Ernie pointed out. “Or visa versa.”
“Well, Bob joined in. “It doesn’t seem unreasonable. I mean, after all, the year’s over. Why can’t we celebrate and atone at the same time? Instead of having to wait a whole week in between and put up with eating matzos during all that time.
“Moreover, with only one high holy day, think of what we could save on paying for a chazan!”

And speaking of paying, here comes the bill. With our usual 20% discount, your Mens Club is accumulating a big war chest towards our upcoming winter retreat and paintball outing.
“How was everything?” the waitress wanted to know, believing we might leave her a big tip for being so solicitous.
“Not bad, not bad,” Harry told her. “Although, the chicken pot pie could have used some oyster crackers.
“And hey, do you accept payment in Bitcoins?”
“Sure,” she replied. “But my personal policy decrees that all gratuities be paid in coin you can actually bite.”
Larry did think to say something…. but held his tongue!

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