At last, the holiday season that began on Halloween will finally come to a close with Super Bowl Sunday. You may say it's not a holiday because most of us get Sunday off anyway, but la-la-la-la, I can't hear you, it's a holiday. After that we must wait two entire weeks, a fortnight, 14 days, before we get another long weekend for Presidents Day. But then you'll have to wait until Memorial Day to really relax.
Unless, like me, you choose to celebrate and honor local and religious holidays by not going to work on Texas Independence Day, Casimir Pulaski Day, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick's Day, Maryland Day, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day, Cesar Chavez Day, Seward's Day, Pascua Florida Day, Father Damien Day, Maundy Thursday, Patriot's Day, San Jacinto Day, Oklahoma Day, Arbor Day, several Confederate Memorial Days, Law Day, Rhode Island Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo, Truman Day, Mother's Day, Armed Forces Day, Harvey Milk Day and National Maritime Day. Sorry, I had to leave out a few to save a forest.
All together, I counted 36 holy days, name days and observance days between Presidents Day and Memorial Day -- and that's not counting the ones that fall on the weekends, like Easter.
If you do celebrate Mardi Gras, do you really think you're going to make it to work on Ash Wednesday? Not if you're doing it right. But the Super Bowl is different. It's the one holiday where you can overeat and over-drink and wager on football. Whoops, I forgot: That's pretty much true for Thanksgiving and New Year's, too. Or any day they play football. Maybe this year someone will finally come up with a Super Bowl snack that rivals the Turducken of Thanksgiving. Instead of turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken, they'll invent the Sauguaco: a sausage stuffed with guacamole stuffed with nachos.
But the real difference between the Super Bowl and other holidays is that you're supposed to show up at work the next day and talk about it. When people ask you if you had a nice Christmas, you could say almost anything and it would work, because after all, whose business is it that you had a fight with your son-in-law and will never see your grandchildren again? Who's to know if your wife didn't like the exercise bicycle you bought her? But the Super Bowl, you better have your facts straight. The only excuse for missing work on Super Bowl Monday is that you didn't watch it -- or you watched something else. Or maybe that's your job, figuring out what to put on TV opposite the Super Bowl. Commercials that sell for a million dollars a minute on the Super Bowl must cost pennies on the other stations. It must be infomercial heaven. Can I hear a "ShamWow!"
Most of us are wise enough to use the bathroom during the game and not to go during precious commercials. Someone can always tell you about the plays and the scores, but the commercials have to be seen. I missed one last year and people had to explain to me that I had to buy this brand of beer because the horses that pull the wagons have good memories. If that doesn't make sense, you haven't had enough beer.
As big as football is in this country, someday soccer may equal or surpass it, and certainly our national heroes will still pass away. Which makes me wonder: How many holidays will there be a hundred years from now? Will every day be a holiday? Will every weekend be three days? Will every weekend need decorations on the outside of the house?
But in a hundred years, maybe we'll celebrate some holidays differently. Like by showing up for work.
Contact Jim Mullen at JimMullenBooks.com.