By Jay Rosenberg
I wish I had a more eloquent way to say this — it’s horseshit that anyone gets off for Patriot’s Day. Why should this one enclave of Northeast elitism get some magical extra day off that everyone else doesn’t? There are some tremendous people in the state of Massachusetts, completely worthy of a three-day weekend. But there are also plenty of hateful mouth-breathers. Why should their hateful mouth-breathers get a long weekend while ours have to work?
Here’s the idea. The third Monday of April, a brand spanking new national holiday: Jackie Robinson Day.
I wish I could speak on this with some real credibility. Recount stories my old grampa used to tell me about Jim Crow and the world the way it was. I can’t. Not only am I white but I’m also pretty sure both my grandfathers either are or were huge bigots (one I’m sure of, the other I think I’m better off not knowing).
Jackie Robinson is clearly as fine a subject for a holiday as anyone. Trees have a day and they don’t even care. I do know he played his first game on April 15th and for my purposes that’s plenty.
The main thing at play here is this — the holidays in the spring suck something serious. The weather’s finally nice so they know we’re not paying attention. Easter (Sunday), Mother’s Day (Sunday), Ash Wednesday (less than wild). Real murderer’s row. It’s the Diet Ginger Ale of the holiday roster.
Who could have a problem with a much-needed spring holiday, which as a little bonus would piss off racists. Times are tough in this country, everyone can use a bit of unadulterated good news. And isn’t it a smart move for a struggling enterprise? The troops are antsy. You throw them a pizza party. You make a small gesture to give them the slightest notion that you wouldn’t trade them for three free months of Starz. You give them a brand-new holiday, an unexpected day off.
What confuses me is that this is a country where politicians have proven there’s no mountain of crazy nonsense they won’t climb, no godless deed that won’t be done for the sake of being elected. Yet not one ambitious politician has put together that the person who gets us a day off (or March Madness classified as a legitimate illness) could run for Pope.
And if it rankles Boston because it takes some of the shine from their special little day, I’ll leave it to the imagination what action should be done with that information and which hole it should be jammed into.
About the author: Jay Rosenberg is a born and bred New Yorker, award-winning poet (if the USA Today daily haiku contest counts), occasional poker player, and frequent Academy Award ceremony viewer. While he respects everyone’s right to choose their own course, Jay firmly believes that distance runners should find more hobbies.