36 Days Hath December
Do you like mnemonics? I do.
I think I first learned, “Oh, Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me” from a Berserker short story by Fred Saberhagen. In the story, the mnemonic “proved” that someone wasn’t a killer robot, because a machine wouldn’t use such a device. Of course, our future killer robots will have read the story and will use it against us.
There is also “My Very Energetic Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas,” but Neil DeGrasse Tyson delisted Pluto, so that now we have, “Many Very Educated Men Just Screwed Up Nature.”
Don’t worry, Pluto, we’ll never forget you as long as we have this:
Have you ever heard this one?
April, June, and November;All the rest have thirty-one,Save February, with twenty-eight days clear,And twenty-nine each leap year.
My mother taught me many useful things, including how to tie my shoes, but this bit of wisdom did not help me. (Until today, when it grew into a blog post.) It just seems like a random listing of months. Where’s the memory aid?
I guess it’s improved since this 15th-century version:
Thirtey days has January,Aprile, June, and September:Of twyecescore-eightt is but eine,And all the remnante be thrycescore-eine.O’course Leap yare comes an’pynes,Ev’rie foure yares, gote it ryghth.An’twyecescore-eight is but twyecescore-nyne.
But only slightly.
The knuckles method works much better for me.
Anyway, all of this is to say, we’re an even third of the way through December and LoBloPoMo! Day 12 of 36! What? That doesn’t sound right to you? I agree. LoBloPoMo is a really dumb word. But it’s getting easier to say, and I have to admit that I kind of like saying it. LoBloPoMo. (My wife is tired of hearing it.) I pronounce it LOW-blow-POH-moh, but it occurs to me luh-BLOP-uh-moh might be fun to say also.
I think it’s going pretty well. How about you? Is there anything you’d like to see on these pages? The suggestions tapered off after the idea for Day 7, but I know you guys must be hungry for my special brand of commentary on numerous subjects.
Since we’ve learned the calendar is a malleable thing, maybe I could talk about my desire for an eight-day week. Our standard “five on, two off” work week is an atrocity. “Five on, three off” would be so much better. Each month would be exactly four weeks. (Alas, “Thirty days hath September” would go away.) We’d have eleven months. The leftover days would be a special extended holiday for the whole world.
Which month would we lose? I was going to say March, but… boy, I’d miss the Ides of March, and miss saying, “Beware the Ides of March.” There are so many warm memories wrapped up in each of the months. (Like the Ides of March.) I’m sure we can figure something out.
December! The bonus thirteen-day holiday can be December. Fourteen days on leap years. Problem solved. (And future LoBloPoMos will be easier this way. I’d almost be done with this thing. Two problems solved.)
Please keep reading! I’m full of great ideas like this, and you can use them all for free.