• Image about Shahin Takes Off 01-01-2008
Switch New Year's and Hog Callers' Day

I NEED ANOTHER new year like I need anotherhole in my head. That's right, another. How I got the fi rst one, Ihave no idea. All I know is that there is a throbbing ache where athought process used to be.

Some would say it is not a hole but a hangover.

Hey, you say tomatoes, I say hole in my head. All right? The point,though, isn't my head. The point is the new year.

Look at it out there. It is as dark as the long night of a torturedsoul and as cold as, to quote the Foreigner singer guy, iiiiice.

Why I quoted the Foreigner singer guy, I have no idea. Probablybecause I have a hole in my head.

Which reminds me: I need another new year like I need anotherForeigner reunion tour. Which will probably happen this year,because it always happens.

Anyway, the thing is, what I really mean is, yours are the sweetesteyes oh, jeez, now I'm quoting old Elton John songs. That holejust keeps getting bigger.

I need food. Somebody give me a cheeseburger!

(That's from the old Steve Miller song Living in the USA.)

Please. Make it stop.

My head is a jukebox that plays only bad songs.

Last issue, I lamented that all the wonderful, cheery, relentlessChristmastime music would end around the New Year. I hadn'tconsidered that an entirely new batch of songs would take itsplace.

But here they are. And you know why? That's right: Because I have ahole in my head.

Even so, I do remember saying that it is cold outside.

But maybe it's not. Maybe it's unseasonably warm.

And if it is unseasonably warm, that's even worse. Becauseunseasonable may not be unseasonable anymore. Unseasonable may bejust the way things are.

It may be tanning in February, shoveling in July. It may be oceansrising, snowcaps melting, sidewalks erupting, skyscraperscrumbling, bulldogs purring, teenagers behaving. It may be climaticbeer cans smashed into planetary foreheads. Which is to say,meteorological lunacy on a John Belushi scale.

Which is to say, the world as Animal House.

Which is to say, global warming.

In that case? Unseasonable is the new season.

And that is why it being warm might be worse than it being coldoutside. Because it is winter. It's supposed to be cold outside.Unless, of course, it's unseasonable. Then it's okay.

But I'm not talking about global warming.

No, what I am talking about is celebrating the New Year in themiddle of winter. And what I am saying is that we need to stopdoing it.

We should spend winters as bears do: watching football.

Oh, I forgot - we already do that.

No less an authority on the United States than the United Statessays so. This is purportedly from the U.S. State Department: "Manyfamilies and friends watch television together, enjoying theTournament of Roses parade preceding the Rose Bowl football game inPasadena, California.

"In the warmer regions all around the country, there are othergames whose names are characteristic of the states. People watchthe Orange Bowl game in Florida, the Cotton Bowl in Texas, and theSugar Bowl in Louisiana."

Note I used the word purportedly. That isbecause when I did an Internet search on the phrase "American NewYear's," I came across the preceding material on www.stockholm.usembassy.gov.The page has the official United States eagle insignia in the topleft corner, and, at the bottom, it has the words, "Embassy of theUnited States of America." But I couldn't find the same documentwhen I ran the search on the U.S. State Department's site.

I did find similar pages on the U.S. site, though. There was a lotof the same material about federal U.S. holidays, but there wasn'tanything about watching football. It did, however, cite - and I amnot making this up - Hog Callers' Day.

I did an Internet search of "Hog Callers' Day," and, from what Ican tell, there isn't one. But my guess is that it is in thesummer.

So I don't know what is going on. Is there some guy at the U.S.State Department giving false information about American holidaysfor national-security purposes? Or are the Swedes making stuff upabout Americans watching football, but it's true?

Coincidence? Conspiracy?

You decide.

Whatever it is, the United States, preferably with Sweden's backingbut alone if need be, should officially move New Year's from thedead of winter - whether cold or not, it is still dark - to a timemore fitting to the occasion.

Sometime, say, in the summer, when the grass is green. When thedays are longer. When the songs are better.

When I am over my hangover.

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