|Illustration by Gordon Studer|
Things start going south in just four days when we have to pay our government for the right to live here or else get beaten up by their goons. It's a lot like the Mafia except it affects everyone, not just Italians in New Jersey. And it's not just the Feds; everyone wants a piece of you. For example, despite having shelled out a boatload of cash to Uncle Sam over the last year, we learned that we still owe the state of Illinois three dollars for having driven through there a few times. (Just kidding, it was more than a few times.) Good thing we have an accountant; I shudder to think of the consequences had that debt gone undiscovered.
Immediately after the horror of April 15, Mother's Day looms. Along with a steady barrage of ads for pearl necklaces, red roses, chocolate truffles, cell phones and The Olive Garden come memories of all those mothers long dead. Naturally tears, recrimination and guilt play a big part in the celebrations. Cheesy greeting cards for "The World's Greatest Mom" are distributed to the worthy, or so I hear. A month later comes Father's Day, a lesser day for sure but still a heyday for merchants hawking golf attire, beer mugs, electric shavers and boxer shorts imprinted with the words "#1 Dad." Again, the greeting cards, the restaurants, the memories. Then suddenly it's Memorial Day, a somber holiday honoring dead warriors from past battles that kicks off a summer of bug bites, sunburn and accidental drownings with the traditional traffic jams and highway deaths, followed by Fourth of July fireworks in the middle and Labor Day at the end, both highlighted by more of the same.
I do love anchovy pizza and piano music any time of year.