February is the most obnoxious of months, a cold and lumbering time
which dulls the mind and numbs the soul. The other months hate
February in the same manner an otherwise normal family hates smelly
old Uncle Earl. You know who I mean; most all families have their own
variation of Uncle Earl. He's the tongue-chewing cur who pops in
unexpectedly from Omaha every other November with his incontinent
dachshund in tow. He's the drunken, slack-jawed yokel who will
inevitably stick his free hand (the one not
Unfortunately, it's against the laws of nature to kill either Uncle
Earl or February without altering the nature of the cosmos or paying
taxes a month sooner. The best you can hope for is that both will
eventually just go away. They always do, but not without first leaving
an empty fridge, cigar burns on the couch and numerous psychological
Due to a biological imperative which has remained deeply ingrained
within the human DNA strand since before the dawn of time, this
dastardly hole in the middle of winter - February - has for eons
sucked the life force from our noggins and forced us into actions that
would seem plain silly the rest of the year. My old family doctor in
Missouri used to claim he saw more divorces, suicides, car wrecks,
psychosomatic diseases, beatings, bankruptcies and general whining
during February than during the whole rest of the year put together.
That's not surprising. February is a month that includes a holiday in
which we watch a groundhog for snow reports instead of shooting the
damn thing and flipping on the Weather Channel. It's a month when we
celebrate the birthday of an inordinately homely, often depressed
log-splitting president who gave us not only the war of northern
aggression (The States Of Georgia and South Carolina might have
lowered the Stars and Bars, but I didn't) but also encouraged the
false market growth of the optometry profession by suggesting we read
small print by the fractured and indirect light of a fireplace.
Worst of all, this awful month is the nesting ground of that parallel
universe where lovers of all shapes, sizes, smells, colors, dental
hygiene and intelligence demonstrate their affection. They do this by
spending the last five hours of February 13th running around like mad
dogs in search of flowers, gifts, dinner reservations, jewelry and
flimsy undies that they forgot to pick up earlier but best buy now
unless they want to sleep on the couch or find their fishing stuff
broken come spring.
February gives us Valentine's Day, a holiday of Faustian retardation
where one bargains for their soul with gee gaws, jim cracks, trinkets
and doo dads in a futile attempt to pay the toll on the rocky road of
fidelity or the lack thereof. Show up with diamonds and you're
probably ok, although the rock will be too small even if it's the size
of a fluid-retentive 16 pound Brunswick. Show up with a water pik or a
Weed Eater and you're dead meat. Whoever said "it's the thought
that counts" has never truly had to endure a real Valentine's
Day. This is a Hallmark holiday spawned in Hell.
I plan on celebrating Valentine's Day 2001 with my pups - Wow, Henry
and Boris the Malamute. Since they've been acting downright sociable
of late - defined as having not jumped the fence and chased my
neighbor's horses more than four times in the last week - I will
fry them up a couple pounds of bacon, stick a red rose in the bud vase
out at Chez Doghouse, and give them a gift certificate for 10 pounds
of smoked pig's ears. Such generosity will keep them from
nagging me to take them out to dinner, an action which would be wholly
impossible since it would spoil a long-standing tradition.
You see, I make it a point of hanging close to the homestead on
Valentine's Day, deep-frying a variety of batter-dipped chicken
innards and popping my personal copy of The Outlaw Josey Wales
into the VCR. The Outlaw Josey Wales is fine Valentine's
evening fare, especially the part where Josey flips his six guns with
the speed of chained, blue lightning, gut-shoots two buffalo hunters,
and then spits tobacco juice on their foreheads.
I suspect The Outlaw Josey Wales is a Valentine's movie because
I once heard that love means never having to say you're sorry. Josey
never says he's sorry during this whole movie, even after blowing away
the entire Union army. He just squints and spits more Red Man. Such
being the case it is obvious that this is a flick about perfect and
February is here. Endeavor to persevere. I have thought long and hard,
trying to find something pleasant I could say about this low IQ month,
but at the time of this writing find myself mentally bereft. It's
February, the time of silly holidays, bitter cold and emotional
warfare. A time when the wind howls and the snow hides, 30 days of
simmering aggression when even the earthworms file for divorce.
The only nice thing I can really say about February is this.
March will be here soon.
Ron Marr is the author of "Coyote Songs" and editor of the nationally distributed monthly newspaper, The Trout Wrapper. He resides in Pony, Montana. Visit www.ronmarr.com.
© Ron Marr, 2001
View expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Political USA.