Rants in the Pants, Episode 16- Bah Humbug

Today, I’m going to be a curmudgeon. A lot of people are going to take issue with what I have to say. It doesn’t matter. I’m going to say it anyway. I hate holidays. Even weekends are awful. There is no rest for the wicked and I must be most wicked to have endured.

Part of my dislike for weekends and holidays comes from having to work so many of them. What the hell use is a day off if you have to work? Now some employers will give you time and a half and a few will extend that to double time if it’s a Sunday or holiday and not just a Saturday. When I worked for the government, we got time and a half for weekends and double time for the first eight hours of holiday work after which it fell back to time and a half. Excuse me, Uncle Sam, it’s not my responsibility to balance the Federal budget. In any case, you get just enough extra to put you in a higher tax bracket, so the net gain is hardly worth your time. Certainly not the loss of your freedom for a weekend.

Holidays have become “shopping opportunities,” and the reason for them has been lost in the aisles of physical stores and the pages of internet stores. In preparation for one of these shopping opportunities, people will crowd the stores and fight for bargains. Yes, I said fight, literally. Especially at Walmart. I, for one, am not in the mood for a fight and don’t need any more useless crap.

The last reason, and this one will make you think, about what, I don’t know…It seems that someone, somewhere sends out gremlins to infest us, especially on three-day weekends. These gremlins make sure your life is miserable by making whatever appliance you need the most during the weekend inoperable. If it’s hot outside, you can bet the air conditioning will go out. If you are in the middle of an ice storm, you can bet your heater will take a dump. If you are having a party and cooked food is the center attraction, they will attack the stove and oven. Who the hell controls these little demons, anyway? Is there a spray in a can we can get to keep them away?

Now, here’s the kicker. If you do have the holiday or weekend off, what is it that you do? Sometimes, you are just so tired you do nothing because it feels so good not to have anything to do. Other times, you might try to get into this mood, but the lawn will need mowing, the house cleaned, car needs a tune- a million things that need to be done and you don’t have time during the week to do any of them because you leave for work early and get home late. Even if all you work is 40 hours, you still have the time it takes each day to get ready for work, commute time, clean-up after work and your unpaid lunch will keep you away from the house from ½ an hour more to 1 full hour a day.

If one is lucky, they can push all of this stuff into a box and seal it up so they can take the family out to actually do something that’s not work. It might surprise you to know that hunter-gatherers only spent 20 hours a week working to survive. They had plenty of time with the family. In Medieval times, serfs worked from dawn until dusk, but they got a whole lot more days off than we do. Their total hours worked per year came out less than in America today, because of this and partly because of less daylight in winter.

If you ask me, and I know a lot of you wouldn’t do it on a dare, I think we’ve been snookered into slavery. In any case, I don’t like holidays, especially three-day weekends.

(Disclaimer: I recently had my heater go out on a three-day weekend during an ice storm).

Leave a Comment