Hot or Not: Even More Insignificant Holidays

Chris Shea and Kyle Orens

Cartoon by Chris Shea

Cinco de Mayo

CHRIS: Show of hands, who knows what Cinco de Mayo actually celebrates? If you said “Mexican Independence,” you’re wrong. If you said “The celebration of the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces during the Battle of Puebla under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza in 1862,” then you just googled it like I did. Why is Cinco de Mayo such a big deal in the US? It’s like if Mexico celebrated the day Thomas Jefferson first learned to ride a bike. Cinco de Mayo is a textbook case of a fairly obscure but well-intentioned cultural holiday being distorted into a massive drunken free-for-all where you eat churros and chug tequila until you pass out in the street and wake up in a bathtub full of guacamole. Cinco de Mayo is, in essence, the Mexican versionof our messed up version of St. Patrick’s Day. Sorry we screwed up your day, Mexico.

KYLE: The English translation for Cinco de Mayo is “fifth of May.” It is celebrated to commemorate the Mexicans unlikely victory over French forces in the Battle of Puebla. It is mostly ceremonial, and it celebrated through military parades. It has taken a different turn however in American culture. In the U.S it is now celebrated for the bond of Mexican-American cultures. It is pretty cool what this holiday has done when you think about it. With its ceremonial meaning and background of victory, this holiday is one that may be worth celebrating.

Daylight Savings Time:

CHRIS: Daylight Savings Time is living proof that the government is conspiring against us. Why? Why would you do this to people? They lure you in by giving you an extra hour of sleep in the fall. That’s great! Sleep is great! Yay, sleep! But then they go and steal it back from us in the spring! As a professional late-stayer-upper, that extra hour makes the difference between me waking up feeling great and me hissing at people from the rafters. The day after Daylight Savings Time starts back up is like a scene from a z
ombie movie/anime convention. People shamble around lifelessly, and they all have that dead look in their eyes. It’s only a matter of time before they all snap and start eating our brains. This “holiday” is an affront to all of humanity.

KYLE: Daylight savings is the perfect holiday for you if you like waking up in the spring feeling like you didn’t sleep at all, or if you like feeling super tired in the fall at 9:00 at night. The only point of this is so that daylight in the summer can last for an hour longer. Good news dads of the world, you can now grill hamburgers and hot dogs at 8:30, because hey, why not right? I would much rather keep my precious hours of sleep than keep the sun up for an extra hour in the summer, but that’s just me… and the rest of the United States.

Black Friday:

CHRIS: Nothing truly captures the esse
nce of the American Dream more than a crowd of feral shoppers brawling in the middle of Wal-Mart for a Blu-ray player. The fact that Black Friday requires people to start standing in line during Thanksgiving is just salt in the wound. “Sorry grandma, I’d love to stay for dinner, but I’ve got to go beat someone with a crowbar for this sick deal on a refrigerator!” I’ve never been to a store on Black Friday, mainly because I don’t like dying. On several occasions, people have been straight-up trampled to death by other maniacs trying to score a good deal on a plasma TV. Why are people even going to retail stores for Black Friday these days, anyway? We live in an age where you can literally just press a button and have a shipping crate full of doritos show up at your door the next day! If that isn’t a magnificent salute to the power of capitalism, I don’t know what is.

KYLE: If you like getting trampled by angry people trying to get the cheapest deals at the Apple Store, then Black Friday is the perfect holiday for you. Black Friday is the day right after Thanksgiving, which means that people go right from stuffing their faces with turkey and ham to stuffing themselves into small, uncomfortably crowded hallways to get 50 bucks off the n
ew iPhone. It’s straight from Grandma and Grandpas to a civil war at the local Best Buy. This so called “holiday” has actually put people in life endangering positions. In 2014, two people were shot in Tallahassee over a parking space at Wal-Mart. WAL-MART! To let this sink in, I’ll repeat it. Two people… were shot… over a parking space… at Wal-Mart. With Cyber Monday literally three days later, my advice is to wait until then, and save yourself from a savage beating on Black Friday.

Columbus Day:

CHRIS: Columbus Day is one of those holidays that you know we probably shouldn’t be celebrating, but nobody wants to give up a free holiday. In recent years, public opinion on Christopher Columbus has… shifted, to say the least. Turns
out, the guy was a notoriously cruel explorer who enslaved and murdered tens of thousands of natives in addition to giving them some good old-fashioned smallpox. He had a pretty cool system going where natives had to bring him gold every three month
s, or else he’d amputate their hands. And I thought my loan shark was bad! In retrospect, Christopher Columbus was kind of a jerk. But hey, at least he discovered the Americas, right? Turns out, the Viking explorer Leif Erikson had done it like 500 years before Columbus did! So, let me reiterate: why is this still a thing?

KYLE: Nothing says freedom like having a day
dedicated to a man who killed hundreds of people and took credit for something he didn’t find. We used to get off school for Columbus Day, but then I guess it was decided that getting school off to celebrate a murderer was not necessarily a plausible reason for giving kids a break from learning. Columbus wasn’t even trying to find America. He was trying to find a quicker route to India, but instead, got lost, killed hundreds of people, and took credit for something he didn’t find. It would be similar to me going back to 1879, breaking into Edison’s lab, stealing the plans for the lightbulb, and taking credit for it. Kyle: 4, Edison: 0.

Take Your Kid to Work Day:

CHRIS: Take your kid to work day is a shining example of how great being a kid is. You can go to any soul-sucking corporate cubicle farm and have a grand old time! Woohoo, they’ve got staplers! Nothing beats doodling penguins on your mom’s whiteboard while she argues with 27 sociopaths over the phone! And then you get to go to a cafeteria to eat burgers prepared by
the same guy who cleans the toilets! Man, my parents are so lucky! To my 4-year old self, my dad’s job consisted entirely of playing 3D space pinball on his work computer and buying ho-hos from the vending machine, and it was great. I don’t understand why we stopped making such a big deal out of this day in high school. Sure, a lot of people actually just work for real now, but that’s no excuse to not ride around in an office chair all day and fall asleep in the middle of a meeting with the CEO. Work is fun!

KYLE: I am only in high school, so I do not have kids to worry about, and the only job I have is working at a summer camp when I do not have school. Whatever it i
s that someone does for a living, it has its difficulties, so I can only image the complications of bringing your lovely children into that picture. I’m sure that getting that mile high stack of paperwork done is so much easier, and more fun with your kids waving their terrible drawings in your face. Oh, and that report that’s due tomorrow, have fun doing that while giving your 9 year old a piggy back ride. I’m not really even sure why this is a holiday, or why we celebrate it, or why it exists, or who came up with it. What I do know is that when you’re in elementary school it’s awesome because hey, no school is better than school right? When you’re in high school though and this crazy holiday’s rules don’t apply to you, the true colors of Take Your Kid to Work Day show, and it’s not a pretty sight.