So, listen – it’s a leap year this year. Three hundred and sixty-six days in this one, sir. Whole extra day long. Because February got 29 days this time, which, I dunno, just seems to be really, really weird to me, every time it happens. And it happens every four years (almost! More on this later.), which seems really bonkers too, right? And why does it happen? ‘Cause, apparently, every year is just a tad longer than a year – about six hours longer. So, to squat that time in, somewhere (lest it be lost or something), we got to have an extra day when it all builds up. I swear – that’s it. As though anyone would notice or mind if we just said “Shag it”, right? Man.
Them Whacky Romans
And who figured this out, and come up with the fix? You ready? JULIUS CAESAR! Yeah – THAT Julius Caesar! I kid you not. The guy in the toga with the leafy bits plunked on his ears, going around eating grapes while waitin’ to be all stabbed-up by his buddy Brutus (I went to school).
Imagine! The boys had the brains and the wherewithal, way back then, to not only figure this out, but for some reason cared enough to make sure it got sorted. Hoooo-ly – them whacky Romans, eh?
So now, since then, we all get a leap year. And let me tell ya – it really messes around with a whole lot of stuff. A lot.
First of all, February is long enough as it is, thank you very much. Darkest, coldest, dreariest month alive. Always seems like the longest month, rather than the shortest. So, I say, leave it be, for God’s sake, will ya? Stop dragging out the misery.
Why not make one of those nicer months longer, instead. One of the decent ones that only have 30 days – like June maybe. But never February! C’mon.
Then we have the poor, innocent schmucks so unlucky to be born on February 29th. How much must that suck? Sure, you can claim you’re only a quarter of your real age – hilarious. Of course you know you’re not fooling nobody – nice bags under your eyes, there, teeny-bopper. It’s how many years you’ve been around, not the number of ‘birthdays.’
So they have to pick either February 28 or March 1st to celebrate on, three years out of four. And imagine the lifetime of explaining to people. “I’m a leap year day baby, so …” Nudding but a nightmare.
It’s considered bad luck, in some countries, to get married in a leap year, let alone on leap-day (but I imagine it saves a lot on anniversary presents). And someone completely insane once come up with the idea that Feb. 29 is a good day for women to propose marriage to men – like the DATE is going to make a fat lot of difference. “What day is it? Oh … okay then, I s’pose.”
It gets worse, too. Back in the old and whacko days, if a man declined said proposal, they had to give the woman not one, not two, or even three pairs of gloves, but a whole dozen sets of mitts! Why? So she could hide the shame of not having a ring on her digit after being down on one knee only to be rejected. Yeeeah. Can’t have cold fingers after getting the cold shoulder.
Leap Them Leap-Years
And remember when I said this ‘leap-year’ thing happens ALMOST every four years? That’s because – and this slays me altogether – there are rules for when the 4th year is NOT a leap year. Here’s how it goes: any “century” year that can’t be exactly divided by 400, is NOT a leap year. So while the year 2000 WAS a leap year, and 2400 will be too, the years 1800 and 1900 weren’t, and 2100 and 2200, won’t be. Every 400 years, there are three nonleap-year leap-years. We leap them leap-years. ’Now, sir. You talk about.
I mean, how sticky can we be about something so useless and foolish? Cavemen didn’t care about dates and months or days of the week even, sure. It didn’t matter to them one bit. The next day was just the next day, and the deal was finding supper. For some reason we came from that to being all twisted up about how accurate we can be about how the ball we’re on goes around the sun. Yes, boy.
St. Oswald’s Day, it’s known as, apparently, Feb. 29. Whoever Oswald was. Died on that day in 992. Okay. Just another ‘leaper’ or ‘leapling’ as those born on the rarest of days are called. Bully for him – and all of them.
I tell ya, only us stunned humans would get all caught up on the like of this farce. Most of us don’t give a rat’s rectum, I figure. But the clever crowd does, so that’s it. We’re locked in. Leap this, la. Right on.