Are you familiar with the joke, the punchline of which is “Coffee break’s over; back on your heads?” No?
Well, it seems that this fellow died and found himself in Hell. After his orientation class, a demon gave him a tour during which he was to choose where he would spend eternity. He was shown the Lake of Fire, where tormented souls were immersed in hot lava for eternity.
He took a look at a place where victims were skinned with rocks, over and over. He saw an area in which the condemned were slowly eaten by fire-breathing demons. None of these places seemed to be where would like to settle. Finally, he saw an area where thousands of people were milling about, knee-deep in poop. They were drinking coffee and socializing. So the newcomer thought it would be, comparatively, fairly tolerable, and told his tour guide that this is where he wanted to be. So he was handed a cup of coffee, and he waded in. No sooner had he taken his first sip and joined a conversation, then the attending minion yelled, “Okay everybody! Coffee break’s over! Back on your heads!”
The past week — the week immediately following the triumvirate of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day (not to mention Hanukkah, Boxing Day and Kwanzaa, whatever that is) reminded me of that joke. It always does. Life pretty much comes to a halt on about December 23rd, and we remain in the fog and disorientation of the “holiday” season until January 2. Then, we are snapped back into reality. The tree is discarded, the lights come down, we subsist on leftover turkey, ham and Christmas cookies for several days, and we try to remember what we had been doing before the break.
This snap into reality could really not come at a worse time. If we lived in the Southern Hemisphere, then we’d ease our way from January 1st into the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer with the outdoor activities, flowers, vacations and warm weather. But no. Not for us here in the Northern Hemisphere. We emerge from the holidays into winter. Dead, cold, gray winter. The time between January 1st and the middle of March consists of something like 697 days.
Admittedly, since we now live in Southern Pines, North Carolina, it’s a bit less of a shock to the system than returning to work in the northern climes. But it’s bad enough.
A number of years ago, I came up with an idea I still think would be a good one. Right after the holidays, on January 1, we all go into hibernation. We just repair to darkened rooms, where old movies would play on TV, and we’d have snacks. We’d watch movies and sleep, only getting up now and then to go to the bathroom. Then, on April 1st, we’d emerge in early spring. We’d be well-rested and ready to take up life again. During that period of time, anything we were angry about would likely dissipate, tensions would evaporate, and when we got up, we’d be refreshed, friendly and happy to see everyone.
And we could have a reciprocal agreement with the Southern Hemisphere. They could stay up and watch over things in the world while we’re not paying attention. Then, they’d hibernate between, say, July 1st and October 1st, and we in the north could keep an eye on things.
So, what do you say? Do you want to get on board with this? We could get one of those on-line petitions going, and send it to… to…. uh…. well, somebody. Then, we’d be good to go. I’m ready to get started on it this year… Who’s with me?