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“Will the Sergeant-at-Arms take attendance?” Groundhog Day asked.

With an annoyed sigh, World Juggling Day pocketed the cascading quarters rolling down the backs of her fingers, picked up her pen, spun it around her hand twice, clicked it open and said,

“President Groundhog Day and myself are here. New Year’s Day?”


“Ides of March?”

“Beware,” he said, pointing a bony finger across the table.

“It loses its impact the twelve hundredth time,” Labor Day said. “Maybe you should stop.”

Ides of March wiggled a different finger at Labor Day and said, “Don’t work too hard on this.”

“March is present,” World Juggling Day continued. “National Deep Dish Pizza Day?”

“I’m…” he paused as he finished chewing. “I’m here.”

“What are you eating?” Thanksgiving said.

“Our August rep brought cookies,” Deep Dish said, pointing to the plate in the center of the table.

“There’s enough for everyone,” National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day said.

Hands reached across the table as he stood and held out the plate for all to reach.

“Chip is here. Moving into May, Mother’s Day?” Juggling Day asked.

“I’m here,” she said.

“American Independence Day?”

“I prefer ‘Independence Day,’” he said with a gruff, deep voice, his white goatee barely twitching.

“You know you’re not the only one, right?” Ides of March said. “There’s more than 150 global Independence Days.”

With crossed red, white, and blue arms, and a discerning scowl, Independence Day said, “‘Fourth of July’ is acceptable.”

“July 4 is here, I carpooled with Labor Day. Simchat Torah?”

“Good yom tov, everyone.”

“You don’t have to wish us all a ‘good holiday,’” Thanksgiving said. “That’s like me being thankful.”

“Fine,” Simchat Torah said, tugging her sleeves down to her wrists. “I’ll just sit here and not wish good thoughts for anyone. Will that make you happy?”

“Cut it out, everyone,” Groundhog Day said. “We agreed, no trash talk.”

“Turkey Day is present, and Winter Solstice made his presence known earlier when he dropped the room fifty degrees,” World Juggling Day said, clicking her pen closed and twirling it in the palm of her hand.

“An occupational hazard. Sorry,” Winter Solstice said, wiping errant snow from the table.

“Thank you, JD,” Groundhog Day said. “As I begin my term as president, our constitution stipulates that a new monthly replacement be named, and I appointed my monthly neighbor, Leap Day, as our new February rep.”

“Hello everyone,” Leap Day said with a wave from the corner of the table.

“Who?” Labor Day asked.

“I am Leap Day,” she said, clearing her throat and sitting up in her chair. “I’m an intercalary date added to the Julian and Gregorian calendars every four years. The Earth’s rotation around the sun lasts 365 ¼ days. By inserting me at the end of every fourth February, the equinoxes and solstices remain aligned. Can I have a cookie?”

Thanksgiving shook her head in disapproval and said to Deep Dish, “I guess they’re letting anyone in here.”

“Remember when Talk Like a Pirate Day pushed for membership?” Mothers Day said. “We all thought he was lighthearted and funny. Boy were we wrong. I still can’t say the letter ‘r’ without hearing his annoying growl. Arrrrrr!”

“Settle down,” Groundhog Day said with a few gentle taps of the gavel. “Speaking of membership, our first order of business is our pending nominations. Several holidays have applied for membership in the Holiday Guild and it is our duty to approve them. Deep Dish runs the membership sub-committee. Do you have the list?”

“Yeah,” he said, furiously wiping his hands of tomato sauce and grease, and opening his notebook. “We got three vetted noms: World Marching Band Day, National Bookmark Day, and International Flat Earth Day.”

“Dang!” Winter Solstice said. “Rush Day didn’t make the cut?”

“It has to be recurring,” Simchat Torah said. “2112 only happens once.”

“Technically it doesn’t,” Cookie Day said. “February 1st, 2012, 2112, 2212.”

“Rush Day is out,” Groundhog Day proclaimed. “Show of hands…

“Too soon,” Winter Solstice said.

“Sorry,” Groundhog Day said, clearing his throat. “I mean, all in favor of Marching Band Day?”

Thirteen hands raised.

“Bookmark Day?”

Thirteen hands raised.

“Flat Earth Day?”

One hand raised.

“That’s two approved members, one denied. Congrats to Marching Band and Bookmark Days. May their service to the global holiday community—”

“That’s it?” Leap Day said, her hand remaining aloft. Most of the holidays shot cautious eye glances at each other.

“Trust me,” Winter Solstice said. “It’s not worth the effort. I tried to rally for Global Snowflake Day and almost was laughed off the board.”

“Why isn’t Flat Earth Day worthy of discussion?” Leap Day asked.

“I knew it. She’s a globalist,” New Year’s Day spat out from the end of the table. “I know your type, you’re all the same. It’s an Earth holiday. It’s right important! Bollocks! Flat Earth ain’t worth the stink from me bum.”

Labor Day turned toward Leap Day and said, “Just because you think the Earth is the center of the—”

“Check yourself,” Groundhog Day cautioned.

Labor Day leaned back in his chair with a discerning glare diagonally across the table at Leap Day. “Flat Earth is a ridiculous concept, unworthy of this chamber. Are we going to let this insolent rookie board member upend our honorable practice with her ignorant malarkey?”

“While we’re at it, isn’t there something in the charter about annual requirements for board membership?” Ides of March said, reaching for another cookie. “Leapy here is a quadrennial.”

“That’s enough,” Groundhog Day said, pounding his gavel. “Six minutes in and we’re already breaking down into anarchy. Sorry, Leap Day but this time around the sun, Flat Earth is a ‘no.’”

“Is that supposed to be funny?” Leap Day said, coldly. “Are you mocking me, rodent?”

“That was cold,” Winter Solstice said.

Groundhog Day dropped his paw from his mouth and said, “What I meant was–”

“I know what you meant,” Leap Day said, commanding the room. “This board looks down from an elitist perch onto other holidays like the snobs you are. You’re like horrific dictators, demanding respect and reverence. Thanksgiving, Winter Solstice, July Fourth, you three are the worst. Think I didn’t notice your reserved parking spots out front? I was hoping for an open discussion, and instead I get mockery. Deep Dish keeps averting his eyes as he holds the membership list like St. Peter guarding the gates of Heaven. Pathetic!”

“Back off, Leap Day. I’m just the pizza guy.”

“What the hell is going on?” New Year’s mumbled to Labor Day, who wheeled his chair back, and said, “Ask the anarchist.”

“No name calling,” Mother’s Day said.

“Most of you are made-up, greeting card excuses. There are some of us who once answered to the stars, to the universe, something much bigger than ourselves. Solstice, you used to mean something more. Now you’re nothing but middle school dances and bad weather.”

“I… I… I…” Solstice said, sweating snowflakes and turning white as a blizzard.

“This organization is a joke,” Leap Day continued. “I was hoping to make a lasting impact on the world but I suppose I was wrong. If you don’t wish to see a new way of doing things, then I, for one, have no business here.”

Leap Day stormed out of the boardroom with a thunderous slam behind her.

Father’s Day stood atop a ladder, changing a fluorescent light tube in the lobby. As Leap Day rushed past him, he shouted, “How’d your first meeting go?” She responded with heavy breathing and soft-soled loafers thumping the tiled floor.

She exited the building, walked straight ahead, jerked open the passenger door of a waiting car, and jumped inside.

“You’re earlier than expected,” Flat Earth Day said, sitting behind the wheel. “Must not’ve gone well.”

“Close-minded bastards,” Leap Day said.

“Stay calm, little one,” Inauguration Day said from the backseat, pausing for a deep cigarette inhale. “Their minds are made up for now. Next time we’ll change their minds for them.”

A smoky cloud followed by sardonic laughter escaped through the cracked window as the car peeled out.

Jay Heltzer

Jay Heltzer writes attention-challenged fiction, plays bass trombone, digs sloppy fountain pen sketches, and is in pursuit of the perfect cheeseburger.

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