Flavin's Corner
3-19-99

The Rights of Spring

     Old Man Winter gets kicked to the curb tomorrow, March 20th, at 8:46
p.m. EST (that's 1:46 a.m., March 21st, using London or Universal Time).
Sure, spots of yellow snow and piles of frozen dog-poop are still to be found in
many cities, but not for much longer.  It'll soon be Spring -- a time when
Winter's wrongs are set aright and everyone gets back on-track.  Well, that's
the plan anyway...

     Foremost amongst Winter's wrongs are the idiotic New Year's "resolutions"
which, I suspect, are resultant from too much alcoholic cheer over the
Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, as well as wicked way amounts of the
amino acid L-tryptophan in those damned Butterball self-basting turkeys.
Every January 1st brings promises of a healthy diet, less drinking, more
exercise, a cessation from cigarette smoking, and a sundry of other equally silly
goals.  Many "resolutions" don't survive the end of the first week, most are
gone by February, and with the arrival of Spring ...it's time to bid adieu to the
hangers-on.  Yup; I've decided to start shaving my back again!  The "Robin
Williams" look was never a really obtainable goal for me in the first place.
...I'm taller.

     Spring also traditionally marks the end of the mandatory guilt period of
going into debt from the purchase of too many extravagant Christmas presents.
Most are usually caught up on their credit-card bills by mid-March, though in
my case I need to cancel the order of an item I've not yet received nor paid for.
It was a seasonal whim, I've now changed my mind, and have decided I do
NOT need the $300.00 limited edition Monica book covered in the same
material as the infamous "blue dress" and containing an enclosed strand of
Clinton's DNA.  I mean, sure it'll be a collectable one day, but I don't really
need it.  There's plenty of better things I can spend three hundred bucks on.

     While some concern themselves with the "Spring-cleaning" of home or
apartment, with the arrival of warmer weather I can now bring myself to attend
to a chore which has been put off since early December: the cutting of my
toenails.  Now, don't be too quick to judge!  I just have this deep aversion to
cold floors, NEVER pass a moment of Winter without thick socks, and after
the first few weeks of letting my toenails grow and seeing them begin to turn
colors and start to bend and twist ...I'm reminded of those Hindu-dudes in The
Guinness Book of World Records and I sorta get attached to the long toenails.
Well, with Spring (and being tired of the long toenails cutting through all my
good socks) comes the time to hack those nails from my feet.  Okay, some of
you might be thinking that was way too much information about the seasonal
relationship I maintain with my feet, so we'll be moving on now...

     My choice of using Bottecelli's "Allegory of Spring" (above, at the
beginning of this column) was to draw attention to and compliment this week's
title, "The Rights of Spring," inasmuch as I play with the homophones "rite"
and "right," and ritual aside, we REALLY should do the "right" thing in
Springtime.  And, honestly, frolicking with nude and scantily clad babes
out-of-doors seems, at least to me, to be the "right" thing to do.  Finding said
nude and scantily clad babes to frolic with MAY be a bit of a problem,
especially at the end of MARCH, when there's still enough chill in the air to
require the wearing of jeans and a light jacket, rather than all that sheer,
diaphanous stuff.  Still, we mustn't shrink from doing the "right" thing.

     Spring is often associated with getting one's garden in order.  The prospect
of stubby fingers manipulating seed into the fecund folds of warm, moist Mom
Terra, aside from being entirely too suggestive of agri-rape (something best left
to the professionals), is archaic and unhealthy.  We need to do a local farmer's
market, the produce section of a Super Stop N' Shop, or that bitchin' salad-bar
at Wendys.  Forcing our way in the backyard is a violence whose time is past.
Veggies, like McNuggets-on-legs, need a free range.  It's wrong to trap them
in a few square yards -- it's right to let the veggies roam free.  Backyards are
for swing-sets or those little sand-pits where you can do a historically
accurate reenactment of Romel's outmaneuvering in the North African desert.
Like; everyone knows that!  Veggies need to live in the country.   Just say NO
to backyard VEGETABLES!  It's not right.

     As the days after the Vernal Equinox get longer than the nights, maxing out
at the Summer Solstice, it only seems right that we now utilize our evening
hours to the maximum.  For starters, sleep has to go...  That's right!  It's a
proven fact that most people are damn near useless when they sleep.  (I'm
reminded of the medieval Jewish proscription against a husband "knowing" his
wife if she's asleep.  I guess the moral point is one of everyone paying attention
at the same time, but as I'm currently unmarried, this particular aspect of sleep
is beyond me for now.)  With sleep out of the way most can expect to get a lot
more work done.

     After I give up sleep, sometime this coming week, I look forward to
beginning the greatest project of my life: an in-depth study of the processes
involved with choosing someone's greatest project of their life.  It's a unique
opportunity to document indecision, though I haven't decided if I'll go through
with it or not.  I mean, I can only do the study if I'm really sure that this will be
the greatest project in my life and, in the pursuit of the scientific method, I
have to be absolutely sure that ...this is going to work.  I don't know.  I'll make
up my mind soon.  Maybe...  Whatever I decide, I bet it'll be the right thing.

     I hope all of you make the right choices this Spring as well.  Free the
Veggies!  Together, we can make a difference...

still chopping broccoli;
Rick

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