Today is January 30. Unfortunately, that means I still have 335 days to go before I can throw this pathetic pad of paper away for good. My one-a-day calendar this year sucks, and every time I look at it I regret not buying a different one. In that sense this is already a wasted year.
Calendars have always fascinated me, especially one-a-day calendars. Not only do they mark the passing of time, these calendars can and do entertain, amuse or educate. You can buy a one-a-day calendar filled with obscure facts about the Civil War, or one that gives you tips on the various uses of duct tape, or one that mocks the speech foibles of the commander in chief. And they are refreshed, by their very nature, every single day.
Wall calendars aren't nearly as entertaining. The first day of a new month is about as exciting as a wall calendar is going to get, but after five or six days the hot girl in a bikini/'68 Camaro/folk art painting you've been looking at for five or six days gets a little tired, and the month isn't even close to being over.
One-a-days are where it's at. Each day you get to rip off a sheet. It's like updating your desk daily, for a one-time fee.
Clever consumers usually wait until a couple weeks into the new year to buy their calendars. Obviously they go on sale once the calendar turns, so to speak, much like tickets to a sporting event drop precipitously in price once the game is underway. Wait long enough and merchants are practically giving their calendars away. It's a niche market with a very limited window to make sales which lends itself to exploitation by cheapskates.
But there's the danger. Wait too long and you've got to wade through dozens of one-a-day inspirational Bible quote calendars in the usually vain hope of finding the last Dilbert calendar.
So it was for me this year. As a rule I don't buy a new one-a-day until at least a week into the new year. I don't understand the concept of paying full price for something that will most likely be available for cheaper in a few weeks.
About two weeks ago I headed off to my neighborhood big box bookstore which masquerades as an epicenter for intellectual advancement (Borders) and started picking through the calendar section. I ignored the golf-tip calendar, wanted to set fire to every "You Might Be a Redneck..." calendar I found, and pushed aside the Daschund-A-Day calendars. It can get to be slim pickings if you wait too long.
Finally I came across an imitation Far Side calendar. I won't name it, but if you think "Brevity" is anything other than slightly, occasionally amusing, you might want to consider turning 13.
Of course, I was lured into the purchase by the two funniest cartoons in the entire year, which were plastered over the outside of the box. It's like buying an album because you heard one or two songs, only to learn the rest of the music is bland filler. Except in the case of a one-a-day, the rest of the year is filler. Every. Day.
So now I'm stuck with an unfunny calendar, and it's not even February. In wall calendar years this is like noon on the third day of the month.
To make matters worse, this is a leap year. I guess the joke's on me.
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