Especially since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Luckily, I am just about through with my minor health problem… The moment I landed in Austin (from my Caribbean adventure) I was struck with acute sinusitis. (Although there’s absolutely nothing cute about it!) I went to the doctor thinking I might have a deviant septum, but no such luck. Anyway, after daily rinsing and flushing and twelve gallons of Flonase, I am almost back to normal. (Now there’s a scary thought!) During my recovery, I finally figured out what I want to be when I get older: younger!
So what’s the deal with Valentine’s Day? Legend has it that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. Apparently, he was a romantic fellow. (The ladies said he had “Roman” hands!) He loved wearing a toga. So did his wife, whose name was Sarah. (She would later be known as “Sarah-Toga.”) Anyway, the holiday landed in February due to the fact that February 14th was the start of the mating season for birds in France and England. (No joke) The oldest known valentine card was written in 1415, and when I was in London a few years ago, I saw the card. (It’s now part of the British Library in London.)
Just for the record, Americans began exchanging valentines in the 1700s. George Washington sent a couple of notes to Martha while he was crossing the Delaware, but they got lost in the mail. (A likely story!) Ben Franklin also sent a few cards to his mistress, but she told him to go fly a kite. (How “shocking”) There is no truth to the rumor that Hamilton and Burr exchanged cards. (Just bullets)
Believe it or not, ONE BILLION Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, and not surprisingly, 85 percent of the cards are purchased by women. (The stronger and more thoughtful sex!) The Post Office hates the “day of love,” (fewer bathroom breaks) but they shouldn’t complain. An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas. Even more amazing, 7.4 billion cards are sent to me on my birthday! (I’m rounding off a little.)
So, what else have I learned this week? 1. Never let a two-year-old hold your beer. 2. You can’t trust dogs to watch your food. 3. Don’t cough when someone is cutting your hair. If you want a further explanation of the above, please tune in next week, after I’ve had time to compose my thoughts. Alas, these are the lessons of life that some of us must learn the hard way!
Incidentally, I recently learned that my new history book is being “seriously considered” for some sort of recognition by the National Book Awards. (For 2018) Naturally, I am quite pleased, but I do not expect to be included in the final list of contestants. Still, I’m very happy that TURBULENT TIMES has caught the eye of some important literary reviewers. I’d like to thank my current publicist (Shifty Sackowitz) for doing such a marvelous job. In my world, “Shifty is nifty!”
Before I forget, each month one of my blog followers will receive a lovely gift card from my (semi) generous publisher. January’s winner was Ms. Rhonda Barton from Manchester, England. (Is Manchester by the sea?) In any case, Ms. Barton will soon receive a $200 gift card, which I hope she spends on me. (Just kidding) Enjoy the loot, and thanks for your support!
Finally, I would like to remind you NOT to send me any candy this year. Please remember my motto: “Boys who eat sweets, take up two seats.” If you must send a bouquet, please send the flowers that are named after me. (blooming idiots) Frankly, I don’t expect anything from my blog followers, but if you want to send me some money, please send small bills. I detest going to the bank for change. (The last time I was there, service was very slow. I said, “what’s the holdup?” All hell broke loose!) Now I know why they call it “Chase” Bank! (No, they didn’t catch me.)
Well, my sweethearts, enjoy your special holiday, and keep smiling. Life is full of wonderful rewards. I started out with nothing, and still have most of it!
Love to all,