10:30:03 pm on
Thursday 20 Jun 2024

Retrieving Lost Months
David Simmonds

Do you get the feeling that March, April and May, of 2020, are lost months, in which nothing positive happened except you grew three months older? Would you like a do-over, after the coronavirus crisis has passed its peak?

2020 is a leap year.

I have a simple proposition for you. As this is a leap year and we are altering our calendars to add a day to February, why don’t we change our calendars some more and add in a version 2.0 of the months of March, April and May. We could slot them after the end of our regular August, when hopefully the covid-19 curve will have flattened and may even have been planked.

Having an extra three months on our calendars would give us time to take part, properly, in all these weddings and funerals that have been sitting in dry dock waiting for the contagion to abate. Same for all the concerts, literary festivals and plays we haven’t been going to see. Otherwise, we’d have to take them in at the rate of three or four a day or practise triage on which events to attend.

Just think what major league sports faces. The NBA and NHL are going to have to play a ton of postponed games, which will eat into the already delayed seasons of MLB and the CFL. There will be a competition for playing space and audience attention, which will leave a handful of teams as losers. Putting the lost months back on the calendar may solve the problem neatly. 

The obligation to say home and vegetate, which is likely to last at least until the end of August, leaves precious little time to plan for major summer events like Labour Day. Having March, April and May back will give us a well-earned breathing period in which the contagion can abate; we can focus on getting ready for the fall and winter flu seasons.

Note this is not an off-the-wall time travelling proposal. The decisions we made and the actions we took during the lost months will stay with us. We will simply get the chance to add a dash of luster to our dull achievements for the period by tacking action we counted on doing, but didn’t get the chance to do. 

Can we welcome back those foregone months?

I wonder if adding back those three lost months, even theoretically, is possible? We put the question to Dr Jacob Cjisburger, Canada Research Chair in Applied Metaphysics and Director Of The Diameter Institute at the University of Kitchener. He was at first reluctant to speak to us, holding out for a better interview with Bob McDonald on Quirks and Quarks, but reluctantly agreed to comment to us after we promised to try to procure a “Day 6” tote bag for him.

He told us, “What you are proposing is not impossible. It may even be theoretically possible. However. social vectors may make it impracticable. Now about that tote bag.”

The expedient of adding back our lost months has its critics. They say this will give us November temperatures in August, but they do not point out that it will also give us May weather in February. It would all come out in the wash.

Critics also say it would be disruptive of the weekly cycle. May 31 is a Sunday; so unsurprisingly, 1June would ordinarily fall on a Monday. If we are going to go back to 1 March, at the end of August, we would have to start on a Sunday, which would give us an extra day of rest, which is no hardship.

This step is equivalent to turning our clocks back twenty-four hours, which means we don’t have to touch them. Nor, unlike when we switch daylight savings time on and off, will we have to worry about gaining or losing an hour of sleep. Seems all is good.

Lastly, there are those that say this will put calendar manufacturers out of business: class action lawsuits will be brought to hold them accountable for printing unreliable information. Maybe those manufacturers could see themselves making a better return from getting into the personal protective equipment racket and might stop making calendars altogether, which would give the litigious the result they deserve. In any event, it’s another six weeks or so until September; people will have had enough time to adapt if the change is made promptly.

If people are really intransigent about the addition of the lost months, we could strike up a committee to come up with a plan to restore balance and remove the lost months from the calendar over some future period. This would open the door to a discussion of whether to remove undesirable months, such as January, February and November or to delete particular days, such as St Patrick’s day and the Ides of March. I wouldn’t want to be on that committee: what if they wanted to drop my birthday? 

An overwhelming case to return lost months.

The case for putting those three lost months back on the calendar is still overwhelming. Now, if only we could impose a three-month delay on flooding season, we might be on to something useful. Perhaps Justin could institute a delay of three months, the second such delay, for paying taxes.

Some readers seem intent on nullifying the authority of David Simmonds. The critics are so intense; Simmonds is cast as more scoundrel than scamp. He is, in fact, a Canadian writer of much wit and wisdom. Simmonds writes strong prose, not infrequently laced with savage humour. He dissects, in a cheeky way, what some think sacrosanct. His wit refuses to allow the absurdities of life to move along, nicely, without comment. What Simmonds writes frightens some readers. He doesn't court the ineffectual. Those he scares off are the same ones that will not understand his writing. Satire is not for sissies. The wit of David Simmonds skewers societal vanities, the self-important and their follies as well as the madness of tyrants. He never targets the outcasts or the marginalised; when he goes for a jugular, its blood is blue. David Simmonds, by nurture, is a lawyer. By nature, he is a perceptive writer, with a gimlet eye, a superb folk singer, lyricist and composer. He believes quirkiness is universal; this is his focus and the base of his creativity. "If my humour hurts," says Simmonds,"it's after the stiletto comes out." He's an urban satirist on par with Pete Hamill and Mike Barnacle; the late Jimmy Breslin and Mike Rokyo and, increasingly, Dorothy Parker. He writes from and often about the village of Wellington, Ontario. Simmonds also writes for the Wellington "Times," in Wellington, Ontario.

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