Tuesday, February 16, 2010

When holidays collide

Sunday was Valentines Day. It was also Chinese New Year. And then Monday was President's Day (though technically it was just Washington's Birthday). That is a lot of holiday's coming together. But at least Valentines Day and the Chinese New Year share red as the appropriate color.

Combining Washington and Lincoln's birthday into a signal holiday seems kind of sleezy to me. I think we should get every president's birthday off. I'm not sure who I would suggest this to however. But there has to be an office of official federal holidays. Or perhaps it needs to be a Congressional action to create a federal holiday. God knows it would be a meaty topic I'm sure they could sink their political teeth into.

The Chinese New Year isn't determined by Congress. It is determined by the lunarsolar Chinese calendar which I assume has something to do with the moon and sun, but after looking it up on Wikipedia, I pretty much glazed over and accepted that someone somewhere understands it. Regardless the Chinese New Year fell on Valentines Day this year and that probably won't happen again in my lifetime.

Not that I should care about Chinese New Year and Valentines Day coinciding this year. The only reason I got them off was that they fell on a Sunday. And a holiday that doesn't give me a free day off isn't really a holiday in my book. Odd that there is virtually no ritual associated with President's Day yet we get it off. I am suprised Hallmark hasn't figured out a way to sell cards for President's Day. We could give each other gifts of dead president's (slang term for paper money, not actual relics of presidential corpses). With my luck some searchbot for the FBI or CIA or NSA or whatever other federal police agency protecting my rights will find this and put me on a list as a threat to national security. I assure you I am only suggesting people give me gifts of money.

In addition to the traditional way of celebrating Valentines Day by giving cards, candy and romantic gifts this year, I got to spend part of my weekend at a Vet emergency hospital paying $170 to make a dog throw up Valentines Day chocolates.

Ironically it wasn't even my own dog. We were pet sitting for a friend of my wife's. We'd just picked up the dog and left it in the car while we did some grocery shopping. Clever person that I am, I told my wife that I was going to pick up a couple of gifts for the kids while she wheeled them around the store grabbing things off the lower shelves without our knowlege until we hit the check out line. I dashed over to the Valentine candy and bought her a heart shaped box of chocolates as a cute little gesture to go along with a card and present I'd already picked out. I then dashed out to the car and chose to hide the box of chocolates under the driver's seat.

It never occurred to me that the dog we were pet sitting for had a sweet tooth and would root out the box of chocolates like a truffle pig. When we returned to the car there was red cellophane all over the front seat and an open box of chocolates with half of the chocolates gone. My wife then informed me that one of the instructions the dog's owner had left was to make sure the dog didn't get into any chocolates because it had already had two trips to the emergency vet in its short dog life.

Although I'd had dogs as pets throughout my childhood, I had never been privy to the fact that chocolate is toxic to dogs (and cats for that matter). Our dogs had seemed to eat anything and everything without a problem. Anyway, when we got home, my wife called the vet number her friend had left her and someone from the vet's office got back to us and informed us that since it was a very small dog (some designer poodle mix) we should take it to an emergency vet so that the dog could be examined and forced to void the chocolates.

If I'd known it was going to cost $170 I would have stuck my finger down the dog's throat. It cost $99 just to walk in the place. I'd had the foresight to bring in the half empty box of chocolates which the vet's assistant weighed and determined that the dog probably hadn't ingested enough actual chocolate to have been harmed. But they decided to make the poor thing puke anyway to be on the safe side. Apparently the going rate for making a dog puke is $71.

After an hour at the vet's listening to a skinny, trailer park looking woman whine to another vet's assistant about her Rottweiler swallowing some large chew toy whole and her unsuccessful efforts to get the dog to pop the toy out of either end, I paid the bill and took temporary dog and the half a box of chocolates home. My kids were happy to see the dog (who seemed none the worse for wear for having scarfed and barfed half a box of chocolates). My wife tossed the remaining chocolates reasoning that the dog had probably licked them. So now I was out the vet bill and the price of the box of chocolates as well.

Now I am not sure, but I think all of this has something to do with Chinese New Year, Valentines Day and President's Day converging. But that is just my theory.

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