Every year near Thanksgiving, “The Silly Season” kicks off. It’s almost like you can watch it following Santa Claus down the road at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “Oh, look! There’s Santa!!” “Yep. And there’s supreme idiocy following right along behind him.” Thankfully, in years past, the idiocy was somewhat contained to specific dates. Black Friday. Cyber Monday (and thank God we don’t patrol the virtual world). Most of December up to and including Christmas Eve. And that increased stupidity we encountered mostly revolved around shopping. Welcome to the dawning of a new era.
This year, still thinking about shopping, we didn’t get to wait until Black Friday. Many a commercial entity, eager to start getting dollars out of shoppers’ pockets as early in the season as possible, opened their doors on Thanksgiving itself. So, instead of only having to deal with the usual variety of domestics, drunks, etc. on Thanksgiving Day, we had to extend our refereeing talents to the lines of shoppers, arguing shoppers, fighting shoppers, poor driving shoppers… Well, you get the idea. The madness related to holiday shopping came early. To make matters worse, not only did retailers start Black Friday before Friday, they’ve extended the sales and hype so Black Friday’s stupidity level is stretching out to several weeks in length. JOY! But wait, there’s more…
Just in case that wasn’t enough, we have a few extra tidbits unique to this year that you’ll also likely have impact your work day somehow. Let’s start with “the end of the world as we know it” according to the Mayan calendar. For those in the know and in touch with reality, this is no big deal. We’ve educated ourselves enough to realize that the Mayan calendar marks time in a collection of eras and 12/21/2012 marks the end of one of many eras. There are plenty more to come. The Mayan calendar simply predicts 12/21/2012 as the date a noticeable change occurs in the world as we know it. Let’s consider this for just a moment and realize that, from the Mayan’s perspective, 12/21/2012 occurred months ago (as we measure time). How can that be? Because the current calendar has February 29th on it every four years. Such did not exist when the Mayans carved their eras into stones a few thousand years ago. So, if you take out all the February 29ths that have passed since the Mayan’s made their calendar, “the end of the world as we know it” occurred sometime last June I think. Will this logical and rational approach toward the Mayan calendar prevent related mass stupidity? Nope.
We all know that some people are just naturally driven toward stupidity and seek out any even-remotely-valid excuse to behave as they see fit – no matter how ridiculous or illegal. Such folks will cling to their reality: that 12/21/2012 marks the end of the world so they have to get their selfish party on as much as possible before their life ends. I remind everyone of the Y2K silliness that we experienced and dealt with, and encourage you to remain as vigilant on 12/20-22/2012 as you were on 12/31/1999.
Next up is a truly sad and world-changing event: the apparent end of Twinkies. I say “apparent” because nothing prevents the recipe from being bought and the sweet treat being made by a different baking company. That said, it may not be called a “Twinkie” so we may have actually seen the end of the product.
Twinkies have long been linked both to police work and, at least in two movies, to potentially world-ending or severely-world-altering events. First, the cop side: Ever since the classic Die Hard premiere movie, with Sgt. Al Powell’s reciting of the recipe contents of a Twinkie and carrying an armload of them out to his cruiser, Twinkies and cops have been connected. To make matters worse, depending on how you look at it, that was also a holiday movie occurring at Christmas time. With the demise of Twinkies, that scene becomes an instant classic, never to be lost to the annals of time, and always to be revered by cops everywhere with earnest remembrance.