Sunday, February 28, 2016

Take a flying Leap Day

My heart goes out to those poor people born on Leap Day (which is tomorrow but I'm reviewing the Academy Awards tomorrow). Three out of four years they never get friends wishing them Happy Birthday on Facebook. There are other heartaches they face as well, but who are we kidding? That’s the big one.

In New Zealand on non-leap years a February 29th birthday is officially celebrated on the 28th. Those folks can legally drink one day early. And your boyfriend who’s been holding off because you’re a minor can now sleep with you one day sooner. No big deal for you but a huge big deal for him.

In certain European nations March 1st is the recognized date when there is no leap year. To me that’s even weirder. Some years you celebrate your birthday in February and others in March. This becomes of primary importance when restaurants offer complimentary meals for your birthday month. If CafĂ© ‘50s thinks you’re scamming them to get that free burger and shake you’re in for a world of grief.

Being a Leap Day baby was a big advantage in the ‘60s when it came time to register for the draft by your 18th birthday. You could put it off for sometimes three years. Not so great when you went to the DMV and tried to get your driver’s license and had to convince the idiot clerk you do in fact exist.

I wonder how many Feb. 29’ers have trouble when carded. They think you screwed up in making your fake ID.

In Ireland there is a tradition where women get to propose to men on Leap Day. If this sounds familiar it’s because it was the premise of that lame romcom you never saw starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode. As legend has it, if the boy rejects the proposal he has to buy the jilted lass twelve pairs of gloves… to cover the public humiliation of not wearing a ring. Seems to me white gloves would be more noticeable and mortifying, but hey, I’m not Irish. Take that up with Conan O’Brien.

In ancient times they used to just repeat a day in February. That’s kind of what NBC does with their primetime lineup on Saturdays. At one time in Sweden they not only added a 29th of February but a 30th as well. I think that ended when Volvo complained that their warranties were too long as it was.

The Jewish calendar doesn’t have a Leap Day. It has a Leap MONTH. Yes, every four years they add another month. That’s like an entire astrological sign.

The Chinese year contains 13 months with a leap month added every three years. That’s the Year of the Pregnant Kangaroo.

For the rest of us it just means one day of free rent, one extra day before we have to pay taxes, and studios can inflate their boxoffice receipts for February.  In 2012  Disneyland and Disney World remained open for 24 hours.   I don't know if they're doing that this year.  But Irish girls can wear their white gloves with Minnie Mouse ears and no one will know they were left at the altar.

Happy Leap Day!


benson said...

Back in the early 80's I knew a guy who was Gary Carter's backup for a brief time with the Expos, until he blew his rotator cuff out. His other claim to fame was a Feb. 29th birthday.

So to him, a happy 15th birthday or 60th.

VP81955 said...

That guy has something in common with Al Rosen, also a Feb. 29 product.

I may have mentioned this before, but when the year ends in "00," there is no Feb. 29 unless the first two digits of that year are divisible by 4. So there was no Feb. 29, 1900, nor will there be a Feb. 29, 2100. (Few of us reading this today will find out firsthand.)

There was a Hollywood novel called "Shadows" some years back, and it lost all credibility for me when it opened on Feb. 29, 1940, with the protagonist celebrating his "10th" birthday. (He was said to have been born on 2/29/1900.)

VP81955 said...

Oh, and one more thing. Director William Wellman ("Nothing Sacred," "Midnight Mary," the 1937 "A Star is Born"), was born on Feb. 29, 1896 -- which means he didn't actually celebrate his birthday until he turned eight! No wonder he earned the nickname "Wild Bill."

Stephen Marks said...

Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to the first Levine Awards, to be held every time the Oscars lands on a Leap Day

And the "Levine" goes to:

Most Controversial Post: Does Amy Schumer steal from other comedians (Feb. 01, 2016). Tons of comments. Ironically Ken's post on this subject was reposted on every comedy blog in North America, without attribution.

Funniest Post: Dick Van Dyke Spec Script (July 20, 2015) No controversy here, Ken put his rep on the line and nailed it.

Funniest Line In A Post: From the Dick Van Dyke Spec Script. This ones subjective and even Ken might disagree, but the "Levine" goes to this:

Alan: I'm going to need a place to hide for the night. Somewhere nobody would think to look for me.

Buddy: How about a barber shop?

Most Subjective Post: What's your all-time biggest laugh? (Dec. 15, 2015) 260 comments, each one with a different "biggest laugh"

Ken's Most Vulnerable Post: Crickets (Dec. 8, 2015) Ken admits in front of the world his one act play received, at best, charitable laughs one night. This takes balls to admit in front of the world and why Ken is loved. Best line from Ken " It just so happened we were videotaping that night and I said to the cameraman its like he captured the Zapruter film." Thats putting your sack out there!

In Memorium: Wayne Rogers (roll clip from MASH) Trapper: Sorry I can't help you, I have two dates lined up tonight........its the season's first doubleheader!

Most Confusing Post: Bonus Questions Day. Ken tells us he's going to answer more Friday questions but on another day. He does it once then never does it again.

Best Foreign Post: I'm Taking My Play On The Road (Nov. 00, 2015). Ken mounts a production of his play in Canada, tweeking it with a new name. "Eh or B" is a smash and runs for 70 sold out performances.... thats 250 in American performances.

Best Post Title: Allison Williams - from a private ship to a motorboat (Jan 15, 2015). Ken's post about a "Girls" scene where, in Ken's words "Allison Williams tries to get her lover to give her a colonoscopy with his nose"

Post With The Most Balls: My Non- Review of the Reverant (Feb. 15, 2016) Ken reviews a movie he never even sees and somehow trashes it and praises it at the same time.

Topics Ken continually takes shots at: Roseanne, 2 Broke Girls, Whitney Cummings, 3 hour movies, suits who give notes and anybody who disses Sinatra's hat era music.

Best Posts Ken leaves for us to decide: Whenever Ken posts something he has no picture for he throws in a pic of Natalie Wood. A subtle shot at R. J. Wagner for murdering his wife? I say yes!

And our final award:

Best Post: Happy Father's Day (June 21, 2015). "Especially to my own father, Cliff, my hero and role model." Very nice.

Mike Botula said...

Ken, wasn't February 29th "Sadie Hawkins Day" in Al Capp's Dogpatch? Seems to me that was the one day, every four years when the gals of Dogpatch could turn the romantic tables and tag the man of her dreams! I think that's the day that Daisy Mae and L'il Abner finally became man and wife.

Hazel said...

It should be traditional everywhere to perform Pirates of Penzance on leap day!

BTW, the Jewish calendar adds a leap month more often than every four years--it's actually 7 years out of 19. (Because it's a 19-year cycle, just to make it more fun for math geeks!)

This means that my father and my sister had their sixteenth Hebrew birthdays in the same year. We threw a big sweet sixteen party.

Matt said...

If you are on salary it is one day of free work.

Kosmo13 said...

Will there be a Quantum Leap marathon on the 29th?

opimus said...

Here's a Friday question? Are the gift baskets prime time Emmy nominees get differ in content from ones the arts and sciences nominees get?

Corey said...

Stephen Marks...
Great post! Very thoughtful. Obviously you took a lot of time putting that together.
Ken (my brother) is truly what Jews call a "Mentch". Gentiles can use the moniker too.
The proof's in the praise....

Post With The Most Balls: My Non- Review of the Reverant (Feb. 15, 2016) Ken reviews a movie he never even sees and somehow trashes it and praises it at the same time.

and my favorite...

Best Post: Happy Father's Day (June 21, 2015). "Especially to my own father, Cliff, my hero and role model." Very nice.

Unknown said...

You didn't mention Roy's birthday on "Wings", which was on Feb 29th. He would celebrate it at a kids place, since he was only turning 7

Unknown said...

I missed this post, seeing as I was spending my 12th birthday in wine country drinking some beautiful California reds. (Please don't tell any of the wineries that they were serving an underaged girl...dont' want to get them in trouble.)

My favorite part of Leap Day television is when they "just happen" to have one character's birthday on the 29th, then it's never mentioned again. Even if the show is still running 4 years later (Sue on "The Middle"). Fun for a one-off joke.

Anyway...thanks for the Leap Love. My dad promised he'd buy me a car on my 16th birthday, even if he has to leave it in his will.

Love your blog! I read it most every day.

ScarletNumber said...


Referring to Jerry Fry as Gary Carter's back up is a bit of a stretch.