Ah, vacation… who doesn’t love it? Or, at least, the idea of it? Americans, of all people, need to take vacations, especially given the ludicrous and slavish devotion to work that most of us have been duped into thinking is “how it should be.” Really, the eight-hour workday is a relic of the Industrial Revolution; in most “modern” jobs, people can’t/don’t/won’t/shouldn’t actually do work for every single minute out of a full eight hours. But, just as with so many other horrible, antiquated, and/or insane ideas that have either outgrown their usefulness or that never should’ve happened in the first place (e.g., Daylight Savings Time; student loans; fossil fuel-powered vehicles; deep-fried butter; tipping in restaurants instead of paying servers a livable wage; American Idol), America can’t seem to give up its addiction to 40-hour “work” weeks. That’s why it feels so good to abandon our jobs for a week or two out of the year and head somewhere out yonder for some good old R&R.
Anyone who spends any significant amount of time about me will, fairly quickly, learn two things: First, that they made a huge mistake and would like to leave, and second, that my dad is a minister. “Ohh! You’re a ‘PK!'” is something that I’ve heard a number of times from people when this is revealed; it’s always said with what seems to be a sense of palpable relief, almost as if Maury Povich has just told the person that they are not, in fact, the father of quadruplets.
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays just because wearing costumes is officially sanctioned. You can dress up like just about anything, no matter how obscene or grotesque, and everyone just shrugs. For example, one time in the Greenwich Village Halloween parade (which is not so much a “parade” as it is a mass of random people wearing costumes walking down the street, as anyone can join), I saw a guy who was wearing a trench coat and a nude body stocking thing, upon which he had attached a generously-sized dildo that he had rigged with fishing line or something to… er… “raise” whenever he opened the coat. At least that’s what I choose to believe I saw.
It’s a well-known fact of life in these United States that many children, especially boys, are routinely forced by their parents to spend a week or more at some sort of summer sleep-away camp. In fact, my parents sent me to one such Bible camp one summer. I still shudder in recollection of the memory of that place.