I usually try to run the big decisions by you before I take action, but I know you have been distracted over the past weeks watching our selfless public servants in Washington put our interests and those of our nation above petty, partisan political sniping in the debt ceiling debate and marveling at how our crackerjack president, Mr. Swivelhead, makes Jimmy Carter's woebegone administration look like a cross between the Garden of Eden (pre-apple tasting) and Brigadoon.
This is to inform you that as of today, I am doing away with the month of August. Totally. All 31 days. Adios August. Goodbye and good riddance. Don't let the calendar hit you on the way out of our lives.
Even in the Great State of Georgia where everything — mountains, seashore, barbecue, Vidalia onions and our state song, "Georgia on my Mind", as sung by my hero, Ray Charles — is markedly better than anywhere else on earth, August is a bummer.
I started to deep-six July, too, but I love the Fourth of July better than almost any holiday because it reminds us that we live in the greatest nation on earth. That irritates our Ambassador to Outer Space Cynthia McKinney, who is always trash-talking us like when she went to Iran and said she was "ashamed" of her country. This makes us even because our country, located on Planet Earth, from which McKinney has been absent for, lo, these many years (living in Berkeley doesn't count) is ashamed of her, too. But I digress.
I even thought about getting rid of June, but that is my wedding anniversary and it is best I leave that one alone. Forgetting my wedding anniversary is one of our family's most-cherished traditions.
August wasn't even a real month until Julius Caesar's grandnephew Augustus defeated Marc Antony and Cleopatra for reasons that don't sound very important today and became emperor of Rome. The city fathers were so pleased that they decided that he should have a month named after him, like his great uncle Julius. The month chosen was Sextillus. (Sextillius means "six," not what you think it does.)
If we can get September started sooner, we can get to football sooner. I can think of no better reason to bypass August than that. Hopes are high at the University of Georgia, the nation's oldest state-chartered university, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South. Much of our success will depend on our scholar-athletes behaving themselves. Understandably, these young men can take only so much molecular biology and quantum physics before they are ready to let off a little steam. I'm talking personal experience here.
I am proud of my alma mater for their statesman-like response after the You-Know-Where Institute of Technology was stripped of its 2009 ACC championship by the NCAA for their failure to cooperate in the investigation of a player's acceptance of clothing from someone with ties to an agent and erased the score of their title game with Clemson. There was some fear that Tech would have all of their game scores in 2009 erased but fair-minded souls in Athens, stood ready to challenge any efforts to change the results of the meeting between the student-athletes of the two schools that year.
"Tech lost that one legitimately," said one highly-placed source at UGA, "and we are here to support their rightful place as runners-up in the state football championship. Besides we have had 18 Rhodes Scholars and they have had only five. It gets a little embarrassing to be so good at so many things. Let's party!"
We won't be missing much by skipping August. Uruguay (wherever that is) celebrates its independence in August. Hawaii became a state in August and was proud to be known as the home of Barack Obama. However, with his performance so dismal and his popularity in the dumper, Hawaiians are now claiming the president was born in Kenya.
You know August is a loser when it is the best thing it has going for it is Happiness Happens month (gag!) and Win With Civility month (gag, again!) In fact, August is actually Too Hot to Breathe month and Humidity Happens month. It is only here because of some old guys sucking up to Caesar Augustus. We don't need it and we don't want it.
If we can't get rid of it, let's send it to Uranus and tell our beloved Ambassador to Outer Space Cynthia McKinney where she can put it.
Dick Yarbrough is a Northeast Georgia resident whose columns appear Saturday and on gainesvilletimes.com. You can contact him at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139.