Al Batt: March is not the armpit of the year as it sometimes seems

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Tales from Exit 22 by Al Batt

I accomplished a great deal in the last 12 months. 

I got a year older. Another year of membership in the human race and I did it without a bye week or running a single secondary route.

Al Batt

I took an unofficial survey and everyone I asked claimed to have been born in one of 12 months. Babies were born on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022. That’s 2/22/22. I wonder if any were named Twosday? Kids born on 2/2/22 were big news until 2/22/22.

I visited with friends and we decided there are two kinds of people in the world — those born in March and those who wish they had been. You’ll be surprised to learn that everyone involved in this intellectual conversation was born in March and is involved with The Institute for the Advancement of March.

The National Center for Health Statistics, often called Yadda Yadda Yadda, found that in 2018, August had the highest number of births with July second and September third. A friend of my grandmother’s said, “March babies will tire you out.” I didn’t ask what she meant because older women will tell you what they meant in excruciating detail.

Believing everyone wants to be born in March is my false belief. Everybody believes something they know isn’t true. That’s mine. I’ve pondered why many desire a March birth date. I’ve taken philosophy and psychology classes, but my studies are of little use since those disciplines have been reduced to the study of online memes and T-shirt messages.

March can be the month of melted or melting snow, or the month of crusty snow capable of allowing turkey trotting. When I was a boy, the weather was pleasant until my birthday showed up around the time of the high school basketball tournament. Then there would be a blizzard that hit like a piledriver. In pro wrestling, one grappler grabs his opponent, turns him upside down before dropping into a sitting or kneeling position, driving the opponent’s head into the mat. It’s not the way to make friends. March’s piledrivers canceled my birthday parties, leaving me madder than a March hare.

March has other foibles. It’s when daylight saving time begins. We set the clocks ahead at 2 a.m. on a Sunday. Why not do it at 4 p.m. on a Monday? We spring ahead and turn the bathroom scale back. I lose an hour of sleep I’ll never find. Springing ahead means our taxes are due sooner. Sweet dreams aren’t made of that. DST never gets canceled because of a blizzard. Garrison Keillor said, “March is the month God created to show people who don’t drink what a hangover is like.”

Eavesdripping becomes a thing. No, not eavesdropping. Eavesdripping is when I stand at the corner of a shed with snow melting on its roof and the drips find me.

I found a 2012 issue of Time magazine under the leg of a table. It took the wobble out and I put it back in. An article said 12.53% of CEOs were born in March, but people born in March do good things, too. March is a good natal month for musicians and pilots. I’ve worked as a pilot in the barn and can pile it high.

March has no major holidays. I’m free to declare my birthday a major holiday. March has March Madness, the Ides of March, St. Patrick’s Day and St. Urho’s Day. St. Urho’s Day celebrates the legend of St. Urho and originated in northern Minnesota in 1956. It was created by Richard Mattson, a worker at Ketola’s Department Store in Virginia. It was unlikely coincidental that Urho Kekkonen was the President of Finland. The legend said St. Urho expelled frogs from ancient Finland to save the grape crops, but later the frogs were expelled and replaced by grasshoppers. Wear royal purple and Nile green to celebrate the day. There is a statue in Menahga and another in the city of Finland. National Pi Day is on the 14th (3.14). Move April 1 to the 32nd day of March and it wouldn’t have to be a joke.

You can disagree with its clock.

But March isn’t the armpit of the year.

Al Batt’s columns appear every Wednesday in the Tribune.