Thursday, February 15, 2007

My Funny Valentine............

… wrote songsmiths Rodgers and Hart. Well, the day of love passed off quietly in our household and wasn’t the least bit funny. In fact the only Valentine’s Day greeting I got was an E-Mail from one of my Internet hosting companies who, thriftily and romantically, coupled it with a request that I cough up for another year’s fees.
There’s something touching about these modern communication methods that make the old Victorian card business seem passé.
Mind you, Valentine’s Day is all a bit of a waste of effort. Who wants to spend money sending greetings and expressions of love and affection anonymously? Where’s the pay-off, I ask you? Some clever geezer once figured out that for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction but I guess he wasn’t referring to Valentine Cards. You’re not going to get much credit for something no-one knows you did.
About the only beneficiaries of the business are the card companies and the retail industry who, sensing that it can be made into another explosive device in the minefield of life of the average male, use it to crank up sales. And surely we have enough of such days. Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, My Sainted Aunt’s Day and all the rest are dedicated to making the cash registers jingle and to making life miserable for those of us with a short attention span for remembering dates.
And February is a miserable month in any case, which is why the good Lord cut it a bit short, only slipping up on the odd leap year. It was just as well for W.S. Gilbert, however, whose plot for “The Pirates of Penzance” would have looked a bit foolish otherwise.
As government is so keen to take a hand in organising our private lives, I feel that much stress could be removed from many of us by perhaps lumping all such days that we are supposed to recall as an anniversary of some sort, into one period of a week or so. This could be designated National Acrimony Week and would include wedding anniversaries, birthdays and like events.
The alternative, which I am considering suggesting to Gordon Brown, is that the first day of each month be set aside for the purpose. Most of us could probably manage to remember that and, to make it absolutely foolproof, the government could collect a donation to provide free drugs for habitual users or some similar worthwhile project, unlike giving medication for cancer sufferers which is considered to be a waste of public funds. It would be necessary to make this payable by standing order, of course, and welfare beneficiaries would naturally be exempt along with any illegal immigrants currently being supported by the government.
It would take the stress out of our overwrought lives and put a jingle in the pocket of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. But I suppose it’s just too radical and would not get the support of the retail industry and the high street shops that look forward to another St. Valentine’s Day next year.
St. Valentine was an obscure 3rd. century Roman priest and we’ll never know if he sent a card to anyone on his day – after all, he would have sent it anonymously.



Post a Comment

<< Home