A New Arizona Holiday


It’s Labor Day and I’m reluctantly putting away the matching white belt and shoes until Easter. After a long drought we finally have another 3 day weekend. The last one was Memorial Day, way back in May. (Remember, the Fourth of July was on a Wednesday this year!) 

But in my opinion the labor theme is getting kind of old anyway. If you know anything about Arizona, then you gotta love the irony of a “Right to Work” State (read: anti-union) loaded with undocumented workers, celebrating what’s essentially a holiday for organized labor.

Let’s toss that farce aside and spice up this holiday with some local flavor. Here’s my plan…

We’re not like the rest of the country in some big ways. We don’t do Daylight Savings Time, our kids start school in early August, and we dread summer.

In the spirit of Groundhog Day (and what a great movie that is), I am proposing our own Rattlesnake Day. Think about it. Who in Phoenix cares about what a fat, hairy marmot in cold, dreary Pennsylvania predicts for an extended winter forecast in February?

If anything, we Sonoran Desert dwellers are happy to extend our winter. Heck, we don’t even have winter. We have two seasons; spring and summer. And we’re in no hurry to get to summer. This year has been exceptionally brutal with 30-some days of plus 110F temps. That’s over one hundred TEN. Who cares if it’s a dry-heat; I’d call it a fry-heat. After we get through August, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and thank God it’s not coming from a heat lamp.

Wouldn’t it be fun then to let one of our own beloved indigenous creatures, the rattlesnake, help us celebrate the coming of sub-$200 electric bills?

On the first Monday in September we could all gather in Patriot’s Square before the temp hits 100 (figure around 6:00am), and while we mingle with the homeless, we can listen to local dignitaries pontificate on how great it is living on the surface of the sun for ONLY 4 months a year. The civic pride would culminate in a symbolic-rich release of the rattlesnake. Right there on stage, they’ll coax a genuine Arizona diamondback ratt’ler onto a sheet of genuine Arizona copper.

If he hisses and rattles and slithers away, then voila, summer’s over baby! Bring on the 90’s!

But if he hisses and SIZZLES? Tragically, my friends, the copper got too damn hot in the sun. We’ve got fried rattler for the homeless and 6 more miserable weeks of summer. Pour me a margarita.

Now that beats the heck out of waving to “Miss AFL-CIO” on a parade float doesn’t it? 

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