A Little Off The Top Pony up to stirrup a holiday
By Stuart Green
Turning back the pages of local historical history… Oh, for those under 20, a page is something made of paper in what was known as a book, which is something that people read, which is something that people did with their eyes to impart knowledge into their brains before the advent of videos, 24-hour drive-thrus, and cheese doodles.
So, the history thing. A recently discovered book (there’s that word again) reveals the origin, and not to mention beginning of, a beloved February tradition. Dusting off the cover – mainly because my vacuum is on the fritz – let’s take a look:
“So I hereby propose to my fellow fellows and workers of all trades – from bellringers to forest-walkers, from wax melters to brine picklers – that we should invoke a new holiday to celebrate our glorious New World - the United Colonies of Britain.
“And what better time to get out of the cabin than at the end of February – when no one will be expecting to us to, you know, get out of the cabin.
“And, I further propose, we should make merry – and if not merry than maybe she has a friend – all day long in our great borough on Naaaay-wood.
“And the place of going on holiday with our fellow villagers should be that path previously known as Route 3/8 before working its way up to Route 7/9 – and someday with proper planning to be called Route 1.
“Heretofore, and with all humility and time out of sincere gum-chewing, we shall request all stable merchants on the path to hold their livery up for sale to all dwellers.
“And in particular, per Section 7, Clause 4, Paragraph Incomprehensible, I submit to ask mainly Maine mane handlers to sell their thoroughbreds, fillies, stallions and mares that eat oats (wouldn’t you?) on the aforementioned path, henceforth to unite all ware sellers with a common goal of letting the neighbours (at least the ones with the extra “u”) know that “You Oughta Buy a Horse,” and therefore known as the Oughta Mile.
“And with great forethought, with a little Dijon, I further hereby and thereby believe that the correct time to hold this annual event should happen, oh, once a year, on the birthday of the great leader of our land, George… the King, not the gentleman in the powdered wig we’ve seen in Ye Olde Rebel Rouser.
“And that, gentlepeople and others incorporated, is a complete completion of my proposal, proposed on this day and at this time and in this place, for all to see and witness for all time – or until the next stage pulls into town.
“I do believe, with eyes to the future, ear to the ground, and head stuck firmly in the sand, that this holiday will live on, not only in our humble borough but all up and down to very ends of the county. And nothing, I repeat nothing, will hold sway over us holding this great day in celebration on the exact same date every year…
“Oh, unless it doesn’t fall on a Monday. In which case, just switch it.”
Stuart Green is a freelance writer. He can be reached at [email protected].