I hate leap year. Basically it is one of those astronomical concepts that hurts my head. Apparently, the Earth revolves around the sun 365 ¼ days. What the heck is a fourth of a day? Where does it go? Did I somehow misplace six hours somewhere? Technically it’s five hours, forty-nine minutes and twelve seconds. Take that, cast of “Rent”!
The average year is 365.2425 days. Those numbers behind the decimal point scare me. Where is my .2425th of a day? I looked in the car, on the credenza and under the bed. It’s not there. Where the heck is it?
I did some research so you don’t have to. Actually, it is pretty interesting if you can get through all this scientific gobbledygook.
The leap year is also known as a bissextile year. I urge you not to wish anyone “Happy Bissextile Year!” You’re likely to get slapped in the face.
Did you know the Gregorian calendar is actually named after some guy named Gregory? Gregory XIII, to be exact (don’t even get me started on people with Roman numerals after their names). He was a pope. If we revise it this year, we’d have the Franciscan calendar. I’d like to propose the idea of a John-Paulian calendar, because that’s just a great name for a calendar.
Anyway, Gregory XIII got some guys together and reinvented months, days and years. For now we’ll call them the Calendar Kids, because it sounds like a gang from the movies of the ’40s and ’50s, even though this all went down in October 1582. I imagine there must have been some confusion about the date, since they were reinventing the calendar! Think about it. Those people who didn’t have a calendar yet didn’t know it was called October 1582. I am glad I wasn’t around yet, because I would not have known when to celebrate my birthday before there was an October. See why this all hurts my head?
According to way-smarter people, the leap year is a necessary construct to match the seasonal year to the calendar year. Because seasons and astronomical events do not repeat in a whole number of days, calendars that have the same number of days in each year drift over time. Since I don’t want it to snow in July, I have to be fine with this fourth-of-a-day nonsense. To correct this seasonal drift, those Calendar Kids inserted the additional day every four years.
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Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and a sit down author. His book, "Below Average Genius," a collection of humor columns culled from the Observer-Reporter, can be purchased here!