9.05.2005

Labor Days and Mondays

Another thing they won't tell you in film school is that Monday holidays will come to mean absolutely nothing to you once you graduate and join the ranks of the Great Hollywood Unemployed. While this is true of Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, President's Day and all annual observances meant to honor good old-fashioned working folk, none can hold a candle to the aspiring Big Hollywood Screenwriter's inherent disdain for Labor Day. How presumptuous of the federal government to assume every American not only has a job, but also requires a full day to honor it by grilling hot dogs in the gayest apron available on eBay.

Even when we do have "a project," as we who are nearly in the biz like to call jobs for which we are either being underpaid or not paid at all, we tend to work odd hours. I, for one, break the work day into several brief sittings, intermittently getting up to watch One Life To Live, grab a boloney sandwich, and run to the bank to deposit an unemployment check I've just snatched from the mailman in hopes the cable bill won't bounce. This makes a holiday where the bank and post office are closed little more than an inconvenience. Making matters worse, the neighbors and their We Ho Hipster Friends are distracting me from my writing by flitting about in the communal yard spraying each other with hoses and letting their Overbred Rescue Dogs crap on the lawn.  

Apparently this ritual dates back a hundred years, when scattered trade unions and other anarchists held springtime marches. Grover Cleveland,who I believe was one of the fat Presidents, came up with a rival holiday coinciding with the more patriotic Knights of Labor parade held in September. Observing this Labor Day quickly came to mean eschewing political demonstrations altogether to stay at home and drink plenty of Bud.

The ironic thing about writers is that while we are great observers of other humans, we tend not to do that well interacting with you. Sadly, it's been a very long time since I squeezed into my bikini to go have a good time with the other kids on a Slip'n'Slide. At the risk of conjuring up Montgomery Burns, I wouldn’t mind there being a little earthquake right along now, so the merrymakers would have to go home and tend to their broken pottery. That way I could claim to be unwaveringly committed to my work rather than simply sitting here all alone.

In truth, I don’t get much writing done on days like these, and all I know for sure is that I'm not supposed to wear white shoes between now and Easter—which may well be a good thing, since I don't have any. Maybe I'll take a break from my computer and clean out my shoe rack. I know this to be a highly laborious job, but hell, I'm a rebel—or I'd never have made it through film school and every lonely Monday holiday thereafter.

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