February 29, 2008

Leap Day.

Is there anything you're going to do about it?

I pity any journalist forced to cover the story. They must feel like the Bill Murray character in "Groundhog Day," stuck covering a tedious day that the public expects to see noted.

23 comments:

Pogo said...

It's my brother's birthday! That means he's only had 12 birthdays in 48 years.

He's mentally retarded, and when I was a kid I thought he was slow because he really didn't have enough birthdays yet.

I guess I wasn't very bright, either.

Ann Althouse said...

I think it would be great to have a birthday on leap day. When the actual day came up, people would make a huge deal out of your birthday, and your close friends and family would just follow a tradition of celebrating on the 28th in the other years.

Ann Althouse said...

You'd get sympathy every year for something that wouldn't hurt at all, and you could make jokes claiming to be super-young all your life.

ricpic said...

Minus 6 degrees when I woke up and this is supposed to be March 1st, the first day of spring as far as I'm concerned!

Bob said...

Screwed-up link, I think, Ann.

MadisonMan said...

I agree with ann, and I was born in a leap year, but alas 7 months late.

I will celebrate leap day by coming into work and working.

Pogo said...

It's true.

Thankfully, I narrowly missed being born on April Fool's Day. Ack. Same lame joke every year. 2/29/00 would've been cool.
12/29: same joke "Daddy's little deduction".
12/24 or 12/25: Ugh. Worst birthday ever, if your folks fold it into Christmas, as happened to my mother-in-law as a child (she was adopted, too, making the absence of celebration even emptier). So we have a big party for her every year, like she never got growing up.
7/4: pretty cool.
4/15: Ugh.

rhhardin said...

Even worse is being born on 2/30.

Ann Althouse said...

Link fixed.

Having a birthday on a famous day is great for getting people to remember your birthday. My older son's birthday is St. Patrick's Day, which is great: everyone remembers and everyone's in the party mood.

Consider, too, the problem of a death day occurring on a famous day. What if you had a close family member who died on Christmas or New Year's Eve?

Pogo said...

Absolutely right.

A teacher of mine lost his son on Thanksgiving, which must remain forever ironic.

Bob said...

Jimmy Buffett was born on Christmas, and mentioned in his A Pirate Looks At Fifty that as a child his parents made sure to distinguish his birthday presents from Christmas presents, and made sure that his other relatives did likewise, so that young Jimmy would never feel that his birthday was less important than Christmas was.

George said...

Genius illustrator Roy Doty of Popular Science's Wordless Workshop fame used to send out a Happy February 29 card.

(Scroll down to see it.)

howzerdo said...

I think it would be fun to have 2/29 as your birthday. My sister was born on 4/1 and she that date. One of my brothers was born on 12/25. He died as a child. My mother believes that he was so very special, for his birthdate (and a lot of other reasons).

howzerdo said...

Sorry, meant to write my sister loves that date (April Fool's Day).

ShawnL said...

Leap day: When we collect our interest from all that daylight savings.

Melinda said...

My birthday is the 4th of July and my sister's is December 26.

This worked out well, because my mother's always had problems remembering dates.

caplight777 said...

In the original post Ann, "Is there anything you're going to do about it?"

Yes. I leaped. It was quite invigorating.

Chet said...

I would hate to have to share my birthday with Christmas, St. Patrick's or any other holiday.

I'd want my birthday to be a special day all its own. I don't like having to compete with other festivities.

Nowadays expectant moms should be able plan their due-dates better .

Veeshir said...

I love leap day.
When I used to sell cars, I found out that you could use someone's name and birthday to check somone's credit without SS# and I found out elsewhere that it can be used to steal your identity.
So... when a registration page for something asks my birthday and I don't think they need it (like Facebook or something) I always give 2/29/64 because it's close enough to my birthday that I don't mess up demographics (I do that occasionally too) and it's easy to remember.

So I get birthday cards from websites I didn't even know existed anymore today.

That makes me laugh.

Richard Dolan said...

Listening to the radio (QXR) this morning, the announcer noted that today was Rossini's birthday. Although there have been 54 4-year cycles since his birth (on Feb. 29, 1792), the announcer said that this was only Rossini's 52nd "leap year" birthday, since leap year was not observed in 1900, 1800 or 1700.

I had never heard that before, and can't imagine who decides when "leap year" is to be "observed." My first thought was that it must have been some Vatican-run version of the Trilateral Commission, on double-secret probation. On second thought, I suspect it was the Brits. Sounds like the sort of thing they would do, to keep the calendars all nice and tidy with the seasons.

Blake said...

"The worst thing that ever happened to me was on Christmas. Oh, God. It was so horrible. It was Christmas Eve. I was 9 years old. Me and Mom were decorating the tree, waiting for Dad to come home from work. A couple hours went by. Dad wasn't home. So Mom called the office. No answer. Christmas Day came and went, and still nothing. So the police began a search. Four or five days went by. Neither one of us could eat or sleep. Everything was falling apart. It was snowing outside. The house was freezing, so I went to try to light up the fire. That's when I noticed the smell. The firemen came and broke through the chimney top. And me and Mom were expecting them to pull out a dead cat or a bird. And instead they pulled out my father. He was dressed in a Santa Claus suit. He'd been climbing down the chimney... his arms loaded with presents. He was gonna surprise us. He slipped and broke his neck. He died instantly. And that's how I found out there was no Santa Claus."

--Phoebe Cates in Gremlins

Walter said...

My Wife's sister has a birthday on 9/11. Her happy day is now a sad day :(

Walter said...

Richard Dolan said...

I had never heard that before, and can't imagine who decides when "leap year" is to be "observed." My first thought was that it must have been some Vatican-run version of the Trilateral Commission, on double-secret probation.

Funny thing, it was the Vatican that setup the current calendar, but it was Pope Gregory XIII that issued a papal bull which changed the leap year calculations.