And here we are, on the cusp of July, that month where everyone looks at each other and mutters things along the lines of, "Man, the year's over half over, where did it all go?" July, allegedly the darkest, cruellest month of winter, is almost upon us.
Or is it? For there are some out there who believe that July does not (or at least should not) exist. If these calendar extremists had their way June would rush straight into August and July would go the way of the dodo, 8-track tapes and Campbell Live. Forget Dry July, we are talking Bye, July.
At the moment those clamouring for this radical calendar change are few in number. In fact, they consist primarily of my offspring and some of their school friends. But just because they are few in number doesn't make their cause any less valid or worthy of our consideration.
And what is their cause? And why does July need to be sacrificed to make way for it?
Well, the simple answer is that July needs to make way for a new, eighth, day of the week. This day is called Funday. In order to incorporate Funday into the existing Gregorian calendar something has to give and July, it seems, is the first sacrifice, because no one apart from skiers actually likes July.
And yes, I get that in order to change over from a 7-day week to an 8-day week and still keep everything vaguely Gregorian would require sacrificing more than just the 31 days of July. The advocates of Funday also seem to understand this and talk about something called The Void, where time is meaningless or means less or something. I don't understand The Void, so my suggestion is that we have as many Leap-Fundays a year as we need to get the calendar to add up to somewhere in the vicinity of 364 days per year.
So what, exactly, is Funday and why do we need it?
Well, Funday is, as the name implies, a day of the week devoted purely to having fun. Whatever it is that you enjoy, Funday is the day to do that thing. In pre-Funday terms it is what we would call a Mental Health Day, where work is the last thing we want to do. Fun, fun, fun and nothing but fun, all day long.
Will adopting a Funday-based calendar decrease productivity and damage our economy because we're all too hung-up on eating chocolate and playing mini-golf? No, in fact quite the opposite would be true, because we'd all be super-energised by having a Funday one day a week. Also there would inevitably be people who would choose to spend their Funday working because they enjoy working, the poor saps, so we're already ahead on the deal - especially when you remove July, undoubtedly the least productive month of the year, from the equation.
Of course, even leaving the whole Void thing aside, there will be problems in changing over to a Funday-based calendar. For starters, where in the week should Funday fall? Should it fall in the middle of the week, say between Tuesday and Wednesday? Or should it come after Sunday, giving us a good three days of non-work time?
Personally I favour the middle-of-the-week option, as a blow-out day to de-stress from work. Also this keeps the purity of Funday alive and doesn't make it merely part of a long weekend. Maybe a national referendum would be the way to go in making this call.
Then there is what might be called the Hannibal Lecter factor. What if what you call fun is what the rest of the world calls serial murder and cannibalism? Will the Government have to step in to legislate what is or isn't socially acceptable fun? And also what of the people who need to work on Fundays, making the chocolate and handing out the mini-golf clubs, so that we can have a fun Funday? Will they get Fundays off in lieu?
As you can see the details are (at best) sketchy and definitely need working on, but it would be a churlish person who couldn't see that the idea of Funday has great merit.
Let's be honest here, we all need more fun in our lives. So let us lay aside all this nonsense about changing our national flag, in favour of the much better nonsense of creating a whole new day of the week - just for fun. Hell, if it helps kick things into gear we can have a flag with "New Zealand - home of Funday" written on it. Kill two birds with one referendum.
Hands up all those in favour of fun.
Boy, have we got the day of the week for you.