WE HAVE BEEN GIVING the month of August a certain amount of thought, and have come to the conclusion that it would be best to get rid of it. All it takes is a plebiscite. We would be left with an 11-month year, better complexions and a happier life.
As an alternative to August, add 10 days to July and 21 to September - the reason for the imbalance being that September is a more interesting month than July, and would profit more from the extra time. Very little would be damaged by the change. Our new calender ditty would now begin: "Fifty-one days hath September/Which makes it easy to remember." No major holidays need be affected.
Even history would be altered but slightly. Calvin Coolidge announced, "I do not choose to run" on August 2, 1927. Now that date would be changed to July 33. And a few other dates would be changed accordingly: Richard Nixon's resignation to July 40, 1974; Herbert Hoover's birth date to July 41, 1910. For those who celebrate either FDR's Fala speech or Nixon's Checkers speech (the same day, interestingly enough), the date would now be September 43.
Otherwise almost nothing would be disturbed by August's disappearance - a testament, in fact, to how expendable a month it is. Admirers of the Caesars may be disgruntled, but surely one month, July, is plenty veneration. And a book or two would have to be retitled - "Light in July" and "The Guns of September." But so much more would be improved: Labor Day would arrive 3 to 4 weeks early, and so would school. The baseball season might actually pass.
Of course, the greatest change - and the one of greatest benefit - would be the end of the compulsory August vacation.No more acrimonious confabulations on where to go this year. No more white-water canoeing ("Isn't this fun?"), or camping in Yosemite ("Isn't this lovely?"). No more Disneyland or Disney World. No more "I love New York." No more white elephant of a country home, of whose absolute necessity you convinced yourself, even as the pipes burst and vandals stole the roof. No more winding down so far you can't wind up again without cracking.
Best of all, no more cheery postcards with oceans on them from those - unlike ourselves - who are now languishing on beaches and sipping pop. No more "Wish you were here," for the simple reason that they wouldn't be there.