POETS Day will sneak up on you if you let it. That doesn’t absolve you of your duties, of course. You still have to meet your obligations and do the day’s thing: Piss Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday. Just know that there are those of us who understand that sometimes a mid-afternoon escape from work will not benefit from a well thought out plan. You have to summon inspiration and work with the tools you find laying about. Thankfully those who intend to weasel out of the office before official release is granted probably mastered the art of the faked illness as a kid in order to get out of school, so they’ve seen a lot of mid-morning I Love Lucy reruns. That rascally redhead taught them three very important things. First, if you want something there is no limit to the amount of humiliation you are willing to endure to get it. Second, the only thing keeping you from a career in showbusiness is that smooth-talking, spotlight-hogging husband of yours. Third, whatever the consequences of your actions, they will not be so dire as to deter you from trying something as equally ill-advised seven days later, assuming the advertisers are still on board. Focus on the benefits of risking your source of income by lying to your boss and leaving your co-workers in the lurch for a few Friday afternoon hours. Ignore your conscience. Consciences are problematic. They keep people from doing great things like sticking with their mentor to rule the galaxy side by side just because he’s mean to their kid.
Fake temporary aphasia, cake oatmeal on your arm and claim leprosy, freak out saying “How?… No… I can’t move again…” when the UPS guy or a customer you’ve never seen before comes into the office and make sure and tell anyone who will listen that you are definitely not in the witness relocation program while safely cowering under your desk. Do whatever you must to kickstart your weekend and get out of there. Roll with the bon temps. But first, take in a little verse to stir your impulsive creativity.
Welcome once again to the POETS Day prefab intro paragraph, that wonderous paragraph that heralds the day where we do our best to usher in the weekend, Henry Ford’s greatest creation, a few hours ahead of schedule by embracing the ethos of the day: Piss Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday. Disassemble, obfuscate, fudge the truth, and gleefully trespass the norms and delicate pieties that preserve our hopefully durable civilization. Nearly all means are justified by the urge to prematurely escape the bonds of employment and settle into a friendly neighborhood joint a few hours before even happy hour begins, confound the universe by spending your reclaimed afternoon in church confessing your trespasses, lay comfortably in the grass at a local park wishing you had a BB gun to knock that smug squirrel of his branch, go to a hardware store to buy a measuring tape and measure stuff, or God forbid, go for a light jog. It’s your weekend. Do with it as you will, but in homage to the mighty acronym may I suggest setting aside a moment for a little verse? It’s a particularly good way to pass time waiting on friends who may not run as roughshod over the delicate pieties and were not as successful as you were in engineering an early exit.
George Mackay Brown was born in the town of Stromness in the Orkney Islands, and he liked it so much he decided to stay. There was a brief while when he went to study in Edinburgh but after that it was back to the islands for him and the rest of his seventy-four years. He admired the simple ways of his home and wrote often of its history, interweaving the ancient with the modern.
Welcome to POETS Day! The John Donne Edition, so prepare to Piss Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday. By the time this post is published you still won’t have voted yet so feel free to make your workplace a haven for free speech. Who will end up holding the reins of power is on quite a few minds. People say that it’s impolite to talk about politics or religion in public, but people love to talk about politics and religion. Once they get going it’s Katie bar the door. Indulge their desires by giving the people what they want and don’t hold back. If people are reticent to speak up start assigning positions like a debating coach. “Sally, you defend congressional stock trades. Bill. Abortion. I’ve got you down for anti. Tommy, pretend to be above it all and keep saying that there’s no real difference between the parties.” Have fun with it. Maybe designate a supply closet as the penalty box. I’ll give it thirty minutes before everyone is at each other’s throats and forty-five before the walk outs begin. Follow suit. You aren’t going to get any work done in this environment. Hit the bars, grab a matinee, surf PornHub for the articles, take a walk along a creek, or otherwise indulge yourself. It’s the weekend and it comes early to those willing to seize it. But first, some metaphysical stuff.
Samuel Johnson had some harsh words for the metaphysical poets. He thought they were showoffs always trying to impress on the reader how learned they were. He’s probably right about that. He also had issues with their devotional poetry. He felt that any communication with God was by de facto divine and attempts to improve the experience by framing it poetically were attempts wasted. The divine exists above poetry. I’m not a Johnson aficionado so I have no idea whether or not he had similar issues with devotional poetry by non-metaphysical poets, but I have read a few lines of his explaining why it was okay when Milton did it. I just skimmed his Milton excuses, but it seemed to me like he was protesting too much.
Welcome to POETS Day! Piss Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday, and you’ll surely want to oblige the acronym as this week is the special Slipped Into Curmudgeonlyness edition so get audibly frustrated with an underling’s inability to help you sign into your email, blow your top over the sadistically icy 68° thermostat setting, cough a menacing “I’m sick and I’m going to bring you all down with me” cough, call at least two people Bill even though they are not named Bill, leave a tip for the guy from the mail room but no more than a nickel; in general, be so annoying that when you declare that your patience with the people around you has reached its limit and storm out no one will follow.
Now feel free to move about the weekend, your normally kind and ebullient self, having been momentarily overtaken by a cantankerous pensioner, once more assertive and dominant. Think happy thoughts and enjoy happy hour.
William Wordsworth lived to the ripe age of eighty, but at the age of thirty-two he couldn’t have known that. The life expectancy in England’s cities then was only between twenty-five and thirty years old. Out in the county where he spent most of his years the average time from womb to tomb increased significantly to forty-one. Still, at thirty-two he wouldn’t be faulted if he felt he was getting’ up there, so he had an old man’s “Get Off of My Wafting with Natures Glory Lawn!” moment.