February takes a hike

February 21, 1997|By Ken Fuson | Ken Fuson,SUN STAFF

February has been abducted.

Long known as the runt of the calendar litter, the month was last seen on the 10th, when temperatures dropped to a very February-like 18 degrees at the airport.

The month's disappearance coincides with a string of suspiciously beautiful days, with temperatures reaching the upper 60s much of this week. Evidence of February's abduction was everywhere: Drivers became reacquainted with the colors of their vehicles; construction workers toiled in shirtsleeves; children played in parks unburdened from three layers of coats. If this keeps up, the Orioles might come home early.

Which raises a question: If February is indeed gone, will anyone miss it?

Let's see, the greeting card and flower industry surely will pressure Congress to move Valentine's Day to another month. Men, in turn, will lobby to have Valentine's Day and Mother's Day moved to the same Sunday, thus cutting down on both tragic forgetfulness and out-of-pocket expenses.

Another February staple -- television sweeps -- could be moved to July, which means fewer people will watch, which means fewer people will go to bed terrified by the thought of an asteroid crashing through their roof, which will improve the mental health of everyone.

Presidents Day could be attached to the front of the Fourth of July weekend, giving every patriot a four-day vacation package. Black History Month could be celebrated all year long.

Which brings us, finally, to Leap Year. Somehow we're going to have to add one day every four years. How does Sept. 31 sound?

Not everyone will rejoice at February's passing. Birthdays and anniversaries will have to be rescheduled, skiing trips canceled, snow blowers put in storage. But that seems a small price to be done with a month whose chief claims to fame are bitter cold, sleet and snow.

Police reported few developments in tracking down the month, although sources say the primary focus is April, a k a "The Cruelest Month," also notorious for its annual celebration of foolish pranks.

One promising lead was found: A message scrawled on ice in February's handwriting, which said, "I shall return."

"I don't know," a police spokesman said. "It all sounds like fiction to me."

Of course. But no more unbelievable than this week's weather.

Pub Date: 2/21/97

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