Various Lies

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labour Day Mark 12

Today is my twelfth Labor Day, and my first as a Permanent Resident. I still have no idea what one does on Labor Day or, indeed, why it's so important. To Americans it marks the official end of summer and this has always struck me as odd because the weather (at least where I've lived over the last decade or so) is usually glorious and often 'better' than "real" summer (less humid, less hot).

The start of summer, Memorial Day (May), is marked with barbeques (cook-outs as we call them here), as is the Fourth of July, which includes the additional bonus of fireworks. Other holidays have associated phenomena - Martin Luther King Day (January) is a time of introspection and thought, doubly so here down South where the racial divide is still strong, and triply so in Memphis where Dr. King was murdered. (The site of his death, the Lorraine Motel, is now the National Civil Rights Museum and well worth a visit if you're in town.)

There are the pseudo-holidays of Columbus Day (celebrating men who refuse to stop and ask for directions) and President's Day (celebrating...uh, the President or something?). There's Thanksgiving, which to me is a chance to practice cooking a turkey in time for Christmas (my favourite holiday).

And there's Labor Day. A day off of work, but to do what? Some folks have one last hoorah at the beach (too far from here), or "one last" cookout (Tropical Storm Lee has put the kibosh on that in Memphis this year). It just seems a funny anti-climactic holiday.

But in the tradition of starting traditions where none exists, MusicGirl and I have decided there will a Labor Day breakfast and she will prepare it, just like Granddaddy Jim used to when she was a kid (Granddaddy Jim was Native American and she has fond memories of him smoking his cheroots and getting ash in the pancake batter, and then getting the batter in his long braided hair). So, this morning at the crack of dawn *ahem*...9:45...I headed out to The Store to get the makings for breakfast...and over an hour later returned with what I assumed was the correct makings. See, I don't "do"American breakfasts - when possible I make myself an "English" breakfast that most of my friends refuse to eat.

Ho hum...apparently 6 eggs was too few, 'center cut' bacon is wrong and it took me 35 fucking minutes to find the pancake mix - why isn't it with the rest of the cake mixes!? (And, yes we could make fresh, but we're still living out of boxes and some utensils etc. are missing). It took another 15 to find the maple syrup (why isn't it with the rest of the dressing, condiments, unguents etc.?)...and then 10 more  minutes of sorting through the 873 different varieties, all of which were proudly "sugar free" or "lite" before I found something 'real' ("lite" syrup, really? Irony spill on aisle 5).

Well, what the hell! This year traditions clash meet and we get Tideliar's catered variation of the Official Labor Day Breakfast!

At least some folks look like they're existed....Can haz catsup?


Dr. O said...

"crack of dawn" at 9:45 am - get ready for that to change when tiddles, jr shows up :)

Becca said...

I'm a good little Teamster's offspring, and labor day is as important to me as MLK day (i.e. more important than Christmas or Easter or New Years or 4th of July or any of that nonsense). People died so you could have weekends. Even if we in academic biosciences have responded by... working weekends, to show how we are not "laborers" but nice upper class members of the Bourgeoisie, even if we are compensated more poorly than laborers.

Ideal ways to celebrate the holiday include:
1) going to a protest for labor
2) spending time with your family singing "Solidarity Forever"

punxxi said...

... or just do what everyone else does, nothing!

Sirius Scientist said...

I'm very interested to know what a "traditional English breakfast" would consist of? Being a southern girl, the breakfast you found deplorable is very close to what we would do every Sunday. Ever had chocolate gravy? :)

tideliar said...

...chocolate gravy...



No no no no
A full English is the only rmedy for such madness

-REAL bacon (not your American fatty rashers)
-Fried eggs (maybe scrambled)
-Fried bread
-Fried mushrooms
-Grilled tomatoes
-Sausages (more like brats than breakfast links)
-baked beans (not sweet like Yankee beans)