Wednesday, November 05, 2014


Happy National Useless Persons’ Day!

(Same as Secretaries’, Bosses’, Children’s, Grandparents’ Day!)

This is the day we pause to honor the useless persons in our lives, as well as the determination, luck and fortitude necessary to be useless in the long term.

This is our opportunity to recognize those folks who never quite pulled it together, who possessed either no luck or no visible talents, as well as those whom, by nature, are simply not suited to life in this world.

Useless persons, we salute you!  We celebrate you!  You and your abiding uselessness!

Useless persons, brush the moss from your teeth and climb the stairs of your mother’s basement, for today is your day to be garlanded!

Three hundred sixty four days of the year are reserved for those who strive to be Number One, who grow each day in importance and commotion.  One day alone is reserved for useless persons.  Useless persons, today is yours!

Today we honor the contribution made by useless persons.  A very real contribution -- even though it may seem that useless persons are only forever eating something, eating and complaining of some small pain, of the cost of dentistry, or the lateness of the bus.

In a world saturated by importance, the useless play a necessary role, their very unimportance is important, as persons who embrace unimportance grow ever more rare.

Today we salute useless persons.  The boon of uselessness!  The bliss of mediocrity.  The reliability of failure.

Because we cannot seriously expect the incessantly victorious to sit listening to Grandpa.  Who is going to walk the dogs of the ceaselessly dynamic?  Who will water the plants and wash the floors of the relentlessly beloved?

Even less often are useless persons recognized for their contribution of simple non-damage.  What a mercy it is to the world to never become a CEO, to never fly to your second home in your own small plane, munching on game hens and foie gras and sipping imported champagne.  

The beauty of failure is seldom recognized in a world where success is generally seen as synonymous with one’s capacity to harm.

Instead here you are, useless person, at home in your underwear, boiling lentils and chopping onions, writing poems about how the world is far gone in a dangerous and remarkably dumb direction (of which its total non-appreciation of you is but one small indication.)

Putting aside the poem, you check the clock.  Soon it will be time to walk the dog, maybe check on Great-Aunt Vinnie, before checking in with your sexual partner, likewise thoroughly mediocre, an amiable nobody who doubtless would have died long ago of liquor and TV dinners, if not for your tender and disappointed ministrations.

You pause for a moment to re-consider the poem, which is, after all, just a defense against the list of your friends who won and won and won and won and now explain, quite righteously, that of course they do not have time. 


Happy National Useless Persons’ Day!

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