One day my neighbor Kabsat Kandu, frustrated about having to rush from one work chore to the next, exclaimed aloud that he wanted a clone so that he could be two places at one time. That way, he could gain 48 hours’ worth of time at the cost of 24 hours.
“Well,” I tell him, “we still have no technology for cloning your brain and all its contents — however small these might be — but there’s an alternative solution that society as a whole would want to try.”
His interest clearly piqued, Kandu nevertheless feigns coolness. “And what would that solution be?” he asks with nonchalance.
“Simple,” I continue. “Adopt a new calendar that has nine days to a week. We will still have five working days, but now we’ll have a four-day weekend. We will have two extra days per week to do the things we’ve always wanted to do but had no time to spare.”
Kandu emits a guffaw, but this time he considers the idea seriously. Its ramifications he grills silently over the glowing coals of his restless mind. “But that would turn the calendar into a hopeless mess. Nine days x 52 weeks… we’d have 468 days in a year! Astronomers, astrologers, even my village elders would go crazy. Who’d want a calendar like that?”
I had to assure my alarmed neighbor that my revolutionary calendar, crazy as it is, wouldn’t impose Louis Bonaparte’s Eighteenth Brumaire or anything like that on an unsuspecting public. My calendar would also have 365 days in a year (366 in leap years), and would start on January 1 as God intended a regular anno domini to be. It would practically be a half-brother of the Gregorian calendar, but with some important differences:
1. The 365-day year will be divided into ten months, with 36 days each, no more, no less. No more fretting with mnemonics such as “Thirty days hath September, April, June and November…” To these 360 days will be added a five-day yearend holiday, when everything and everyone winds down.
2. Each 36-day month will be divided into four weeks of nine days each, no more, no less. Monday to Friday will stay as they are, regular workdays. Then the long weekend starts with what we may call Sleepday, followed by Restday, then your usual Saturday and Sunday. Maybe someone will insist that Saturday be called Natureday, and Sunday be renamed Funday. Ain’t that neat. One other nice thing in this setup is that people will no longer get confused about locating a particular day of the week in the monthly cycle. Each month will always start with a Monday and end with a Sunday.
3. But, so as not to make this calendar a deathly predictable bore, let us put a little off-tangent spin to it. Let each day that there’s a full moon be declared as a holiday, so that people can stay home and relax or go out and gather in public places in the evenings. Thus, there will always be 12 or 13 such full-moon holidays every year. This will also encourage people to remain in touch with their creative, lunatic side.
4. All in all, this means 160 + (12 or 13) + 5 = 177 or 178 non-working days, and 207 or 208 working days per year. Such a very predictable and laid-back calendar, I think, will make our people more rested, relaxed, efficient, confident, and ultimately more productive.
Oh, and since there will only be 10 months, nursery school kids will find it easier to memorize 10 instead of 12 names of months, by associating the names with the digits of their hands. It should be easy as counting 1 to 10.
Kabsat Kandu rolls his eyes and asks, “What will be the crackpot names you’d give the months?”
“Oh, no problem there,” I say. “I’ll simply drop the names of two months in our list of 12 months. Maybe July and August should be scratched. I didn’t particularly like their imperial provenance anyway. So there… Jan, Feb, March, April, May, June, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec.”
Kabsat Kandu stares, searching for any remaining fragments of sanity in my face. “Are you serious???” he asks, with a triple question mark.
“No, just joking,” I say. “Stress reliever to ease my deadline pressures. Just had to let it out.” #