Headshots: Ain’t Valentine’s Day

Headshots: Ain’t Valentine’s Day

Most of our competition filled their St. Valentine’s Day columns with a bevy of quotes, anecdotes, slideshows, galleries, and pictorials last week, making those in love feel bad about their love, and those who are single reach for the Kleenex box. Here at Headshots we celebrated Valentine’s as we always do, with three bottles of Jack Daniels and four interns. It was a delightful afternoon, and despite one ticket for public urination (Intern #3) and an hour of tears (Intern #2), I’d say it was one of your best office outings, even if the staff llama lost a leg and Intern #4 lost her scholarship to Vassar.

Valentine’s Day’s origins are rooted in folklore and myth, and depending on which story you believe it was either an advent of Chaucer or Hallmark. The theory Headshots subscribes to is the tale of little known Bishop Valentine of L’Aquila, who in 142 CE while experimenting with opiates and light S&M would force the young boys from his choir to dress down to their undergarments and chase each other around the church, shooting arrows at one another and reciting the Songs of Solomon. Upon having his eccentricities discovered by the Archbishop of Abruzzi, the church (in typical Catholic fashion) explained that Valentine was not a  deviant, but rather had began a celebration of the love of Christ, and the half-naked choir boys were but pageantry. In order to cover their lies, St. Valentine’s Day was born.

But Valentine’s Day isn’t all scantily clad boys, chocolate hearts, and a table for two at Applebees. February 14th also happens to mark several important occasions, disasters, and festivities. Headshots runs down Valentine’s Day for those who never make it past the half-dead roses from Walgreens.

1. Singles Awareness Day

Headshots: Ain’t Valentine’s Day

The most marginalized part of the populace these days is not minorities, or women, or Kansas City Royals fans, but rather those who dare not be married or attached or “seeing someone.” Single people are treated like lepers, and though in many cases this treatment is warranted, for the most part single people are just like non-singles, except with a greater chance of being found in their shower by their landlord five days after dying in a drunken bout of autoerotic asphyxiation gone awry. Singles Awareness Day was started in the mid-90s to combat the commercialism and loneliness of Valentine’s Day, though many celebrate on the 15th as it’s really hard to get a reservation on the 14th.

2. Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre

Headshots: Ain’t Valentine’s Day

The tragedy most often associated with Valentine’s Day, with the exception of Headshots’ second marriage. In Chicago on February 14th, 1929, seven mobsters were brutally murdered in a gangland prohibition conflict that would later be noted as the beginning of the end of Al Capone’s mafia reign. What is often left out of the discussion of the tragedy, is that the foundation of the rule of Capone and others was an attempt to bring the prohibited alcohol to the people, so that they could get drunk, and build up false confidence and bravado, and meet someone special, or at least someone who would let themselves get loved up on, so that they wouldn’t have to be alone, especially on Valentine’s Day. Circle of life.

3. Oregon Admitted as 33rd State

Headshots: Ain’t Valentine’s Day

Where would we be without Oregon? Admitted to the Union on February 14th, 1859, Oregon has brought us Ken KeseyPavement, and Portlandia. Without Oregon, we’d never be able to drive to Seattle. Without Oregon, we’d never have Microsoft and Hotmail and the dot-com boom and bust and Clyde Drexler and Wally Backman and Ralph Towner’s American jazz and world music group, Oregon. Oregon, 9th on size and 27th in population among the states, remains one of the few progressive and liberal states, where you’re more likely to get high then shot. Seriously. Ever been to Eugene? Headshots stopped there to pick up some weed on the way to a Neil Young show in Mountainview, California, got high and stayed for three years. Oregon’s awesome. Not like some states…

4. Texas Linked by Telegraph to Rest of US

Headshots: Ain’t Valentine’s Day

In hindsight, connecting the rest of the US to the Republic of Texas was a horrible horrible mistake. It probably would have been in the Union’s best interest to leave the inbred Texans cut off from the rest of the country. But no, on February 14th, 1855 Texas was linked to the rest of the US by way of New Orleans, and in 10 years when Texans finally figured out how the telegraph worked, their message of racism, hate, and heavy gun ownership spread quickly across the south, a message that remains to this day.

Headshots: Ain’t Valentine’s Day

Thanks a lot, Franklin Pierce.

5. Lupercalia

Headshots: Ain’t Valentine’s Day

A few years ago, after Headshots was arrested for keying a poem on ex-wife number three’s new husband’s Camaro, our third such poem-on-Valentine’s-Day-related arrest, the court ordered us to find something else to do when hopped up on bourbon and sadness mid-February. So we discovered Lupercalia, pre-Roman pastoral festival, to avert evil spirits and purify, releasing health and fertility. And instead of baby’s with bows and arrows, it has wolves. And priests wear goatskins. And there’s nudity. And there’s wine. And sometimes some suckling by she-wolves. And there are virgins aplenty. Suck it, Valentine’s Day.

Go ahead and bookmark this page, for when next February arrives, tweet us and you’ll spend Singles Awareness Day with Headshots and the interns, maybe sacrifice a goat, and do it up Oregon-style, get out Lupercalia on.

Mike Spry is on Twitter — follow him @mdspry

Related on The Smoking Jacket:
Headshots: Spring Training Edition 
Headshots: Fake Dead Girlfriends
Headshots: Strange Bed Etiquette: 5 Rules of Engagement 

 

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