They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, but as a saying, that doesn’t quite jibe with me. It’s sort of like “money can’t buy happiness,” when a Cadbury Creme Egg only costs 59 cents (plus tax) — that’s not only happiness — it’s happiness with a creamy fondant middle.
The lion-lamb idiom may work in England, where it originated, but what about places like Placentia, California? Yes, that’s a real city; my parents live there — it’s in the Uterine Valley, right next to Fallopia. Anyway, Placentia enjoyed 65-degree sunshine all this past week, conditions I’d hardly describe as “lionine.” They’re more akin to one of those miniature hairless cats.
Here in Juneau, of course, March can come in like a lion (and also go out like one), although so far this year, I don’t know. What’s a little less than a lion? A leopard, maybe? Or a cheetah? No, wait. An ocelot. Yeah, that’s it. March 2019 is coming in like an ocelot.
See, that’s my first beef: what kind of lion are we talking about? The Cowardly Lion? Aslan, from the “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”? The Detroit Lions? Does that mean March comes in like the underachieving NFL franchise of a recently resurgent post-industrial Midwest city?
And while we’re on the subject, which lamb? Because “lamb” can refer to the meat as well as the animal, in which case March could conceivably go out with a side of mint jelly, or, in Scotland, minced, salted, spiced and then stuffed back inside its own stomach to simmer for three hours.
This is to say nothing of L.A.M.B., a fashion line by Gwen Stefani, lām, the 12th letter of the Arabic alphabet or novelist Wally Lamb. In this scenario, March goes out like a best-selling author noted for his realistic portrayal of female characters.
Of course, other March-based aphorisms exist. There are, most famously, the Ides of March, of which Shakespeare originally warned us to beware. While every month has an “ides” — from Latin, meaning “half-division” — March’s ides gained notoriety as the day Julius Caesar was stabbed to death, 23 times, in the Roman Senate. And you thought the current political climate was brutal.
We’ve also got March Madness, the NCAA basketball tournament and March Madness, the psychological disorder characterized by anger at peeing away $100 in your office pool when all your picks lose in the first round.
And it doesn’t stop there.
March is National Noodle Month, National Peanut Month and National Women’s History Month — speaking of which, what better way to celebrate Women’s History Month than with a heaping plate of peanut noodles? Women and peanut noodles: my two biggest weaknesses. I suspect I’m not alone.
March also marks National Nutrition Month, National Flower Month, National Flour Month, National “Mad for Plaid” Month (Eddie Vedder’s stoked) and Mardi Gras, which I believe is French for “cram yourself, along with 750,000 other drunken revelers, into a .66-square mile section of New Orleans, get pelted with plastic beads and call it fun.”
Make no mistake, March abounds with individual observances, too. You’ve got the obvious ones — like St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Seward Day, Iditarod, the Vernal Equinox — but did you know this past Friday was World Sleep Day? I know, I totally slept through it, too. But it’s not too late to observe National Procrastination Week, which runs through March 13, so I should be able to make it … by next week, at the latest, I promise.
But what I’m really looking forward to is March 15, World Consumer Rights Day. This was always my favorite holiday as a kid. Every World Consumer Rights Eve, we’d hang our Consumer Rights stockings with care and set out a tray of FDA-approved milk and cookies, in hopes of getting a visit from jolly old Ralph Nader. Next morning, my sister and I would race down to review our presents, and, where applicable, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. One year, I got a bound copy of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. It was the best World Consumer Rights Day ever!
Most importantly, March demarcates the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, autumn in the Southern Hemisphere and prime Cadbury Creme Egg season all over the world. Speaking of which, did you know that in the United Kingdom you can purchase Cadbury Creme Eggs all year round, and they’re 15 percent larger than the American version? Crikey!
Those of us stateside better stock up while we still can. Because no matter how March comes in, once it goes out, that’s it for Cadbury Creme Eggs. In this way, I find what they say about April to be quite accurate: it really is the cruelest month.
• Geoff Kirsch is an award-winning Juneau-based writer and humorist. “Slack Tide” appears every second and fourth Sunday in Neighbors.