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By staff writer E.E. Southerby
Volume 68 – February 15, 2004

“Comedy for the Broken-Hearted”

Now Playing: “You Can't Hurry Love” by Diana Ross

It's a funny thing, really. You never see commentary on the topic of Valentine's Day from anything but the most cynical perspective. The only things I've ever read or seen about this holiday is how shitty it is, and how it makes single people feel like crap, and how Hallmark invented it, etc. Why do you suppose this is? I have a theory on the subject, much as I do on every subject that comes to my mind, no matter how little I know about it: People in a relationship don't write about Valentine's Day. They're too busy having sex. That pretty much leaves me, a bitter Jewish Internet comedian, to write depressing prose on the subject of St. Valentine. Therefore, this column will be no exception. If you're tired of reading about how much Valentine's Day bites, just turn off your computer right now and go back to eating low-fat ice cream out of the tub. Here's what happened:

-Nobody wants to be alone on Valentine's Day. Of course, that statement implies that there are other days of the year where people would prefer to be alone, and I'm at a loss as to which days those might be. Arbor Day, maybe?

-No, nobody wants to be alone no matter what day it is, and Valentine's Day is no exception. The only difference is, February 14th is the only day of the year when you're reminded of just how alone you really are, and how you're actually a pretty big loser and you never knew your father. It's probably best not to dwell on these feelings of resentment and woe, though, since that's exactly the type of wooly-headed thinking that leads to being lonely.

-February 14th has attached itself to the fascinating statistic that more people get married AND commit suicide on that day than any other. I think that's sad. Because whether he gets hitched or offs himself, that person will probably never speak to me again. And I'm pretty sure he owes me money.

-Quote of the Moment: I'm walking through Wal-Mart with my friend, and as we stroll past the Valentine's candy and card aisles he says: “I hate how this holiday has gotten so shallow and commercial.” I fully agree. Things were so much better when I was a kid, and those ‘Transformers' Valentines I used to get would actually MEAN something. (“Optimus Prime Wishes You a Happy Valentine. Batteries Sold Separately.”)

-Some people celebrate Valentine's Day. Not me, though. I celebrate “You're All Idiots” Day. That's the day after Valentine's Day, when all the candy is on sale.

-You ever see those hobos in bars and restaurants who go around from table to table or person to person selling flowers? What the hell is up with this? It's always some wilted rose that they guilt you into spending $5 on to impress the girl you've taken out on a date so she doesn't go home with somebody else. Who the hell are you worried she's going to go home with? The flower hobo? Honestly, guys: Take your balls out of your purses. Just say “no” to wilted flowers from panhandlers in bars. Go buy some crack or something.

-Every year, around this time, the newspapers are filled with articles like “The 10 most romantic songs of all time.” But they never really go back far enough to count as ‘all time,' in my opinion. I've never seen a song on these lists that predates the 60s. I'm sure in the times of ancient Babylonia, Judas had some pretty sexy crooners. And what about sonnets? I think a good sonnet is pretty romantic, or at least it probably was in the year 1471 before the word ‘prithee' had fallen out of fashion. Stick THAT in your pipe and smoke it, Celine.

-I think guys take Valentine's Day seriously only because girls do. And girls take it WAY too seriously. Ask any girl who's in a relationship what her plans for the big day are, and she'll invariably answer something like “We're going to dinner at ‘The Overpriced Frenchman' and then we're taking a long walk on the beach. Now try getting any guy to admit he actually wants to spend $200 on dinner (plus $5 for the flower hobo) and then walk around until his sneakers are full of sand and dead prawns instead of staying home and watching SportsCenter in his underpants. But every guy in the world will go along with his girlfriend's neurotic whims, because he knows in the back of his mind that if he does, there's a teeny-weenie chance that they'll get home and she'll agree to watch SportsCenter in HER underpants.

-Off-Topic Corner: Did you know mattresses come in model years? Like cars? I had no idea. It seems like everything comes in model years these days, although I can't honestly say I've ever been over to somebody's house and been ushered into a bedroom where they point to the bed and say “See this? ‘Sealy Posturepedic Beautyrest'. 2004, baby!” Maybe someday buying a new bed will be exactly like buying a new car. (“Alright, now for the 2003 model I'm willing to give you half the sticker price plus a trade-in on my old bed. But I'll have to take it for a test sleep first. We'll talk in the morning.”)

-I think there should be a day of the year where single people around the world celebrate the joys of being single. You know, just to keep things even. I just don't think it's fair that couples get a day and singles don't. I'd wake up in the morning, make myself breakfast in bed, then I'd give myself the card and flowers I had bought for me. I'd take myself out to a nice dinner, buy a flower from the flower hobo, and then walk by myself along the beach on the way home. Then I'd watch SportsCenter in my underpants and cry myself to sleep. I'm not sure what the ideal day for this would be, though. Maybe Arbor Day?