Now we’re in that week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve and Day. It’s a week that has no purpose except maybe for the start of purging your house or office of calendars that will soon be worthless. The toughest calendars to dump when I was a kid were the ones we got from the kosher butcher. They were a little weird. Each month’s grid was adorned by some sort of artwork apparently created by a blind guy who worked in a matzo factory. The subjects were generally joyous rabbis looking like they solved the Fiddler on the Roof-themed Word Search puzzle, or an assortment of farm animals such as chickens, turkeys and cows that could be slaughtered and eaten and still be kosher.
The butcher’s calendar was also very fair, showing both the Hebrew and Gregorian months. The Hebrew year is based on the moon so each month is about 29 days and during leap years an entire month is added. Plus the Hebrews, hoping to get a table at Wo Hop’s after Yom Kippur fasting ended, started long before the Gregorians so we’re up to year 5776. I always thought it was a nice touch that the butcher’s calendar had little line drawings of fishes every Friday to remind our goyim friends to eat fish on that day and leave the lean cuts of beef for the more worthy Jews who enjoy a nice brisket at the end of a long work week. Plus, the butcher’s brother owned a seafood shop down the street.
As I was writing this I stumbled on the craziest calendar yet, and one which I must have. For 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin is going topless for a calendar produced by “Stars and Advice” magazine. A pub evidently popular with the “devoted to depraved despot” set. It’s called “All Year With the Russian President” and cost 78 roubles, or, as the article says, 70 pence. Being the end of the year I’m a little short and have neither roubles nor pence. It’s a shame, because our kosher butcher died many years ago and I’ve had to live with freebie calendars from real estate and insurance agents which mainly just give you the date and sincere, smiling photo of the agent… and never include topless photos of heartless heads of state or delusional rabbis, or drawings of little fishies…which is what I’ve come to expect in a calendar.