The Reason February is the Shortest Month

A long, long time ago in the era known as the Bronze Age there was a man named Skippy Dungabibble. Skippy lived in the capital city of the Kingdom of Advil, where he was employed as one of the royal calendar makers.

Skippy was a good man, who was happily married, had two children, a dog, and a wicked cool moustache. He went to work every day and did his best to see that the work got done. He was even so fortunate to have met the king, King Ponce, on several occasions and considered himself incredibly lucky when, on one such occasion, the king referred to him as a friend.

Skippy had been educated at the best schools in Advil and had always been interested in the documentation of linear time, so he was happy with his job as a calendar maker, excepting one detail: the constant robbery attempts made by the dastardly fiend who called himself The Decemburgaler!

The Decemburgaler was a short little man who wore a mask to conceal his identity as he tried various crazy schemes in attempts to steal time from the royal calendar makers. It was on the day of such a scheme that the calendar would be changed forever.

Like most any other workday, Skippy showed up at the office before his co-workers and began to set things up. He reviewed the current plans for a twelve-month calendar (those months being January, February, March, April, May, Chune, Chuly, August, September, Blobtober, November and Decepticons). As he was trying to figure out the best way to distribute the three-hundred and sixty five point twenty five days that he has been told to utilize by the Astrological and Decimal Point Council when his coworkers began to arrive. First was Larry.

“What up, Dawg?” Larry asked as he entered.

“Good morning. I’ve not done much yet, but I’ve discovered that if we change Chune and Chuly to June and July we can fit two more days in each.”

“Wicked, bitch!”

Susan arrived next.

“How’s it going, guys?” She asked as she hung up her coat.

“It’s the bomb!” Larry replied.

“So far so good,” Skippy told her, then added, “What do you think about changing Blobtober to October so we can fit in another week?”

“I’d say it could work,” Susan answered.

“True dat,” Larry noted.

Then Paul came in and put his briefcase on the desk.

“How is it going, my fellow coworkers whom I work with every day?”

“Fine,” said Sue.

“Wicked,” said Larry.

“We’re still having trouble fitting the last week in. I think the problem lies either within February, April or Decepticons.”

“Hmmm, I see,” Paul said. “That is something of a pickle. Let me see the days that you’ve got left over and I will see what I can do with them.”

Skippy handed the days to Paul, who then pulled off his costume to reveal that he is in fact the Decemburgaler! “HAHAHA! Got ’em!” he yelled as he ran out the door.

“Darn!” shouted Skippy. “I should’ve known! We don’t work with anyone named Paul!” He scrambled out the door and began the chase.

The Decemburgaler was a fast little criminal, but Skippy knew the area outside the offices well enough to catch up to him. He pounced on the thief, and they both fell to the ground.

“Give those back!” Skippy shouted.

“NEVER!” The crook screamed.

Skippy knew his nebbish form could never contain the determined might of the Decemburgaler, so he had to find a way to keep him from escaping with the days. “What if I promise to name a month after you? December!”

“Hmmm, that sounds good. I could really brag about that. My friend Steve would go nuts.”

“Then it’s a deal? The days for the month?”

“Yeah, sure. That’ll do for now.”

Thus, Skippy changed the name of Decepticons to December and was able to fit almost all of the remaining days within, but they were still faced with a problem. Fortunately, Larry found a solution…

“Lissin’ up, bitches! I say, we take a few days out of that weak month February and we stick ’em some other places. I say we add the extra twenty-five percent of a day to that month and only count ’em as an extra day when they added up to a full day, every four years. Got it? Yeah, that’s right! Respec’!”

So, with those corrections, the twelve-month calendar became the basis of time used for years to come. How many years, we have no way of knowing, but rest assured, it was a long time.

Patrick D Ryall, the D is for State Capitals
Originally posted on Contains2 on Saturday 01 March 2003

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