# T.S. Eliot Was Wrong; April Is Not The Cruelest Month

Some consider the poem by T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland, to be the greatest of the 20th century. “April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land…” blah blah blah.

Please, April is a Carnival cruise on its way to Cabo compared to February. Because rent is due four days earlier that month. Plus it’s the month where you learn exactly how many men don’t really love you and are just getting the milk for free.

There’s a nursery rhyme to remember the number of days in each month. Of course, the trick is to remember the nursery rhyme.

Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November,
all the rest have thirty-one.
February has twenty-eight,
but leap year coming one in four
February then has one day more.

Would it have killed January or March, both with 31 days, to throw February an extra one? You’re right there. It’s not as if you’re November and anyone will notice you skipping around like some parkour freak on a skateboard.

Did you know the Earth does not orbit the sun in 365 days? Probably not. Because you have a life.

So let me fill you in on what you’re missing. The Gregorian calendar is a modification of the Julian calendar first used by the Romans. The purpose of leap year is to “make up the difference between the calendar year and the solar year. We go by a calendar year of 365 days. The solar year, which measures time by the movement of the Earth round the Sun, is actually 365 days and about six hours long.”

Zzzzzzz. Sorry, I dozed off.

So for all you math wizards, 4 x 6 = 24 = one extra day. Equals leap year. Will someone please introduce me to the people who are clinging to those “about six hours?” Because I want to carve a message on their answering slabs of clay, NOBODY CARES, 1752. Yes, 256 years, that’s how long we have been tricked into remembering that rhyme or counting on our knuckles.

Although this is not taught in higher institutions of learning, like the fifth grade, you can use your fist to figure out where you are in the loathsome solar year.

If the month is on a knuckle, it has 31 days. Otherwise, it has 30 or fewer days.

Starting with the first knuckle as January, the space between knuckles as February, and second knuckle is March and so on. Once you get to the fourth knuckle, July, start over at the first knuckle for August.

Of course, like the rhyme, you have to remember where to start your knuckling and after a few beers, it’s easier to retake the SATs blindfolded.

And if knuckles are so great a system for computing, why doesn’t Best Buy sell them?

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