“30 days has September, April, June and November, all the rest have 31, except for quite contrary, February which has twenty-eight most of the tiiiiiimeee, except on leap year twenty-niiiine.”
I love this song/mnemonic device. I love that there is a wonderful built-in key change that seems to exist just to celebrate the fuck out of unusual February. It’s not my favorite device, but it’s up there. Way better than the dumb: “I before E except after C.” (That shit doesn’t even have a tune.) I have always loved the pure, condensed and concentrated joy I feel when I get to the high-pitched yell-singing of the word “twenty-nine.” It’s the same feeling I get when I reach the five golden rings part of the twelve days of Christmas song:
FIIIIIIVEEEE GOLLLLDEEEEEN RIIIIIIINGS.
Why is it so fun to belt out numbers? I don’t know.
Let’s take a moment to figure it out together.
Go ahead and pick a number. Let’s say a number between one and thirty. Ready?
YELL THAT NUMBER AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS.
Feel the feelings that result. Breathe. Reflect.
Did you do it? Maybe not. You might be at work, or in a restaurant, or reading this on your phone in church. If you had to stifle it, I want to remind you that there is a place where you can belt out numbers and feel feelings all you want. That place is called TOO MUCH LIGHT MAKES THE BABY GO BLIND THIS WEEKEND at THE NEO-FUTURARIUM. Join us as we mark the start of boring-old-thirty-day March, and bid fair adieu to contrary February.
Contrary. It’s a great word. It has great sounds in it. Say it. (If you’re in church, just whisper it to yourself.)
See? Use it in a sentence. Here’s one:
Contrary to popular expectation, Rahm Emanuel did not win the election Tuesday night.
There hasn’t been a mayoral runoff election in Chicago’s history, and while some of us may think we know what the results will be after the runoff in boring-old-thirty-day April, for now it behooves all of us to celebrate these unusual results the best way we know how: with song, dance, experimental theater, and a big dose of full-throated number-yelling.
Being a contrarian is a great thing. I strongly identify with it. In my family we call it barrel shmarrel, as in: someone says barrel you say shmarrel. And vice versa. Some families refer to this as being a smart ass. I’m proud to be a smart ass. Maybe one day someone will write a song with a built in key change about me!
WHAT YOU WILL SEE IF YOU COME TO TML THIS WEEKEND:
Plays about the election, and the surprise of the election results. Plays that feature many flavors of rebelliousness: political, comedic, visual, musical. Plays that feature the unusually brilliant Bilal Dardai, who returns to the show this weekend.
If you identify yourself as a contrarian, like Miss February, DON’T come see TML this weekend. (See what I did there?)