I don’t know how I missed it, but apparently May 5th has been, for several years now, a “National day of prayer.” People around the country honor the day, both inside and outside of government, regardless of the fact that we as a country do not, in theory anyway, establish any particular religion as the “National” one.
In response, California state Representative Mike Honda (representing the Silicon Valley area), has introduced a new bill to declare the same day, May 5th, a “National day of reason.” It isn’t right, he believes, that everyone is required to honor a day of prayer, since we as a country do not require religious belief. His ‘day of reason’ balances the spirit of the day with a thoughtful, non-religious twist.
I think this is an interesting idea, balancing prayer with reason, but what really makes me stop in my tracks and twist my head sideways is that the two groups are fighting over a day that has already been well established as Cinco de Mayo, an International day of binge drinking.
I’m not suggesting that these three things are completely unrelated. Prayer and binge drinking can go together naturally - “Oh God, please let me stop puking!” - but it sets up a three-way battle, and I think everyone already knows the winner.
I did a little reading about the history of Cinco de Mayo. Many people think it is a celebration of Mexican Independence Day. It’s not. That happens in September. Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of a Mexican victory over French forces in a single battle, and it is so insignificant historically, that the holiday is virtually ignored in Mexico itself.
This is where American drinkers come in. Americans barely need an excuse to binge drink. I’ve spent many St. Patrick’s Days wondering how many drunk celebrators are neither Irish or catholic. On Cinco de Mayo, it’s safe to bet that most of the loud, slurring, stumbling partiers, are not Mexican at all. They just like to celebrate. WHAT they celebrate is secondary.
This gets me thinking again about the same day being a day of prayer and a day of reason.
I support the idea of the day of reason but, unlike prayer, I’m afraid the binge drinking gets in the way. It would be almost impossible to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, get shit-faced drunk, and then try to be reasonable and thoughtful.
I want to see someone try, though. It might be fun to watch. The thoughts, comments, and ‘reasonable’ observations people make after a half-dozen shots of tequila are worth remembering; “Dude, you ever really look at your hand? I mean, really fucking LOOK at it?” “Mexicans are okay by me, man. I mean, they invented tequila, they CAN’T be as bad as Trump says.” “Dude, check out that girl…no she’s fighting with him, they’re breaking up…Dude, I’m going to save her night, fuck the boyfriend, I’ll help her dump him.”
As for praying and drinking, I expect these two things happen together all the time. In addition to the prayer listed above, I want to offer a few other prayers that will be natural and appropriate on the “National Day of Prayer,” that is also Cinco de Mayo:
1. Please God, get this drunk asshole off of me.
2. God, make him shut up before I stab him with this fork!
3. Oh, God, not another shot of tequila!
4. God dammit! Where did I park my fucking car?!
And the next morning’s always popular…
5. Oh God, please make it not be 6 o’clock already! Fuck!
April 15, 2016