Thursday, February 28, 2008


My friend Leather Penguin called me recently to ask me a question. His wife, Mrs. Penguin, it seems works with a bunch of my former fellow countrymen. And they were telling her about a Soviet holiday called "Man's Day." So being hardboiled New Yorkers they thought that this was as likely to be true as an ESPN report that Babe Ruth came back from the dead and signed with Boston. That's why they decided to reach out to their favorite Ignorant Immigrant living in the wilderness of Pennsylvania.

I, of course, told them the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. There was such a holiday and it was celebrated on February 23rd. It was also called the Red Army Day because the Red Army was founded on February 23rd ninety years ago. And since all things military were generally the domain of men, both men and the military were celebrated on the same day. The funny thing in all this is that I have not thought about this day in years. Until recently, the most significant to me February holidays were the Super Bowl and Valentines Day. I had to rely on my American friends to remind me of my Soviet past.