I just learned that President Bush has taken a total of 506 days of vacation in the 7.5 years he’s been the big cheese. That’s a bit over 67 days a year, or about 10 weeks.
Now, you may not get 10 weeks of vacation a year at your place of employment. If you’re like a growing number of Americans, you may not even get health insurance. But is this really something to whine about?
I have to admit, I’ve probably had 10 weeks of vacation a year over the last two years. Of course, I’m a cynic, so I tend to call it “unemployment” or “between gigs” or even, in a really bad mood, “going batshit crazy waiting for these people to just effin’ get back to me”. That’s my problem, of course. We all deserve 10 weeks of unpaid “vacation” every year, and it’s up to us to make the best of it.
Me? I started writing a novel. A novel about a guy who has a serious problem with reality, so serious that he falls in love with an iconic archetype of “Reality”. You can tell right away that this is a big waste of time because I use words like “iconic” and “archetype”. George Bush can’t even say “nuclear” coherently.
Oh, and I just saw that he gets paid for his vacations. Damn!
What counts is that we all get plenty of time off to work on the things that enrich our lives and allow us to recharge our bodies and minds. Europeans routinely get 8 weeks of vacation, so why shouldn’t we all get 10? Aren’t we better than those people in France who are so … so very FRENCH about things? Think of what we all can do with the extra time off to make it clear that the USofA still totally rules.
On your time off, for example, you could re-assemble the bridges that are falling down across the country. Or, perhaps, you could teach school for a week or two and reduce class sizes. You could even help out at a struggling mortgage underwriter that could definitely need your help.
That’s the spirit of our nation, after all. Look at the example George Bush, a man who returns to humble Crawford, Texas and … apparently, he cuts down a lot of brush. Lots of it. That kind of manual labor is a great example for all of us as to how to use our growing unemploym … er, vacation time. Volunteering to do the work that needs to be done, no matter how trivial, is the spirit of civic engagement that made America great.
Of course, you could also use the extra time sharpening the pitchforks and preparing the torches. Just in case we find them … useful.