Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Real Origin of Valentine's Day

If you're single (like me), I'm sure you have been subjected to any number of pitying stares or humblebragging comments regarding your plans, or lack therein, for Valentine's Day. Things like, "I'm so busy. I wish I could just sit in my room doing homework instead of going to The Olive Garden with my boyfriend," or, "Life must be so much simpler for you. You don't have to plan any romantic adventures for the person you want to spend your entire life with. I wish I could watch Doctor Who in my pajamas all day, too."

People who say things like this believe that they understand the purpose of Valentine's Day and are celebrating it correctly.

How wrong they are.

As anyone who has researched St. Valentine in any depth knows, the whole love angle was only a small part of his deal, and was in fact an accidental consequence of his life's true passion. I am referring, of course, to puppy catapulting.

Due to a debilitating allergy, St. Valentine was preternaturally afraid of cats and lived in fear that they would invade his castle. Lacking the resources to dredge a moat, Valentine employed an alternative defensive scheme. He erected a network of catapults along the castle's ramparts and stocked each one with a stable of spaniel, retriever, Labrador, and dachshund puppies.

Through an elaborate automation system, which inspired Henry Ford's design for the assembly line in his automotive factories, Valentine would launch preemptive puppies over the walls to keep the hordes of feline invaders at bay.

While most of these airborne puppies scampered away to romp in the fields after they touched down, one's unique journey inspired the holiday many of you will celebrate incorrectly today. As the story goes, one of Valentine's catapulted puppies veered off course, and instead of exploding an enclave of guerilla cats, it landed in the arms of a woman named Berenice. Berenice was sitting on her porch at the time, and was able to trace the arc of the puppy from its launching point at the castle. 

Berenice misinterpreted the cuddly missile as a romantic overture, and went to Valentine's castle to accept his offer. Grateful that the woman was uninjured and therefore would not press charges, Valentine invited her and the puppy to come back to the castle for dinner that evening, and they all lived happily ever after. 

So, while the rest of you are wining and dining your amorous partners, I'm going to assemble my catapult, make a quick trip to the animal shelter, and commemorate Valentine's Day the way it was meant to be celebrated. 

1 comment:

Grace said...
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