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Lupercalia 2010 Update: Synchronized Raunch Finals Now Underway!

February 15, 2010

For a defective, unattractive person like me, Valentine’s Day is just one more excuse to drink half a mickey of Sailor Jerry and write yet another suicide note in trochaic heptameter. Contrariwise and contrastiwise, what a gleeful affair is February 15, when Lupa’s suckling of Rome’s twin founders is kicked off with a two-goat, one-dog sacrifice and celebrated all day via a series of ribald and buck-naked rituals. It’s that time of year again!

If I may digress for a moment, Valentine’s Day is total cinnamon cocks from minute one. What in the name of fuckity fuck was the point of filling out retchworthy little cards for everyone in our classes from kindergarten through junior high? Augh, you’d get a set of pre-perforated Valentines and half of them would have messages so gaggy and romantic-lovey that you couldn’t possibly give them to anyone, and the rest would feature goddamned hideous puns with vocabulary from the 1830s (You’re DOGgone special!). Even as a five-year-old I was embarrassed to endorse these insipid cards by identifying myself as their giver. Fast forward to 2010, when I still have yet to receive a Valentine from anyone other than a family member. My BFF claims that there is a cover for every pot, and I’ve always been a big fan of her optimism, but I think in this particular case some skepticism may be warranted. Another good friend, whom we’ll call Sergio, apparently agrees: one recent evening during a conversation about weddings, I made some remark about what kind of ceremony or reception I’d want (the phrase “open bar” was probably used at least three times), to which he responded, gleefully and with less than a moment’s hesitation, “You’re not getting married!” I know he didn’t mean it at all meanly, but I mean, can anyone actually imagine me in a serious relationship with someone? If so, I will pay top dollar for a detailed description of the person you’re imagining and also very high dollar for an outline of the psychological mechanisms by which, in your mental fantasy, I negotiate myself through such Scyllai and Charybdeis as someone else wanting to talk constantly, being in my personal space, not even remotely understanding Greek terms let alone how to pluralize them, trying to touch me all the goddamn time, etc.

Valentine’s Day is the worst. But the Lupercalia, friends, is for everyone. Single or attached, man or woman, thin or fat, this or that – it’s all good. The she-wolf Lupa did her civic duty way back in the day and now she just wants everybody to have a good time. No need to spend gobs of money on bouquet after bouquet of heart-shaped chocolate diamonds for some girl who’s probably cheating on you with the milkman. Fuck that noise: just take off your clothes, strap on a goatskin, head outside, and party down! Virgins will give you cake! Goat meat will be yours for the grabbing! Rivers of liquor will flow in the street! There will also be rivers of urine, so be careful! Be sure to enter your name into the prize draw for one of the goatskin thongs artfully crafted from the hides of the sacrificial victims! Oh, and if you’re in the mood for some candy, no worries, mate, your timing is perfect: as of February 15, all the Valentine’s Day candy is like 90% off at Safeway, so go to town!

The Romans knew how to party. Valentine’s Day is a crock of crap compared to the Lupercalia, just like Christmas is a sack of rubbish compared to the Saturnalia. Christianity is all well and good but Jesus Christ, what is with that religion’s unquenchable thirst for boring holidays? Why couldn’t the Christians have deferred to the Romans on this one small point? They got their God – why did they have to mess with the festival schedule? What a shame that we now live in a society in which a government would typically be criticized for, e.g., declaring three straight months of games.

Party on, Romulus. And party on, Remus.

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