A hospital maternity ward. In a delivery room, a woman is about to deliver a child into the world, her face clenched in pain, agony, and the confusion of what she was thinking when she started all this. Her hapless husband is at her side, holding her hand. Nurses are close by and present. And in between her legs is the doctor. She's in close, helping the mother to be bring her child into the world. It's been about thirty seven hours since labour began. Give or take.
Doctor: Okay, Mrs. Grant, get ready to push again! You're nearly there.
Mrs. Grant: I am pushing!!!!
Mr. Grant: You're doing great, honey! Come on, you can do it! Really, it can't be that hard, can it?
Mrs. Grant: *grabbing her husband by the throat* You did this to me! You and that thing that does most of your thinking!!! You're never touching me again, you hear me????
Mr. Grant: Wow, honey, you've got quite a grip...
*Mrs. Grant slugs her husband.*
Ahem. I didn't mean that kind of labour. Though yes, that kind of labour does take place at this time of the year, just like every other day.
It's the Labour Day Weekend (Labor Day to you Yanks). And yes, it's the worst holiday of the year. Kids are cramming in the last bit of goofing off, since summer's ending. The unions are marching in Labour Day parades. People are dashing off for one more summer weekend at the cottages. And the countdown is in place. Yes, the countdown to another school year.
Labour Day might be the last day off before the school year (unless your school board had a professional development day the day after, like mine did growing up). And while it's supposed to be a day off, it's really more like the last gasp of freedom for a condemned man, isn't it?
Try telling that to the kids this weekend. Go ahead. You know you want to.
Here in Canada, one of the stationary stores already goes into back to school mode in July, and their ad campaign for the last two or three years features adults dancing about in slow motion, their faces contorted in clownish glee, while their children look sullen. In the background, one of the more annoying Christmas songs plays, sounding like a demented jackhammer: It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.
It's true. For the typical kid, Labour Day is something to be dreaded. As that great philosopher Calvin once said, it's the day that you cram in all the goofing off you meant to do all summer.
Yes, back to the grind, so to speak. And as for adults, what else does Labour Day mean? It's supposed to be a day to highlight the working man, so the unions make a big deal of it, marching in parades (never been to one myself, come to think of it), chanting the union line, and getting plastered afterwards.
I suppose there might have once been a need for unions... after all, if this was your office environment and your boss was the one bludgeoning you all the time, you might feel the need to file a grievance, wouldn't you?
So enjoy the weekend... get that last bit of cramming of goofing off in. You'll need it. It's a long few weeks until Thanksgiving (more so for you Yanks, who turn it into a big production).
And if you're one of those guys whose significant other is going into labour on Labour Day... for Gods' sake, man! Watch what you say! And if need be, know how to keep out arms' length. It might just save your life.