McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: List: Jewish Holidays That Sarah Siblowski and I Fabricated to Get Out of School While Coming of Age in Utah in the 1980s.
Because we had it. If you reminded them all earnest that it starts at sundown when handing over your forged note from home I swear they’d believe anything.
Rosh B’Shevat, the Festival of Lights
A joyous, vernal frankenholiday that, through the miracle of the lunisolar calendar, always falls the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday following spring break. We’d never have got away with it in the age of Wikipedia.
The Harvest Festival of Makar Sankranti
Cribbed in its entirety from the 1983 World Book Encyclopedia entry on Hinduism. Given that the twenty-two volumes were right there in the school library the whole time, the lack of Wikipedia isn’t really an excuse.
The first school day after Purim. One year our parents were so hungover we conned them into signing the notes themselves.
Brisket Equinox, the Feast of the Midpoint
Held halfway between the actual and brisket-intensive holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Pesach. Sarah Siblowski, now Dr. Sarah Siblowski-Freedman, remains adamant that her family honor it. Her husband’s recipe involves off-brand cola, four kinds of peppercorn, a coffee grinder, and three days of lead time. It is seriously the best thing you’ve ever put in your mouth.
Literally the word “day” and the word “off” spelled backward. I can’t believe they fell for this shit. Did I mention Principal Clarkson was dyslexic? Her whole big thing was if I’ve overcome my setback, so can you.
They had to have known. They had to. They saw us. Utah. In the 1980s. Maybe a little kinder than we realized. Oh my heck, they thought. Golly gosh. Gee willikers. Why not give those kids a break?