The Mayans often receive credit for inventing the calendar, but credit actually belongs to two farmers Carter and Willis. The two men worked long days but often got distracted. They were supposed to be rending to their wheat fields, but they would get tired and eat the wheat. In the evenings, they would walk to their shed where they worked on their calendar.
“It’s all done,” said Willis.
“Finished,” said Carter.
“What?” asked Willis.
“It’s finished. ‘It’s done’ sounds like it has been cooked” said Carter. They got into useless quarrels over grammar quite often.
They had finally completed their arduous task, but Willis felt like something was missing.
“I feel like something is missing,” said Willis.
“We should include pictures for all the blank pages, so if people hang up their calendar, they can also look at a different picture for every month.”
Carter shook his head. “What pictures would we put in?
Willis thought long and hard, which was the only way people thought back then.
“Dogs. Cats. Cartoons. Maybe women in swimsuits.”
“Hmm. Those all sound intriguing to me.”
And they really were intrigued, so they wound up doing it. They didn’t know any women who would model for them. And dogs weren’t domesticated yet. So they just drew stick figure swimsuit models petting dogs. Every month had a very similar drawing. But this was 45 BCE and people weren’t very creative yet.
“It looks fantastic,” said Willis as he admired their now official final product.
Carter nodded his head in agreement.
A mosquito with a broken wing flew by and landed on Carter’s nose. Willis thought about telling him a mosquito was on his nose, but then he started scratching his own nose and forgot about Carter.
“So what day is today?” asked Willis.
“Well…It’s day one. So it should be January first.”
“That’s no fun.”
“I like it.”
“We should make today the last day. So we can celebrate the new year tomorrow.”
“Oh. That sounds like fun.”
Carter said it sounded like fun, but there was really no reason to think this meaningless celebration would be any fun at all.
“Why would we celebrate the new year?” Carter asked. “It’s just a useless system we made up.”
“That’s why it would be fun” Willis said. Willis was always looking for fun.
“Well it’s getting close to midnight,” Carter said.
They stood quiet for a while. They realized they needed to figure out how to celebrate this day, and they needed to decide quick. Time wasn’t ticking (clocks were not yet invented), but time was definitely moving.
“Happy new year.” Willis said.
Willis stared into Carter’s eyes. It was a new year, and they still hadn’t celebrated. All of a sudden, Willis leans in to Carter and plants a fat kiss on his lips.
“Sorry,” said Willis.
“What was that for?” asked Carter.
“I’m not sure. I just thought…Well, it was a new year and all so…I thought I needed a kiss to start the new…I don’t know…I just…”
Willis couldn’t explain himself. Traditions start in weird ways like this sometimes. Carter stood still. He was confused, but he didn’t seem to mind the kiss. After an awkward silence, Carter spoke up.
“Next year, we should do something else. Maybe fireworks. Or just drop a ball.
©2023 Jake Schick