Happy Leap Day, everyone! I love the idea that we have a whole extra day, even though essentially it means nothing, I know. I’m still doing the same shit I was doing yesterday and then will be doing again tomorrow (wow, does that give you a picture on what my mood has been like this week or what?). I am surprised that there isn’t an agreed upon way to celebrate a Leap Day. Shouldn’t we have leap day foods? Or dress in specific colors like they did on 30 Rock? Something.
There was this time some of us in my 9th grade algebra class decided to pull out the garbage can from the corner of the room and put it in the aisle between desks and run up and down the aisle, jumping over the garbage can. And no, I don’t know whose brilliant idea this was and why we all joined in. I mean, it was a teeny tiny garbage can, so it wasn’t even like, a stunt. So many brains I tell you. (This also is another lovely story in a long line of stories I could tell you wherein it is made clear that no one was watching us in high school, hardly ever. Where was the teacher? Either they were somewhere else during class, which, wow. Or they were in the class with us not giving a rat’s ass about Garbage Can Olympics). Anyway, there was this one kid named Jeff Hansen, and he had cerebral palsy, and he didn’t usually participate in shenanigans such as this, but this time he did. And he jumped over that garbage can in a sort of ballet/swan formation and it was shocking to all. Then, the more awesome and nonsensical thing was that he turned around to all of us and said the following:
“That was my LEAP. I’m LEAPIN’!”
Then this other kid named Bob, who normally was the type that was not so nice to Jeff, but for some reason in this case the leaping made him change his tune, said “Yeah! Instead of Jeff, you need a leaping name! Like…LEAPIN’ JEEP!”
And Jeff took this nonsense and ran with it. “I’m not Jeff Hansen! I’m LEAPIN’ JEEP HAM SAM!”
Dudes, I have no idea what this means. I don’t know how it makes any sense. How does a jeep leap? What does ham sam have to do with any of it other than it sounds kind of like Hansen?
I don’t know, but I love that memory. I thnk of it every time I hear the name Hansen. The nuttiness, the garbage can, the unsupervised alegbra: it was a recipe for cross-kid understanding. We called Jeff “Leapin’ Jeep Ham Sam” for a long time after that.
This is what I propose for Leap Day. Leap over a small receptacle of some sort. If you can’t get to a garbage can, a bucket or step stool will do. And then proclaim yourself a leap-related weirdo name. Leapin’ Creep Juju Joe. Leapitty Freak Soupy Rip.
My gift to you on Leap Day. You’re welcome.