Let’s face it, Valentine’s Day isn’t for everyone.
I mean, they say there’s always someone for somebody, they say there’re always more fish in the sea, they say it’s better to have love and lost than to have loved at all, they say lightning never strikes twice in a bottle, they say a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush and ... where was I going with this?
Oh yeah, Valentine’s Day sucks.
Don’t tell me any different and don’t tell me to list multiple reasons why it’s the most awful of the made-up commercial holidays because even if you pretend to enjoy the holiday, you can’t really enjoy it because, for one, it takes place in the middle of winter!
Fortunately, many places have recognized this truth to be self-evident and are cashing in on Anti-Valentine Day sentiments.
One example is an animal shelter in Kentucky that’s holding a fundraiser where jilted lovers can pay $10 to have their ex’s names inscribed on the inside of the shelter’s kitty litter boxes.
So, eventually depending on their diets, the cats will find a way to douse out your old flame.
Who knows, ladies, you may even be so moved by the kitty’s determination to dump on the dumper, you might even adopt that cat or three to be a part of the 168 other cats in your apartment.
On the darker side of the same coin, the San Antonio Zoo in Texas is allowing people to name animals that will be fed to other animals.
For example, $5 allows the donor to name a cockroach before it’s served as a meal and, because this is Texas we’re talking about where everything is bigger, $25 can be paid to name a pre-frozen rat before it’s fed to a snake.
For vegetarians, the zoo also has an option to name a plant that’s fed to herbivores; however, watching a panda gnaw on a bamboo shoot named after the girl who stood you up at prom isn’t as satisfying is seeing a snake dislocate its jaw to swallow whole and slowly digest the dirty frozen rat named after your cute babysitter whom you finally had the courage to ask out after 20 years only to be shot down because she’s now “married” with “kids” and she’s your “cousin,” to give a random example.
Anyway, is it just me, or do those efforts seem like an acceptable form of modern voodoo?
When you think about it, there’s little difference between sticking needles into and hooking up miniature jumper cables to a cloth doll named Bruce or naming a snake’s next meal after Bruce’s brother, Bob, who’s even a bigger jerk.
But, like with any other holiday, I guess it’s all in what you believe and how strong you believe in it to make it really count.
And that, my friends, is the true meaning of Valentine’s Day — it’s not about the commercialization of buying flowers, giving heart-shaped gifts or having a romantic dinner. It’s all about dark magic and retribution.
If you hopeless romantics out there don’t believe me, then consider the origin of Valentine’s Day, which has led my research to Rome with two possible histories.
The first is the ancient Roman festival known as the Feast of Lupercalia, which was held every Feb. 13, 14 and 15.
For the event, animals were sacrificed and then the men would run naked through the city, using the hides of those sacrificed animals to whip young ladies in an effort to help them conceive and then they would--ahem--put that into practice.
I know what you’re thinking, guys. That movie “50 Shades of Gray” was more romantic than you originally thought.
The other inspiration for Valentine’s Day was when Roman Emperor Claudius II — man, these Romans pretty much started everything! — executed two men named Valentine in two different years on Feb. 14. Their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day.
Yep. That history just begs for me to buy a box of chocolates and take the wife to dinner at the Olive Garden ... or, if they’re too crowded, Denny’s.
So, for this Valentine’s Day, maybe skip the chocolates, flowers and dinner and take part in a little modern voodoo to keep the true bloody and disturbing history of Valentine’s Day alive and well.
Because, as they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.
According to Hofmann is written by staff reporter Mark Hofmann of Rostraver Township. His books, “Good Mourning! A Guide to Biting the Big One...and Dying, Too” and “Stupid Brain,” are available on Amazon.com. He co-hosts the “Locally Yours” radio show on WMBS 590 AM every Friday.