Monday, February 13, 2006

The True Story Of Valentine’s Day

Often men who are too lazy, cheap, and possibly drunk to get a Valentine's day present for their significant other will accuse it of being a '‘Hallmark'’ holiday, designed only to force individuals into spending millions on useless trinkets in order to prove their love. These men tend to be shifty and should not be trusted around valuables or sharp objects, but on this issue they are absolutely correct. Valentine'’s day is a Hallmark holiday.

But before Hallmark was a global corporation bent on enslaving us all, it was a man, a man named John Hallmark, who dreamed of a Utopian society where money was made of chocolate and people communicated via humorous or sentimental quips written on slips of paper which he called '‘cards'’.

In 1812 Hallmark secured a large tract of land in what'’s now Idaho and invited otherd to join him in this promised land. But after a fantastic beginning Hallmark'’s utopia ran into problems. A wave of tooth decay swept the settlement leading to the decimation of the local beaver population, as people sought replacement 'choppers'. As teeth became harder and harder to find their value skyrocketed, and villagers over-farmed the land in an effort to scrape together enough chocolate to buy the prized '‘beaver dentures'’. Panicked residents began speculating at a frenzied pace about the future of the settlement, and their constant communication led to the deforestation of the area as trees were turned into cards at a breakneck pace.

In 1815 Hallmark received a Ziggy card (originally developed by a settlement member) from one of his deputies which showed Ziggy's pockets inside out and Uncle Sam standing over him with a baseball bat. Hallmark quickly gathered that the government had denied his group'’s tax exempt status and meant to collect on the years of back chocolate taxes he now owed.

Ironically, the threat brought the settlers together, who under Hallmark'’s direction decided that they would not fight the government, but defeat it with the love and kindness that had been the cornerstone of Hallmark'’s original vision. As the government threatened them with legal and then military action, Hallmark'’s settlers prepared to face their enemies not with weapons, but with adorable stuffed bears made from excess beaver pelts, as well as nifty arrangements of local flowers, remaining stores of chocolate, and the best cards that locals could create (Garfield and Peanuts characters were created just for this conflict).

Sadly, on Fetheuary 14th, 1815 the settlement was invaded by government troops led by General Teddy St. Valentine. They quickly slaughtered the stuffed bear and flower wielding locals and the bears (which thereafter became knows as Teddy bears in honor of the man who had captured them), chocolates, and flower arrangements that were not destroyed in battle were then auctioned off to cover the town'’s tax debt.

The auction was so successful that the government decided to make it an annual fundraising event under the auspices of the Department of Defense, which began to open Hallmark’ stores around the country to auction off items on February 14th. The success of this ‘holiday’ led directly to the rise of what'’s now known as the military-industrial complex. Original Hallmark stores sold guns and ammunition along side the flowers and cards, but later the stores were spun off from the Defense Department and their offerings were pared back to those gifts we associate with the occasion today.

So indeed, those drunken, lazy boyfriends that make up a large part of society today are correct, this is a Hallmark holiday. But now that you know the truth you can see that it'’s about more than just chocolate, flowers, and military might.

It's also about beavers. All too often that gets overlooked.


Anonymous said...

Filed under 'Fractured Fairytales' LOL

Your thought process is predictably unpredictable and cracks me up....Happy mass marketing day and God bless that Hallmark guy....we girls appreciate him. ;)


Unknown said...

A very happy mass marketing day to you as well Christie. Here's hoping that someone was kind enough to give you a beaver pelt teddy bear and/or some dentures.