Flying crap calendar by Jurvetson
I drop by at a friends house and I notice the house dude eyeing my backseat with some interest. It’s January. He’s looking for a calendar. I gave him a wall calendar, which I in turn wheedled from someone else. He’s giving it to his daughter. Who may just give it to someone else. Where the calendar ends up no one knows, but each link in the chain is quite happy to pass it on. I’m happy cause it makes him happy, at little expense to me. He’s happy cause it makes his daughter happy, etc. I dunno. Wall calendars, desk calendars, leather diaries, pocket diaries – they are truly the currency of the realm. I haven’t seen a phenomenon like this anywhere else, but Sri Lankans do love their calendars. I’ve got enough diaries and calendars in my car to hopefully secure me preferential parking for at least a few months. I was silly enough to keep them on the front seat and the guy at the gas station asked for one. Now I keep them tucked.
The themes of the calendars are mostly corporate photo shoots or local customs. SLT has cool random ones. This year was traditional paper sculpture. Last year was ‘endemic’ fish. Traditional is the standard, and I’ve always wondered what a cynical calendrical look at Sri Lanka would look like. Here’s my take:
January: Showing up hungover and sleepless at the ceremonial January 1st company kiribath. Thing is at like 8:30 am. This year I drove to Hiks for the night, and drove back to get there in time. It’s actually kinda sweet though, people you barely know give you the handshake and hug thing. Most people are still totally useless and grogs on that day.
February: Waiting in traffic for the President to go to National Day celebrations. Independence Square in the distance, past the guns and stopped cars.
March: I dunno what happens this month. A standard fall-back would be the national past-time, burning garbage in the street.
April: Sign that says ‘Artist Will Return To Work In A Month.’ Avurudu
May: Perhaps the line of people buying gal arrack the night before poya. Usually stretches out the door. Not that I’d know.
June: Something general. Bribing a cop, both parties giving a thumbs up.
July: All black.
August: Pretty girl walking down the street. Trishaw driver leaning out to make the monkey lip smack. Possibly holding his penis. Could have the trishaw getting rear-ended by a bus or something.
September: September always meant school to me, and it’s my calendar. Could have a bunch of geriatric university graduates. Or some protestors holding signs that say ‘I’m With Stupid’
October: Dude wearing plastic bag on his head, grinning in the rain. I’ve always found the dudes with their sarongs tucked and plastic bags on their head comical and admirable at the same time.
November: Election time. Seated politician, grinning with a brown paper bag in front of him. People putting cash in there, like votes into a ballot box.
December: Freaking weddings and Christmas gifts. Background could be a wedding, foreground a dude with his empty pockets tucked out and stains on his one good suit.