Published: May 30, 2017 12:00:00 PM

External view of a contemporary house modern villa at  sunset.jpeg

Long weekend time! How should you spend your extra day off?

It's an honest question: You had 24 hours of federally-mandated time off, how did you get the most of that chronological currency?

Parades? Barbecue? Hammock? Lawnmower sales event? Mucking gutters?

It's only one day—you can't truly go on a holiday to a far-off, exotic destination. You can't change the world in a day!

But there are ways to optimize these days off...

no. 1) Step on your competition's throat.

Get up and get going! Treat your day off like any other day.

Can you believe certain businesses in America would close for a holiday? No, it's honestly true. They'll close their doors and ask employees not to come in.

They're literally refusing business!

You want to make money? Huh? You want to make some money, man? Can't do it when the shop is locked up. Go into the office and get some real work done while the competition decides to get lazy.

See, working on a holiday is a 2:1 swing. When your opponents are not working, consider that a "-1" on days worked. When you work, it's a "+1." That means when you're working on a holiday and they aren't, you're up +2.

Take this chance to work unimpeded and step on your competition's throat while they're relaxing.

And if you can't travel, and you can't get into the office, you can at least get work done around the home.

no. 2) Paint as much as you can in 2 hours.

Hadn't you meant to paint something recently? The fence? The bathroom? The house's north-facing side, blistered by harsh wind and flaked paint? You were gonna do it last weekend, but you didn't. The weekend before that, it was just kinda not happening out there. And three weeks earlier, you had to go BUY the paint, so that day was shot.

Look, you want to get something done on this day off, right? You can get a ton done if you just paint for, like, 2 hours. Painting is easy, it's basically just making a really pretty mess. My niece does it all the time for fun.

If you really want to have a good time with painting, get one of those paint guns. It makes the whole thing like graffiti, just hosing down your vinyl siding with aqua-green house paint.

It's only 10, plenty of time to get stuff done before noon, jet over to Home Depot and grab a paint gun.

no. 3) Stand in a line / traffic with other people.

Okay, but realistically, standing in line is doing something, especially at Home Depot. These folks are good workers, like you! You were going to have to stand in a line to buy a paint gun at some point. That north-facing wall won't paint itself—you've got to do it. And you only have today. Only one day. You've only got one day to do this before you get back to work tomorrow, and there won't be another reprieve until—the next day off, whenever that is.

Loosen up, dude. Everyone else has the same 24 hours off that you do. This is to be expected and it's nothing to complain about. Man died on D-Day so you'd have the freedom to stand in line to buy a paint gun. They're glad you're here in this checkout line behind this other guy—fuck, shut that kid up or don't bring him, buddy—and at least you can check Twitter while you're here.

We've won the right to paint the house any damn color you please.



Dogshit brown.

The gas tank is running low. We also won the right to drive fucking cool cars. American cars, as big as a boat, as big as we please. No better place to spend your money. No better way to spend your time off.

Worth living for. Worth dying for.


There's a rumble, no, a hum, in the back of your mind. It's just kinda there. It sometimes comes a little closer. But it never gets here, even though it keeps getting closer all at once. It's hard to get into words. It's just this machine sound, invisible, not right in your ear, but not right beside it, either.

The noise never lets you alone. It's always in your head.

no. 4) Start drinking at 9 o'clock.

There's no way everyone else would understand. Look, you remember how shitty last Friday was, right? Do your best to forget about it. Crack open a bubbly life-raft and drift through the day.

It's a foamy, synth orchestra. Let it hit. Let it hit you.

You don't get many days to yourself. You've earned a free fucking moment to bend the rules a little bit and have a beer at breakfast. No hard stuff, c'mon, you're not a monster.

That road soda will make idling in traffic a hell of a lot easier. You ever wonder how much gas you burn sitting at red lights?

How much in your life? How much time? How much is that gas wasted worth, when all is said and done? Could probably fly a spaceship off this goddamn rock, if that money was back in your pocket.

Just get through the day. Do whatever you need to do to just get through this fucking day.

no. 5) Sleep until noon.

Never mind. Why even get out of bed? It'll just be a hassle. Fuck, aren't you tired? Not just tired-tired, but tired of it all?

Sleep until noon. Maybe sleep even longer. Stay in bed, get out of bed, what difference does it make at this point?

They'll replace you if you don't show some guts. They'll replace you with somebody that'd work on Memorial Day, on Thanksgiving, on Christmas. Your boss would pay them less, and they'd work harder, and that goddamn scab would be doing, well, something.

-- Alex Crumb
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