Hail, Caesar!

Happy Leap Day!

Unless you’re a salaried employee, as I am. In which case you’re getting screwed.

I’d always had a fondness for February 29th. It’s a novelty of sorts, a rare occurrence, which makes it unique. Leap Day is like the World Cup or the Winter/Summer Olympics or the Presidential election, a once-every-four-years anomaly that was established in 46 B.C. by Julius Caesar in order to account for the discrepancy between the lunar and solar calendars. Smart guy and he made a mean salad. Hail Caesar, indeed! This worked for awhile, until astronomers discovered that one earth year is actually 365.2425 days long (365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds, to be exact). Seems inconsequential, but by the 16th century that was enough to throw the calendar out of whack by 10 days. So another group of very smart humans ditched the Julian calendar and swapped it out for the Gregorian calendar, which made further modifications by saying that leap years must be divisible by four*

*except for those that are divisible by 100 but not divisible by 400.

Always read the fine print, folks.

Don’t worry, my head hurts, too. What this means is that 97 out of every 400 years are leap years. 2000 was a leap year, but 1900 was not and – if you’re lucky enough to be around in 2100 – there will be no February 29th that year, either.

What if I took Romaine lettuce, added anchovies and parmesan, and topped it with croutons...?
What if I took Romaine lettuce, added anchovies and parmesan, and topped it with croutons…?

Here’s another interesting fact that’ll really blow your mind: if Leap Day did not exist, today would be July 15, 2017. It’s dreary and cool out here in the PNW, so it’d be a pretty crappy summer day and certainly not ideal for grilling up a steak.

So, you’ve gotta like Leap Day, right? Well, like I said, I did…until I found out I was getting ripped off. If you’re a salaried employee, then you’re working for free today. Your accounting department isn’t giving you extra money to offset the extra day. They claim that really, in non-Leap Years, you’re getting paid the same but working less. Those guys take the whole “glass-is-half-full” thing to the extreme. I say you can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig. Speaking of, if you’re getting paid hourly, then you probably love Leap Day, since you have an opportunity to make a little extra dough. No wonder my barista had a smile on her face this morning.

Leap DayI kind of want to work for Zappos now. The shoe company is not only giving its employees the day off, but it’s petitioning to make Leap Day a federal holiday. Follow the link and add your name to the list. Your bank account will thank you.

Other fun Leap Day perks: if you were born on February 29th, besides having a really cool nickname (you “leapling,” you), you can get a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut, a free dessert from Olive Garden, a free cookie from Great American Cookies, and a free meal from the Hard Rock Cafe. And for one day only, Arby’s is offering a vegetarian menu in addition to their normal meat-heavy selections.

I’m still scratching my head over that one…


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

6 thoughts on “Hail, Caesar!

  1. Mark, thanks for the info on Leap Year because I honestly had no idea how it worked!?! Someone I spoke to in Walgreen’s a few weeks ago told me that February had an extra day this year. And I said, “Why?” And she said, “Because it’s Leap Year!” I said, “Oh yeah, that’s right.” But I honestly didn’t know what the hell Leap Year was – ha!


    1. Leap Year is a funny thing, isn’t it? Seems like such an inconsequential thing, but if it didn’t exist, summers would be cold and snowy and we might be suffering through 80 degree Christmases. So thank you, Julius Caesar.


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