The world season calendar strikes again


Excerpted below, for those whose are too lazy to click but not too lazy to read:

According to my father, my summer ends on September 19: “None of this maybe the 20th or maybe the 21st, or wait, are we talking meteorology, here? Astronomy? You’re going to get a different answer, you know. Which is probably why we’re all just happy to go by whatever some hack at Hallmark thinks goes best with a picture of a goddamned covered bridge.”

When I was five years old, my dad read an essay by Isaac Asimov that outlined a new way of counting time: a year divided into four seasons, each 13 weeks, or 91 days, long. It’s called the world season calendar even though it does away with the traditional descriptions of winter, spring, summer and fall in favour of A, B, C and D. The year begins on December 21 (A-01). So C, or what people who are not my father refer to as “summer,” ends on September 19 (C-91) in a common (non-leap) year.

I honest to God don’t know how years are managed—if adherents follow the Gregorian standard or start over at year 0 at some as-yet-undetermined point in time when this calendar achieves widespread adoption. I want to know, but I don’t want to ask, just in case it turns out he’s abandoned Asimov’s original proposal in favor of something of his own creation. I know John Stuart Mill drew a straight line between eccentricity and strength of character, but where Mill had Jeremy Bentham, my dad had Sister Mary Leonard. So, you know.

Growing up, he let my sister and I use the regular calendaring system. “You’ll decide what makes sense when you’re old enough to have some,” he said. In letters to my children, he writes both dates, prefacing one with “TUW” for “the usual way,” and one with “TRW” for “the right way.” He does that for me, because he knows I’ll see it and be forced to explain what they mean.

If you get a cheque from him, though, you’d never know he was thinking “B-84” when he wrote “June 13.” “I might think Pope Gregory XIII was an arsehole,” he’ll say, “but not a big enough one to fuck with my credit.”

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