A pot to president in

Want to know how this guy grew hair like that? Read on.
Happy Presidents’ Day! That’s a greeting one does not hear very often even on Presidents’ Day. Perhaps one reason for the lack of such a greeting is the confusion which exists over the very holiday itself.

Congress in the late 1960s decided to change most of the federal holidays to a Monday, thus creating three-day weekends so more people could shop and spend money. Some lawmakers had sought to honor both George Washington — whose birthday was actually February 22 — and Abraham Lincoln who was also born in February. That failed but some states such as Texas elected to call the federal holiday falling on the third Monday in February Presidents’ Day. So if you are a Texan such as myself you could technically say: “Happy Presidents’ Day” and be correct. However, if you are also a government employee and Texan — even part-time government employee not mentioning any names — then you could say Happy George Washington’s Birthday Presidents’ Day and you would be looked at like you were a lunatic (also not mentioning any names.)

So I could sit here this fine day and write many flattering things about our first president, but instead I thought I would mention Martin Van Buren because his name doesn’t come up that often. For those of you born in the mid-to-late 20th century, Martin Van Buren was the eighth president of our fair nation.

In a biography I read about Van Buren it was revealed that he worked in his father’s tavern in Kinderhook, N.Y., (President Van Buren’s nickname was “Old Kinderhook”) emptying chamber pots. For those of you born after indoor plumbing, chamber pots are what you used before indoor plumbing came along. And no, they weren’t for washing your hands, showering, bathing or brushing your teeth unless you are a very sick individual! Fascinating isn’t it?

Old Kinderhook has long been rumored to be the origin of the term “Okay” or “OK” or c’est la vie. But actually the term OK originated from when someone had to take the chamber pot outside and dump it. Not really. I just had to use the words “chamber pot” one more time.

Van Buren was known as a shrewd politician in his day. As a matter of fact, he was nicknamed “The Little Magician,” or “OK” or something. The magician name came from the chamber pots he could magically make appear from one’s backside.

I could go on and on and on about Van Buren but this is beginning to go downhill very fast and I have things to do and places to go. Happy whatever. Okay?

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