UnNews:Leap year scares old people and children

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29 February 2012

The "Leap Year" Face

Madrid, SPAIN - As they do every four years, when the reality of leap year hits home on February 29, old people and children freak. "What, I'm 94 instead of 93?" asked Miss Emma Crunksdalea of the Early Valley Nursing Home. "No, no, Miss Chunksdalea," this reporter had to explain, "you're still 93, but now you have an extra day to enjoy it!"

Like lemmings to the slaughter, old people come out into the streets every February 29, hoping to catch a glimpse of their shadow of death. Children abandon their classrooms and homes to get out into the open, where they feel safer, and then insist on playing outside like animals. Police, spy satellites, drones and liquor stores are on heightened alert every time the calendar stretches out February like some kind of angst-filled piece of play-doh, and this year the added pressure of what medical tabloids have called "2012 anxiety" has given the elderly and children one more thing to worry about.

Two seniors comment on leap year.

"Grandma," this reporter said upon phoning her grandmother in Portugal to once again talk her down from the roof, "please go inside now with Uncle Roberto. That's right, just grab his hand. Good girl. Nothing to worry about." Every four years, like clockwork, this reporter's grandmother climbs out onto her roof when leap year rears its ugly head (grandpapa too, before he fell and landed smack dab into the rose bushes and his coma in '008). This reporter has no idea why she climbs out on her roof, and an hour later Granny Torrez doesn't even remember doing it.

Learned quacks at the University of Southern Andorra blame gran's quirky habit and all the other symptoms of Leap Year Syndrome (LYS) on the "untrained creature of habit gene". Old people and children expect there to be 28 days in February, no more and no less, so when the calendar shifts under their feet they panic. Nonexperts say that old people and children do this because their routines and shows are disrupted. You just have to sit them down and patiently tell them to wait it out, then treasure them and reassure them that most adults, with the aid of a bottle of rum and a few puffs of the giggly stick, take Leap Year in stride.

On the positive side, senior moments and childhood fears combine on February 29 to act as bonding agents between the very young and the very old. Each leap year you can find seniors and youngsters gathered together at playgrounds and Bingo halls to find solace in a shared soon-forgotten experience.

"I gotta get outta here!" little Sally screams as she tries to run into March.

"Old people smell," said Janice, a nagging 8-year old who is bothering this reporter as she tries to file this story. "You smell," this reporter tells her. "Go fly a kite and put your nose in it!" Janice persists. "Make like a fish and swim away," this reporter counters.

"That's right," said Gem.

As dawn on February 29th later turns to noon, and then as early evening approaches, old people and children begin to calm down and take naps. By the time dinner is over at 5, and the cartoons and evening news stories start to sedate the populace, the fear of leap year is almost forgotten. As night falls, and the month moves forward and nighty-nights, old people tell each other epic tales of how they survived another February 29 while children bask in their grand and glorius victory over calendar-based adversity. These are true memories, true epic-lived moments of generational sharing, true......

"You're a big poopy pants," Janet interrupts. "Better than being a tiny itty-bitty bird-brain, lol," this reporter entones. "Creepy creep Mrs. McCreepcreep," Janice sings. "Piggely face, piggely face, nose like a boy's and ears like a vase" this reporter retorts.


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This article features first-hand journalism by an UnNews correspondent.