Wednesday, February 14


Some years ago back in Rome, I celebrated St. Cyril's Day with the seminarians of the Bohemian College, at San Clemente, which is where the man himself is buried, down in the crypt. It proved to be one of the most memorable of my nights in Rome, what with an eastern eparch in a disco ball mitre and a massive Italo-Slav pig-out in the atrium afterwards, complete with finger sandwiches. So it seems a shame to let America lose out on the fun--or for that matter, crowd out the misunderstood and forgotten martyr (or martyrs) Valentine. Why not combine the two? Red's the color of Valentine's day; red, white and blue are the old Pan-Slav colors. I'm imagining buttons saying, "Kiss Me, I'm Serbian," or "Everybody's Slovak on St. Cyril's Day!" Or send a dozen red roses to your favorite Russian maiden. Or white roses to a Czech girl. Or blue violets to your Ukrainian crush.

Hey, it's better than getting doused with water on Dyngus Day.

(Realizes he knows no Slav women in New York, and thus is still dateless on Valentine's day, even after reinventing the holiday.)

Oh, never mind. I'll just sit here and hum Back in the USSR to myself.

...They leave the west behind....And Moscow girls make me sing and shout...

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