OCTOBERFEAST just wouldn’t be the same without the lovely recess that is Columbus Day.

Personally, I couldn’t care less about Christopher Columbus himself. Yeah, his travels really paved the way for European exploration of the New World. I guess that’s pretty cool. But it’s kind of hard to overlook the raping/pillaging/plundering aspects of his genocide. So in that regard, he’s pretty lame.

More important than the Christopher Columbus is the holiday bearing his name. I am a firm believer that human beings need days off. Without the occasional three-day weekend, society is apt to implode. If the only way to officially cancel a workday is to replace it with a bogus holiday, then by all means go for it.

The usefulness of Columbus Day reveals itself it many different ways. For college students, this first three-day weekend of the semester provides an excuse to travel back home, attempt a road trip or just enjoy an extra day of binge drinking.

For sports fans, Columbus Day provides an otherwise absent opportunity to nurse post-game hangovers. This is  an appreciated prospect, considering that the MLB playoffs are in full-swing, NFL action is heating up, the NHL season is beginning and the NBA preseason is looking to come to a close.

And for many more, Columbus Day is a chance to enjoy autumn. With a full day’s freedom, it is a lot easier to plan a trip to an apple orchard or pumpkin patch. Living in the suburbs, it seems to me that this is the day that the neighbors start tossing scarecrows and goofy Halloween decorations onto their front porches and lawns. I’m not sure if agricultural competitions are the October-thing-to-do everywhere, but residents of the greater Boston region use this day to get their asses to Topsfield.

Truthfully, I always try to use the holiday as an extra day of rest. While I always find OCTOBERFEAST to be the  most pleasurable of all seasons, it is also generally when I’m at my busiest. Today I made a point to lounge around, eating too much food and trying to catch up on some television I’ve been missing; I can’t say that the combination of caramel apples and Californication is a bad one. I haven’t been terribly productive — and this is a design with which I am comfortable.

In the case that you had to work today, I offer my sympathies. At the very least you can take comfort in the fact that we’re well on our way to Halloween.

Oh, and just in case you’re unfamiliar with the exploits of Christopher Columbus – the video below is a hard-hitting documentary about the explorer.