Hemispherist humor

21 June 2007
5:06 PM

My brother Michael gave me the latest Far Side daily calendar for my birthday in January and I have been enjoying the cartoons pretty much every day that I remember to change it. That is until this morning, when I learned that Gary Larson and his calendar are party to the all-too-prevalent hemispherism infecting our world today. I saw the cartoon, the date, Thursday, and then the bomb: First Day of Summer.

Maybe June 21 is the first day of summer up there, but we’re just starting winter here. I have a program that records weather data for Santiago every hour (via Yahoo! Weather’s RSS feeds) and I recently threw together a little script that shows the daily highs and lows. You can look at the latest data yourself, but here’s a sample from today.

Year highs and lows in Santiago

Maybe that’s too complicated. Here’s a version where I’ve added a subtle arrow to indicate the trend.

More obvious graph with arrow to indicate trendline

In short, there’s nothing funny about this. The Far Side Calendar Co. needs to be more conscious of the fact that, for every person hanging out in the warm summer, enjoying their Fourth of July barbecues, there’s a sucker down south freezing his butt off. And vice-versa, of course. More inclusive language would be “First Day of Summer/Winter, Depending in Which Hemisphere You Happen To Be Enjoying the Far Side.”

So, Michael, I regret to inform you that I’ll no longer be enjoying my hemispherist day calendar. I’d no sooner have it in my bedroom than host a KKK rally in my living room. I also regret you having to find this out in such a public and humiliating way. Alas, such is the nature of the internet.

Note to Michael (everybody else skip this part): I’m not actually planning on getting rid of the calendar. I was kind of struggling to wrap this up in a dramatic and possibly humorous manner and this was the best I could come up with. I hope you’ll understand. I’m keeping the calendar and I’ll continue enjoying it. With any luck, everyone else will have heeded my instructions, will have skipped this part, and nobody will be the wiser to our little secret. Thanks. Ryan.