Farch

Tony Perkins at the Red Herring Magazine first came up with the merger of February and March in the late 90s when the magazine slipped on shipment and had to combine two months into one. So he took two crummy months and turned them into one uber crummy month: Farch.

While some may look at this portmanteau word as a mere combination of February and March, I prefer to refer to it etymologically as “F%^&*#g March” — the longest month of the year and the worst stretch in the calendar, the low point of New England. Looking out a window on a rainy day on Cape Cod in Farch is like looking out at a black and white movie, shot in Scandinavia by a manic-depressive director considering suicide. There’s no snow to make it a fluffy Currier & Ives landscape, just dead grass and piles of dog excrement moldering in the drizzle. There is no color at all. Nothing. Utterly monochromatic. Grim old people trudge the sidewalks. The sky looks like a bruised sweatshirt.
John Malone — the man of the cable industry, dealmaker extraordinaire, and one of my heroes — once said of the corporate scandals of 2000-2002 that financial malfeasance was like dog shit in the back yard. It’s always there under the snow, but come March it starts to surface.

But I digress. If you consider the nadir of Farch, when one’s notion of a good weekend is tax prep, then it’s easy to understand why New England is experiencing a negative trend in population and why places like Fall River and Fitchburg look like sets from Dawn of the Dead. That said, the sun is shining today, taxes can wait, and I intend to get on the ergometer, row a few thousand meters, take the dogs for a beach walk, and prepare myself for a month of solid travel capped with an April trip to Beijing, my second China trip in a year. That is something to look forward to.