back to the Black Table



February 29th may seem like a calendar blip, fodder for farmer's almanac enthusiasts and those unfortunate souls who celebrate a birthday that only occurs every four years. You know those people: "Technically, I'm only 8-years-old!" Idiots.

However, The Black Table took that concept and put a little remix on it. Yep, we're like The Neptunes of the web. So, here we go: It's the bonus round. The day is yours. You have no conscience. There are no consequences. Carpe diem to the nth degree. What would you do for one day every four years if everything were in its right place? Our ladies know what they would do.

Aileen Gallagher

Remember that Michael Douglas movie "Falling Down," where the nerdy guy snaps and goes on a rampage? Every four years, that's what I want, minus the killing. Just a lot of yelling. All the arguments I avoid and nasty comments I keep to myself would be so worth it if I got a free pass to be a complete asshole every Feb. 29. Of course, there would be no consequences. The homeless man who I tell callously to get some self-respect would not remember the incident. The teenagers who scream on rush hours trains would not recall how I yelled back, telling them that everyone on the train, save them, worked really hard that day and are not interested in listening to some punk kid talk about pussy and say "motherfucker" over and over again. The close talkers who I shove and order to "get the fuck out of my face" would remain friends with me the next day. I could complain vehemently to my perfectly nice roommate about the annoyances that pile up over years of living with him and know that he will happily re-sign the lease come summer. And those old people on the train? They can certainly stand on February 29 as I sprawl and read the newspaper, without hearing someone's Walkman or cell phone. I will tip poorly (if at all), making up for the times I paid for shit service. Family members with children will hear my groundless opinions on how they raise their kids - and like it. And then Mean Aileen goes away on March 1, waiting another four years to tally up the black marks the world earned in the meantime.

three children's books,

Kristen French

I'd like to get my titty some TV time. Ok, it's tasteless, shameless, really. But if it happens on that bastard day, the 29th of February, it'll be kind of like it never happened, right? No one will really be able to charge me with indecency, soiling the minds of innocent young children, and they certainly won't be able to stop me from playing important parts in very important Hollywood movies. Hell, the titty's been probed and sucked and harnessed all of her sweet long life, and she deserves it.

Of course, it would have to be on national TV, during some kind of mass, over-produced, sensational, substance-less media event. Something that will be recorded, rewound, replayed and replayed over and over again -- every February 29, for example -- by teenage boys, horny bachelors and lipstick lesbians. Something that, every four years, will magically return to American memory, giving rise to heated debate at uptown cocktail parties and in suburban living rooms.

To be clear about the matter, that fatuous, greasy baby Justin Timberlake will not be involved. And no bumping and grinding either. That may have worked for the Super Bowl, but I will pull off my stunt with a more dignified kind of narcissism, more appropriate to the giving of high artistic honors. It should be easy enough. I'll wear my Oscar de la Renta flesh-colored sequin-and-goose feather ball gown, and I'll make sure that before hand that the straps are a little bit too loose. When I get to the microphone, I¹ll just shrug my shoulder a bit and plop! It'll tumble elegantly right on to the podium. Wala!!!! The audience will go wild. I'll smile innocently. And my titty will have earned her place in leap-year history.

Erin Schulte

Who in the last four years has not wanted to say hang it all --flamboyantly resign from that mind-numbing job, give a lousy lover the boot, pack your meager belongings into the back of a U-Haul and head somewhere -- anywhere -- else?

My "Leap Year Day" would be U-Haul Day, and it's the antidote for all
that ails you.

Once you're pushing 30, getting in your U-Haul, loading up all the foul
couches you've dragged in from other people's curbs, and heading for parts unknown is really the only way to recreate what I call the "college senior feeling." You know, when the world was yours for the taking and untold adventures awaited. Because the grim reality is that, as you teeter on the precipice of adulthood, eventually you have to pick a path. That means excluding a whole bunch of others.

Getting in the U-Haul, of course, means giving the big F-U to your job. Think of it as a swan dive onto concrete. U-Haul day is a celebration of the spirit, and the act of quitting must reflect this. Stand up on your desk, do a tap dance. Grab a bottle of champagne from your bottom drawer, fire up a stogie, and propose a toast to quitting, U-Haul style. It's a very Jerry McGuire moment. Steal the goldfish, take someone with you. Then get in your U-Haul and roar into the Western sunset.

Love your job? Fine. Leave something else behind. A dead-as-roadkill
relationship? Peel it off the concrete, and make way for the U-Haul.
Backbiting friends not worth your time? Get in your U-Haul, throw your cellphone out the window, crush it under the back tires, and never look back. For the real pansies, concede to a short-term defection from the desk. Play hookie, load your friends and a keg in the back of your U-Haul, And have yourself a party. Because while you deserve a vacation, your liver doesn't.

Kathie Fries

Feb 29, 2008, 9:00 AM: I wake up in my house in La Jolla, CA, under a down duvet, on top of a feather bed, naked with my boyfriend Alex. Then, stretching like a little cat, I get up after a few minutes of listening to the surf and put on a plush robe. I find my slippers with puff-balls on the toes, make myself an egg sandwich, smoke a Marlboro Red and have a Bloody Mary for breakfast. Sitting down on my gigantic white velvet bean-bag by the window, I look at the surf and decide what to do with my day.

I call my agent (for some reason I have a Leap Day agent), and have him book me on Oprah. Since The Black Table has magically bestowed upon me the power to do whatever I want on Leap Day, I take the Concord to Chicago and we start taping at 11:00 a.m..

Oprah: So what does it feel like to do whatever you want for Leap Day?

Me: Oprah, I'd really just like to slap you. May I?

Oprah: Um.. (CRACK!)

I'm out of there. Screw Oprah. I'm off to Star City, Russia to experience zero-gravity with hot Russian Cosmonauts. Zero-gravity makes you kind of hungry, so next, I jet down to Prague, and have my most favorite dish ever: Smazeny Syr (Fried Cheese).

Binging on cheese in Eastern Europe is great and all, but it's time to get ready for a night out on the town in New York. My vehicle of choice is a tank, and I'm wearing a little black dress, some shades and some sort of fur coat… Chinchilla maybe? While tanking it downtown via Park Ave, I joyously crush any SUV limos as well as some Humvees. This becomes boring after the first three, so I decide to pack it in early and head home to my fabu pad on the Pacific. After four tequila shots with my man (who's been waiting patiently for me all day long), we settle in for the night and gaze at the stars through the retractable roof over my bed. Purrfect.

Claire Zulkey

I think that leap year is a load of crap and the last thing anyone needs is an extra day in February. It is scientifically proven that February ranks in the Top Three Shittiest Months of the Year. In fact, the only thing that's good about February is that it's short, so we can get that much quicker to March (boozing it up), April (Cadbury Cream Eggs) and May (pretty pretty flowers.)

So, call me no fun, but if I were to get slapped with an extra day in February, I'd celebrate it by waiting it out and braving the storm until March. Sleeping in, taking advantage of the 31 (or would it be 32?) Days of Oscars on TCM, and going to bed early.

An extra day? But in February? If that's a gift, could I return it?