It’s un-American. From the Declaration of Independence to the birth of Christ, everything that’s sacred in our land gets a temporary aisle at K-Mart. Who is cashing in on the rarest holiday of all? Where are our Leap Year Peeps? After all, Feb. 29 is an excess day to begin with. Where’s the rest of the excess? That’s why City Pulse has taken on the uncalled-for job of commercializing Feb. 29 once and for all with this lavish gift guide. If in doubt, remember: everybody loves out-of-season tomatoes.Calendars
Bookseller Matt Kitzman invites you to relive warm memories of leap years past, with vintage calendars from 1932 (“German Masterworks”), 1960 (“Scottish Clans”), 1968 (“Season’s Greetings”) and a beauty from 1940, issued by the Lawrence Baking Co. in Lansing, at Archives Books, 519 W. Grand River Ave., Lansing.
African bullfrogs (pyxicephalus adspersus) leap many times their height — until they reach their full size of 12 inches, when they settle down like cats. (McFly, shown here, is just a baby.) According to Megan Shannon, education coordinator at Preuss Pets, 1127 N. Cedar St., Lansing, they love mud puddles and eat everything they can find, including mice.
Produce man Bob Falsetta, a fixture at the Lansing City Market downtown for over 50 years, is in the leap year spirit. All day Feb. 29, he’ll sell you 29 tomatoes for the price of 28. Why so generous? “We got ‘em,” Falsetta said. Bob Falsetta is a man of few words and many tomatoes.
On Leap Year Day, an Irish legend goes, no man can refuse a woman’s proposal of marriage, especially if she is wearing red. Ashley Lamb of Lamb’s Gate Antiques, 1219 Turner St., Lansing, has more red coats that your average vintage shop. Lamb is already married, so the coats and their magic are up for grabs.
According to a little-known Leap Year rule, decreed by Julius Caesar in Roman times, confirmed in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII, Feb. 29 doesn´t count toward any New Year´s diet resolution. Baker supreme Morgan Yates of Bake N´ Cakes, 3003 E. Kalamazoo St., Lansing, is happy to help you exploit the loophole with a marble cake topped by 1/29th more frosting than usual.
This Leap Year Day, bungee jumping is out and ballet is in. Greater Lansing Ballet dancers Kailen Berry of Okemos and Rosalind Ames of Grand Rapids are wearing Mirella leotards, Watercolor skirts and Bloch tights, with Capezio shoes for Ms. Berry and Sansha shoes for Ms. Ames. It’s all for sale (some of it is on sale) at the Greater Lansing Ballet Co. studio store, 2224 E. Grand River Ave., Lansing.
In James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” Dublin pub owner Davy Byrne only serves a free drink once in four years, on Feb. 29. Partly because of Joyce, and partly because the Irish will drink to anything, Leap Year drinks pop up from time to time. Eric Allchen, general manager of Dublin Square, 217 Abbot Road, East Lansing, has never been asked before, but after 20 seconds or research on his iPad, he came up with a Leap Year Cocktail: gin, Grand Marnier, sweet vermouth, lemon juice and a twist of lemon. It’s not free.
Leap Year DVD
There’s a long shelf of beloved Dec. 25 movies, but Feb. 29 is stuck with 2010’s “Leap Year,” a weak romantic comedy with Amy Adams and Matthew Goode. The New York Times’ A. O. Scott called it “witless, charmless and unimaginative.” On the bright side, it has never been more timely, and video man Jacob Bahns tells us both copies are available for rent at Video to Go, 300 N. Clippert St. No. 18, Lansing, despite the rush.