I hope you’re reading this page on an idyllic late spring day when the sky is showing off its most select group of puffy, white clouds and the air is so perfectly sun-warmed that it would be imperceptible except for the occasional light breeze. On just such a day my co-workers and I sat outside enjoying our lunch and reflecting on the need for Free Days–days declared so flawless that no one has to work.
Every county would have the power to proclaim three Free Days a year, with the announcement made on local media the night beforehand. When meteorologists predicted a potential Free Day, people would begin listening to their radios and watching their televisions with the same eager anticipation they had as a child when the forecast called for snow. Would a Free Day be declared? Would all non-essential personnel be asked to stay at home?
Free Days would be like holidays except they’d be spontaneous and unexpected and you wouldn’t have to prepare a casserole for your extended family of 11. They’d be days without plans. You couldn’t pick up the dry-cleaning because the dry cleaner would be closed. You couldn’t get an oil change because the mechanic would be enjoying his Free Day. You couldn’t get gas either, but where would you need to go?
On Free Days, everyone would be forced outside to relax, play in parks, talk to their neighbors, and enjoy the beauty of the day. Some people may worry that the economy would be negatively affected, but surely businesses could cope. I already can imagine the “Prepare for Free Day” advertising slogans and “Free Day season” sales.
My co-workers and I decided that on perfect spring days we would understand if the mailman didn’t come, if our haircut appointments were canceled and if the movie theater turned off its projectors. There’s only one question: Would our bosses mind if we all went home?