Off-duty: Don’t screw up Valentine’s Day

I entitled this blog “Don’t screw up Valentine’s Day” because a great many of us men will.

Yep, it’s a safe bet that even with cell phone and computer calendar reminders ringing bells and tweets in our ears, we’ll screw it up.

As a gender, we’re not all that good at this particular holiday. Perhaps with a historical perspective, some of it gleaned from the Internet, we can appreciate it more and, thus, not end up celibate all spring long — which would be a very long spring.

Who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with all this?  The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine, Valentinus and the less popular name, Vinnie.

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest in Rome. When the emperor decided that unmarried men made better soldiers, he outlawed marriages for young men.  Valentine, realizing the injustice of the emperor’s order, defied him and continued to perform marriages for young couples in love. When the emperor found out, he ordered Valentine be put to death.

One legend says Valentine, while in prison, fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and sent her the world’s first “Valentine” card, declaring his love for her. He was then put to death, making one wonder how much she loved him back. Also, it was rumored the card was a Gary Larson silly cow card, unappreciated by the jailer’s daughter who, as history shows, had no sense of humor — and was ugly.

During the middle ages, when romance and beheadings flourished, Valentine’s Day was very popular in England and France, specifically in France where they paid tribute to Valentine’s Day just before the traditional “Surrender to Whomever” day.

Baseball and Fort Lauderdale have nothing to do with it

Why February? Some believe it coincides with the pagan Lupercalia Festival, which celebrates the beginning of spring, a time for purification and spring training (See “Bobby Valentine-New York Mets”).

The festival occurred around the 15th of February and was observed to avert evil spirits and purify Roman cities. It was also the time of spring cleaning and fertility, later known as “Spring Break.“

During the festival, the priests would sacrifice a goat for fertility, a dog for purification and old Slim Whitman albums for yodeling. The boys would then slice the goat’s hide into strips and dip them into the sacrificial blood. They would hit the streets, gently slapping women with the strips of goat hide.

The Roman women, according to my Internet research, were said to welcome the gentle smack of the goat-hide strips because they believed it would make them more fertile in the future. (Today, that same gentle smack of a goat-hide strip can still be had at about $300 for one hour. See “Craigslist/Personals/Erotic Goat-Strip Smacking by Helga.”)

Later the women would put their names in a big urn. The young bachelors would then each choose a name from the urn and those two would be a pair for one year — or longer if involved in a reality TV show — and hopefully wind up married, where they would happily gently smack each other, first with goat-hide strips and eventually with whatever they could get their hands on. Good times.

Bring all this nonsense forward a bunch of years and add some slick marketing, television and the raging libido of the male gender, and you have the annual Holiday of Morons, in honor of those who forget.

Valentine’s cards have been on the shelf since Halloween and, if you’re smart, that’s only a stop on the way to buying her something nice — what she likes, not what you think she likes. (Hint: Stanley tools and tickets to the Monster Truck Jam are risky gifts. True, if she likes them, she’s a keeper for sure. Still, your odds are not good.)

The Aisles of the Damned

Pick any city on Feb. 14, at about 5:15 p.m., and go to Aisle Five — greeting cards. Look closely at the men who procrastinated up to the point where they must now choose among the lousy leftover selection of greeting cards. Here you’ll find the really bad ones like: “Nothing Says Love Like Our Suicide Pact” or “I Love You but Don’t Make Me Choose Between You and Porn.”

These are the men who are doomed to spend late night watching “Letterman” instead of playing “Captain Midnight with Goat-Hide Strips” with his Valentine.

As sure as a teenager sleeps 15 hours a day, those guys will be there, on Aisle Five, with the 2,000-yard stare, looking for anything at all that might get them through it. While it’s too late for most of them, it’s not too late for you.

We can’t save all of them, but we perhaps can save a few. (Insert “Sally Struthers” here.) Learn from their mistakes and go beyond your limits on this year’s Valentine’s Day. It’s worth it, for us — us guys. We need you.

Now get out there and make us proud.

41 comments Add your comment

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February 8th, 2010
5:27 pm

Good lord, Steve. Were you stoned when you wrote that? That makes not one damn bit of sense.


February 8th, 2010
5:59 pm

Who says it has to make sense? It is a history lesson.


February 8th, 2010
6:10 pm

Wow, Steve, I wish my husband read your column.


February 8th, 2010
7:07 pm

The “history” on the French surrendering is priceless! So there is a long history of that behavior!


February 8th, 2010
7:17 pm

@ Name (required): That’s funny as hell, I drifted off after the first couple sections too…

But the “aisles of the Damned” section says it all. I’ve been there. Thanks for the kick in the pants Steve, I’m going to make some plans right now.

Dane Cook

February 8th, 2010
7:59 pm

OK….I’m not funny and neither are you. Go back to writing about guys taking a leak behind buildings and the cops that harass them.


February 8th, 2010
8:12 pm

To Name@5:27pm: Are YOU stoned? I had no problem whatsoever comprehending it all. YOU must one of the ones he said to look for on Ailse Five. The Vaseline is over on Aisle Seven. You’re gonna need some, apparently. The good news is the Groundhog says spring will be late this year.


February 8th, 2010
8:20 pm

The most enjoyable column I’ve read this year. He needs to write a book.


February 9th, 2010
6:28 am

I just want to know who the genius was who scheduled the Daytona 500 for Valentine’s Day.


February 9th, 2010
8:57 am

And they say cops have no humor. I had coffee coming out my nose laughing. Almost makes me stop missing Dave Barry.


February 9th, 2010
9:16 am

Great column as always, Det. Rose! I’d like to point out to the ladies that their guys do NOT appreciate the “surprise!” of receiving anything delivered by courier for VD at work. If it comes in a flower type box, even if it requires ammo or replaceable blades, best to have given it in person.


February 9th, 2010
12:07 pm

You sir, are a comic genius.

Atlanta Gal

February 9th, 2010
12:34 pm

Lt. Steve, They are all great ideas and guys, you better pay attention listen to the “These are the men who are doomed to spend late night watching “Letterman” instead of playing “Captain Midnight with Goat-Hide Strips” with his Valentine” line!!!


February 9th, 2010
12:58 pm

As always when I need a good laugh your column is there!!!! Thanks for the laughs!

Man Up.

February 9th, 2010
6:40 pm

So were supposed to have a girlfriend to celebrate proper-like on Valentines Day? Do we have to? I hate girls. They wont stop talkin’. Their pests. They ruin football. They ruin golf. They ruin everything worth doin’.

I hates the females types.


February 9th, 2010
6:52 pm

I beleive that if I ever stopped liking women, I’s have to shoot myself.

[...] View from the Cop: Don’t screw up Valentine’s Day [...]


February 10th, 2010
8:10 am

Nice writing. This is the first time I’ve read you’re stuff. My experience is that Valentine’s is a lose/lose for us men. The goal should be to get out with as little collateral damage as possible. If your woman of the moment makes it into the most dramatic day of the year, chalk it up to a sign about the possibility of a decent relationship long term and move on.


February 10th, 2010
11:28 am

Does this advice work for the gay community as well? Or is this another case of the hatred by police for the gay community?

Bite Me

February 10th, 2010
11:50 am

Valentine’s Day is a joke. And I’m a woman. Great article, Steve! :)


February 10th, 2010
1:18 pm

Good writing as usual. Sometimes you just need sarcasm to get you through the day.


February 11th, 2010
9:44 am

You convinced me. I’m stopping on the way to work. I’ve been in Aisle 5 at 6pm and it’s not pretty.

Answer me this

February 11th, 2010
11:09 am

OK…..Coming home from the mall after making my valentines purchase, I am passed by a DeKalb County police cruiser, doing at least 20 mph over the posted 55 mph. That would be a violation of the super speeder law……It gets worse. The police cruiser then proceeded to tail gate a car for half a mile before changing lanes. at NO time did the police cruiser activate the emergency lights which would authorize the excess speed.

As citizens, how are we to adhere to traffic laws when the police fail to adhere to those laws? At what point do the police adhere to the laws, and at what point as citizend are we allowed to break those laws?


February 11th, 2010
12:17 pm

Did you get the tag or vehicle number of the officer’s car? If you did, then you can complain to the department and hopefully they’ll do something about it. If you didn’t do that and didn’t complain, then please quit your whining on here. Then again, I believe most of what you say (like 99.9%) is BS anyway. That’s just my opinion.


February 11th, 2010
12:28 pm

Oh yeah. Eat my ass you weinee liberal.


February 11th, 2010
12:49 pm

Answer…’re an ASS. Do us a favor and go away.


February 11th, 2010
12:52 pm

Answer… must be Jewish….would you like cheese with that WHINE?


February 11th, 2010
1:07 pm

Right on the mark. You better be good to Det Sandy. She carries a legal weapon.


February 11th, 2010
3:24 pm

@Answer me this…every time Steve posts a new blog you’re on here with the same thing. Dude, get over yourself and get a life!

jus me

February 12th, 2010
8:05 am

answer me this…your a pu$$y it is that obvious.


February 12th, 2010
8:15 am

Tell him Russ…..We hate Jews! Long Live Mel Gibson!

Lt. Steve

February 12th, 2010
9:53 am

Okay “Answer me this:” Here’s what you do. Get the car number and call that department. Some departments have web site sections where you can make the complaint online. Otherwise, (if you have the car number) you can call the internal affairs section or even uniform division commander number (sergeant, lieutenant, whatever) and tell them what you saw. We don’t like this image either and other than on whatever priority call they are on, patrol cars are subject to the same restrictions on the road as you are. You can find this information by going to the department’s website.


February 12th, 2010
9:59 am

Answer’s just jealous.


February 12th, 2010
10:51 am

My Hubby and I have the perfect Valentine’s Day planned! I already got my VD gift, 50 rounds of hand made 9ml’s .We are going to the Gun Range! The best valentine’s day EVER!


February 12th, 2010
2:05 pm

Wow, somebody out there wants to be me. I am so flattered. I can’t wait to tell everyone. Thanks!!


February 12th, 2010
3:15 pm

Except for the I hate Jews part and I do hope Mel Gibson lives a long time, he’s a great actor. Again, thanks for thinking about me, that’s so nice of you. :)


February 12th, 2010
8:10 pm

Hey Lt. Steve, I saw a really cute LCP today the color was Rasberry! Might make a nice VD gift for Det. Sandy.

Answer me this

February 14th, 2010
11:52 pm

Wow…..I got banned from posting here on another IP address. Cops don’t like the truth. THe truth is, SOME, not all of you do NOT obey the traffic laws. The real crime is when this is brought to light, it is quashed by yet another cop.

BTW, I sent my concerns with DeKalb county police to Burell Ellis. Stay tuned.


February 15th, 2010
6:31 pm

hey, give steve a break, it’s not like he went to school/college or anything. Lay off of the ‘tards.

Girlie Girl

February 17th, 2010
9:43 am

Real love does not require people to stress out over buying stuff just because a greeting card company cartel told them too. Y’all who love me please ignore the Valentine’s Day hype. Well, unless you see something cool on the Snap On truck you think I’d like. ;-)

Liberal And Proud

February 18th, 2010
6:39 pm

I wonder if a moose ever gave Sarah Palin a Valentines Day card?