Let's get rid of it.
We're barely a week into the eighth month, and already life seems worse than it was in the seventh. It's increasingly violent, the weather is intolerable, the market is in a slump, and we're probably heading for a double-dip recession. In an annual Slate tradition, we are republishing Editor David Plotz's 2001 call to reform the month and shorten it to a mere 10 days.
Here is a framework for compromise. Cede the first 10 days of August back to July, thus extending holiday revelry for more than a week. September would claim the last 10 days of August, mollifying the folks who can't wait to get back to serious work. Labor Day would come 10 days earlier, the school year would run longer, and the rush of fall activity could get jump-started. August itself will keep 10 days. That is just enough: Every summer we'll be able to toot happily, "Gosh, August went by so quickly this year!"
And as for the 31st day, it will be designated a holiday independent from any month. It will fall after the 10th and last day of August, and it will celebrate the end of that most useless month.
David Plotz is the Editor of Slate. He's the author of The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank and Good Book. He appears on Slate's Political Gabfest.