Hearts everywhere, chocolatiers falling deeply in love with retail profits, Hallmark moments aplenty, and naked babies with weaponry-it must be Valentine's Day, the silliest of all the holidays on the calendar.OK, that might be a stretch, considering that Valentine's Day might not even be the silliest holiday in the month of February. That title probably has to go to either Groundhog Day or Mardi Gras.

Groundhog Day is an annual celebration on February 2. On February 2, groups of older men who should know better get up in the wee hours of the morning, and pound down a few cocktails. If you are going to rouse a large rodent from its hibernation on a frigid mid-winter morning, it probably is a good idea to get drunk first.

Once aroused, the groundhog will determine the length of the remaining winter by whether or not it sees its shadow, or by merely looking at a calendar to see that regardless of the relative light of the morning, there's six weeks left. Once his forecast is made, the groundhog passes out scratch-off tickets and films its latest irritating commercial for legal, state-sponsored gambling. Frankly, I'm rooting for Phil and Orphie to take out the second-most famous groundhog Sopranos-style.

So maybe a day dedicated to love isn't quite as silly and pointless as rodent weather forecasting.

Another February date dedicated to drunken debauchery at most and fatty indulgence at least is Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, or Fastnacht Day. Not quite sure I get this one at all. The day is always the day that precedes Ash Wednesday, and basically says, "OK, tomorrow we have to get all religious and fast and be good little boys and girls, so for today only, let's throw beads at topless women, get drunk and act silly, or at the very least, eat a whole boatload of donuts."

Again, a pretty silly holiday. But smack dab in the middle of National Pet Dental Health Month is an ode to lovers and greeting card writers everywhere.

I couldn't find anywhere that was able to explain to me why Cupid is always shown as a naked baby, or why naked babies shooting people with arrows causes one to fall deeply and madly in love. Frankly, the one legend I found pretty much showed Cupid to be a rather demanding lover, not accommodating or receptive to his lover's needs at all.

According to legend, Cupid married a woman named Psyche, with a pretty strange item listed in his pre-nup, right after the whole "all the Hallmark royalties are mine" clause. Seems Cupid would only marry Psyche if they only met in darkness, so that he'd never be seen. Ignoring the fact that this arrangement would render it darn near impossible to get through airport security to go on a honeymoon, Psyche agreed.

But Psyche couldn't help herself. She had to get a peek at who she married, and lit a candle above Cupid as he slept. Upon seeing a naked baby, Psyche recoiled at the thought of her being labeled a pedophile, and threw herself upon Cupid's arrow. Actually, according to the legend, turns out Cupid was a hottie; a Brad Pitt with wings. But Cupid dumped her like yesterday's trash when he discovered that she bore a striking resemblance to a rodent selling lottery tickets.

So how exactly is a vain dude who dumped an ugly chick a symbol of love and romance?

Bill Rudick and his wife will celebrate Valentine's Day as always-ignoring it completely. Rudick's email is brudick55@gmail.com

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