Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to invent a time machine. Then I’m going back to the third century. I’m going to find Saint Valentine before he martyrs himself. I’m bringing him back to the 21st century. I’m going to show him a good time. I’m going to buy him a decent hooker. I’m going to give him a good, but not too good, cigar. I’m going to get him a little bit lit on cognac, and take him around to a good museum or two to let him in on what he’s missed. Then I’m going to nail him the back of the head with a sock full of Canadian quarters, and when he comes too, he’ll be inextricably bound to an office chair with wheels on the bottom, and he’ll have a high-E guitar string wrapped around each one of his bicuspids, cuspids, incisors and molars and pulled tight. They will be attached to a harness on a pitbull trained for pulling. He will thusly be yanked down a street until he gets to the top of a very tall hill, where he will disengage from the dog harness and go hurtling down the precipice into a forest of rubber balls and jacks with their metal tendrils sharpened to gleaming, jagged points. The balls will gum up the tires and he will fly, face first, into the jacks. His momentum will carry him oh, a good four or five feet, leaving behind a wake of road-rashed skin and hair. Then, I’ll collect up the ends of all of the guitar strings, still attached to his teeth, and wrap them around the landing pads of a helicopter hovering just overhead. The helicopter will then swoop up and away to the nearest large body of salty, dirty water, where poor Saint Valentinus will be dropped from, oh, say, 200 feet. There, a team of hooligans in kayaks will paddle around, shocking the water with powerful tazers, and a team of frogmen in rubber suits will make absolutely sure that Saint Valentinus does not drown or die. He will be defibrillated or otherwise resuscitated if need be, before being dunked back in the water. After I get tired of watching this show, he will be hauled onto a garbage barge and set out to sea, where he will be forced to sustain himself for no less than one month by eating the refuse of the city’s poorest denizens, and drinking his own urine. A team of trained, licensed safety specialists will be on hand at all times to make sure he does not take his own life. Every night, they will beat him mercilessly with large fish, and then filet the fish in butter with asparagus and artichokes and feast upon them sumptuously and perhaps with histrionic moans of pleasure, such as, “Oh my god, this fish is delicious, have you ever tasted such wonderful food?” while Saint Valentinus eats the scab off a Band-Aid he found stuck to the bottom of a flowerpot full of syringes. (I just gagged a little bit thinking of that one.)
Then, I’ll return Saint Valentinus to his own time, and he’ll be so exhausted, he won’t even have time to martyr himself. So he’ll never become a Saint, and it won’t be necessary for me to go back in time and abuse him in such a way, and all balance will be restored. I won’t have committed any atrocities, Valentus will have died, not a Saint, but merely a man, at peace with himself, and billions of people could have lived without the unquenchable anxiety of Valentine’s Day. Who loses? Greeting card companies and those people who work in flower shops. And nuts to them! Greedy carpetbaggers.