Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 3.6.17
Stanstead, Quebec


New guidelines for the coming in/going out of March

The management would like to inform you that, in accordance with our recently adopted policy on heightened inclusivity and respect for species fluidity, March is no longer exclusively required to come in like a lamb and go out like a lion (or vice versa, i.e. coming-lion/going-lamb).

This policy is in accordance with non-binding recommendations by an independent panel convened to address a complaint brought against the calendar year by the Alliance for Animal-Mensual Plurality, which raised objections regarding the binary and mammalcentric approach to the third month of the year.

Embracing simile diversity

Consequently, we urge you to be sensitive to the fact that March may come in and go out like any creature it chooses. For example, March may now come in like a spotted sandpiper -- barely managing to remain balanced as it runs to and fro in a bit of a tizzy -- and go out like a slug – wet, repugnant, and leaving a regrettable trail of slime.

Or March may come in like an unfriendly housecat with a weepy eye and go out like the majestic blue wildebeest, as inscrutable as it is difficult to spell.

March may even come in like your neighbour's escaped python and go out like the bloated carcass of a beached whale.

In short, the animal kingdom is the limit.

Please note that if March does come in like a lion, which it is most certainly entitled to do, it is not required to go out like a lamb. March may come in like a lion and also go out like a lion. It may go out like a cuttlefish. It may even go out like seven chimpanzees on a first-name basis with Jane Goodall. That's the beauty of animal simile diversity.

What about unicorns, etc.?

A number of you have asked about mythical beasts. Can March, for example, come in like a lamb and go out like a Yeti? We are sensitive to the need for openness regarding the varied interpretations of what is meant by "species" and at this point are willing to accommodate non-documented, faith-based species. This will be done on a case-by-case basis if the mythical species in question can be shown to be integral to one's cultural/religious heritage. Please speak to Human Resources.

At this time, however, we cannot entertain purely fictional creatures due to the possibility of copyright infringement, among other considerations. For example, March may neither come in nor go out like Hobbes from the beloved comic strip Calvin and Hobbes nor may it come/go like "a stuffed tiger that comes to life only in the imagination of its precocious and borderline sociopathic owner."

And while we are sensitive to the fact that humans are, indeed, animals, we at this time are unable to allow March to come in like one's cousin Alice and go out like Don Ameche's loveable character in Cocoon.

Be aware as well that at this juncture we cannot countenance March coming in or going out like a box of chocolates, like a red, red rose, like a virgin, and so on.


Note as well that we now recognize that March is no longer constrained to a coming-going dichotomy. March may come in like a lamb, go partway out like a dolphin, come back in tentatively like a speckled trout in a cute bowtie, flit about briefly like an intoxicated Chihuahua and finally go out for good like an easily offended emu.

There is also the possibility, though unlikely, that March may come in like an antagonistic long-tailed weasel and simply not go out again. In such an event, please remain calm and await further instructions regarding vacation times, major league baseball schedules and fishing season.

In addition, we cannot predict the reliability of either the coming in or the going out of March now that, based on the recommendations of the panel, we have unfettered ourselves from the patriarchy-based calendar year and its artificial, linear construct. In fact, we have recently convened a separate non-partisan, cross-cultural advisory committee to examine the possibility of doing away with March and its related 11 months altogether. This would empower lions, lambs and all other sentient creatures to come and go in accordance to their natural rhythms.

Either way, we recommend rubber boots.