Kirby: As the year winds down, it’s best to just grin and ‘ber’ it

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Robert Kirby is counting down the days until Christmas.

We are officially in the “Bers” now — September, October, November, December. The Bers are the long bell tolling for a year that is rapidly drawing to a close. Four more months and 2018 will be a memory.

The signs are all there — animals digging winter burrows, cooling air, political haranguing and the changing colors of the few leaves that aren’t already black from wildfires.

For some, 2018 will be the best year of their lives — the year they got married/divorced, the year their first child arrived/launched, or the year that altered the rest of their lives. It might be the glorious year ...

Eh. Never mind that. We still have to get through the Bers. And there are significant obstacles in them such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, off to school, hunting season(s), winter preparation and — God help us — elections.

Of the Bers, September is the most benign. It starts with a three-day blowout weekend (Labor Day) and gradually transitions into grim studying and the terrible reminder of 9-11, now known as Patriot Day, followed a week later by Citizenship Day — or what some are calling “Take Your Kids Away Day.”

The point is that September is just the start of what is going to be a tough haul toward a brand-new start: 2019.

Oh, one more thing before we move on. Native American Day is Sept. 28. That’s right, it’s between Citizenship Day (Sept. 17) and Columbus Day (Oct. 8), an irony I doubt is lost on many Native Americans.

November is when the year really starts to circle the drain. For starters, it brings us to the yearly end of “Let’s Screw With Their Heads Time,” otherwise known as daylight saving time (Nov. 4).

Then comes Veterans Day, which coincidentally celebrates exactly 100 years since the “11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” of the armistice of World War I, a particularly pointless war that killed hundreds of Utahns for no reason I have ever been able to comprehend.

Eleven is an important number, because 11 days after Veterans Day, another potential conflict heaves into sight: Thanksgiving.

Some families are not meant to be together — temporally or otherwise. Pack all of them into a small, overheated venue and somebody will end up calling the police. I hated working Thanksgiving when I was a cop.

That holiday is followed immediately by Looting Day, otherwise known as Black Friday. This is when maniacs begin shopping to get great deals with which to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace.

Somewhere during the aforementioned Bers comes Major Snow Day. There’s no set date for it because the weather rarely cooperates. However, because it’s the day prayed and hoped for by skiers and snowboarders, it’s also referred to as “Masochists Day” and “Orthopedic Surgery Day.”

After such a long and weary drag, we’ll get to Christmas, a colorful, well-lit, celebratory day when people exclaim, “Holy crap! I didn’t want this for Christmas! I wanted … ”

We can get through all of this. Just remember that December eventually delivers a bright beginning of a fresh new year. Hang on. We’re almost there. Just three months and 26 days to go.