"Excuse me,”?I asked the man behind me in line. “What date do you have?” “April 14,” he replied. “Dang it,”?I said. “My calendar stopped again.” Because of that, I?missed the chance to write about the 40th anniversary of the Beatles’ breakup. The official date of the split was April 10, 1970. Now, instead of that event being 40 years ago today, it happened on this date a week or so ago.

"Excuse me,”?I asked the man behind me in line. “What date do you have?”

“April 14,” he replied.

“Dang it,”?I said. “My calendar stopped again.”

Because of that, I?missed the chance to write about the 40th anniversary of the Beatles’ breakup. The official date of the split was April 10, 1970. Now, instead of that event being 40 years ago today, it happened on this date a week or so ago.

See how awkward that sounded? That’s because it violates Rule 1 for writing about historic milestones:?if the date passes, it’s too late to write about it.

I hate when I miss an opportunity to write about the Beatles. So little has been written about them.

Even so, I’m not about to violate Rule 1.

I also can’t break Rule 2:?“Milestones must be revisited no more than once every five years, with preference given to years 10, 20, 25, 50 and 100.”

So you’ll have to wait until April 10, 2015, to read about this subject.

Since I like reading historical milestones, I hate to miss a shot at writing them myself.

I dropped the ball on the Beatles breakup, so I had to find a different “today in music history.” I also wanted to adhere to the 10-20-25-50 rule, which eliminated this possibility: April 17, 1970: Paul McCartney’s first solo album, “McCartney” is released.

That could have been my “excuse” to ignore Rule 2. I would refer to the breakup as it connected to McCartney’s first solo album.

But to do that, I would have had to disobey Rule 3:?“Reference to events that violate rules (1) and/or (2) are allowed, provided all of the following apply:?(a) restricted event has a direct connection or is an official ‘precursor’ to the event in question and (b) you’re not just using it as an excuse to ignore rules (1) and/or (2).”

So I can’t use the McCartney album, either. I needed some other milestone.

I found nothing else of interest that fell within the correct year (1960, 1985, 2000) and also happened on?April 17.

Maybe my approach is too old-school. With the news cycle shrinking ever smaller, we may need to rethink the concept.

“At this minute less than a day ago, ex-Poison singer Bret Michaels was recovering from an emergency appendectomy.”

And: “21,047,040 minutes before that, the Beatles broke up.”

There’s always a way around the rules.

Contact Dennis at volkert@sturgisjournal.com.