Almost two years ago, I wrote a column about how every day of the year is in some way, by someone somewhere, recognized as “National Something or Other Day.”
Since then, it seems like the national recognition phenomenon has been even more prevalent, and everywhere you turn you hear about another day, week or month bearing some sort of special designation. Basically, there are too many of ‘em, and those with any semblance of legitimacy end up lost in a logjam that’s pretty much impossible to sort through.
Because of the over-abundance of “national days,” many Americans – like me – missed out on most that occurred last month. Here’s a few:
•Sept. 9 was National Wonderful Weirdos Day. I’d say it’s apparent that some people celebrate that day about 365 times a year (and some of their fellow Americans might question just how “wonderful” that is).
•Sept. 19 was National Talk Like a Pirate Day. Avast ye scurvy swab, ye never had the chance, did ye? A shame it is ye let an opportunity so fine slip through yer grasp. Arrrgh.
•Sept. 23 was National Dogs in Politics Day and National Checkers Day. That second designation has nothing to do with the popular board game (although I’m sure there’s a day for that somewhere on the calendar), but rather honors former President Richard Nixon’s dog Checkers, whom Nixon referred to in his infamous “Checkers Speech” on Sept. 23, 1952 (after concerns were raised about improprieties relating to a fund established by his backers to reimburse him for his political expenses as a vice-presidential candidate).
Note: I’m not sure if there’s a Cats in Politics Day, although there are definitely cats in politics, like Mayor Stubbs of Talkeetna, Alaska (the 16-year-old feline municipal leader of the remote town north of Anchorage).
•Sept. 25 was National One-Hit Wonder Day. Established by a music journalist in 1990 as a way to pay tribute to musical artists or bands who enjoyed a fleeting moment of fame and then more or less disappeared, it’s a day to remember chart-topping acts like Zager and Evans (whose song “In the Year 2525” spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Magazine charts beginning in July of 1969), Memphis disc jockey Rick Dees (who reached No. 1 in Oct. 1976 with “Disco Duck,” a novelty tune that epitomized the sillier side of the disco craze), and – who could forget – the English girl group Bananarama (that went top-10 in 1984 with “Cruel Summer”).
This month is no different than the other 11 in that its 31 days include about a zillion national days. For the record, here are a few scheduled in October:
•Today (Oct. 3) is National Virus Appreciation Day. I’m not sure whether we’re supposed to thank bodily invaders like Ebola, measles and influenza, or say “way to go” to PC intruders like Storm Worm, MyDoom and Nimda.
I don’t suppose it matters. Sheesh.
•Oct. 14 is Bald and Free Day. This one could be worth staging a parade for. It sounds like a great opportunity to laud our fellow hair-challenged Americans who do so much to protect the liberty and democracy we all take for granted.
•Oct. 22 is Caps Lock Day. OK everyone, lock and load! Everything typed, emailed and printed should be in all caps on this particular Tuesday. And while we’re at it, lets go bold wherever possible – and don’t hold back on the italics.
Just so you know, there are folks among us who apparently feel there aren’t enough national days (and perhaps could never be). In fact, a website exists where you can actually create and register a new national day.
Yep, that’s right; log onto www.nationaldaycalendar.com (run by an outfit called Zoovio, Inc., located in the sprawling metropolis and national recognition mecca of Mandan, N.D.) and for the paltry sum of $799.99, you can go down in history as the founder of a national day. Included in your paid submission is a press release (where it’s released is anyone’s guess), annual inclusion in the company’s daily post on its website and social media, inclusion in WikiPedia, and a really big framed certificate.
Seems like quite the bargain (he said, with eyes rolling).
I don’t know, but maybe Zoovio has it backward, and instead of encouraging more and more special day recognitions there should simply be a single National Everything Day. That way we could all get it all over with in one fell swoop, and spend the rest of the year tending to all the other stuff in our lives rather than having to keep track of what “day” today is (not that anyone is doing that now).
Anyway, here we are in October and most of us are entirely unprepared for its 112 special designations (including National Caramel Month, National Roller Skating Month and National Toilet Tank Repair Month). I guess the good news is that we still have a few shopping days left before National Chess Day on Oct. 9 (not named after a former politician’s dog), National Grouch Day on Oct. 15 (“have you hugged a grouch today?”), National Pasta Day on Oct. 17, and National Chucky The Notorious Killer Doll Day on Oct. 25.
I think it might be in all of our best interests not to overlook that last one.
Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.