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).

Doug Davison

Doug Davison

•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 (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:

A news report from last week that may have escaped your notice indicated that Mayor Stubbs, of Talkeetna, Alaska, was receiving medical care after being severely injured by a dog.

In an apparent nighttime surprise-attack by a loose dog, Stubbs sustained a punctured lung, bruised hips, and a long deep gash on his side, and his sternum was fractured badly enough that it might require being repaired with a plate. A veterinarian who accompanied Stubbs’ owner on the hour-long trip to a clinic where he could receive adequate care brought along a euthanasia kit because there was doubt as to whether the mayor would even make it there.

Wait, how’s that? Veterinarian? Euthanasia kit?

Um, Stubbs is a cat.

Doug Davison

Doug Davison

Yep, the 900 or so Americans who live in Talkeetna elected him as their municipal leader 15 years ago. What’s more, Stubbs – who was a strapping young yearling at the time of his election – was a write-in candidate.

Located 115 miles north of Anchorage, Talkeetna serves as the last stop for travelers and climbers visiting Mount McKinley (North America’s tallest peak, at 20,320 feet) and is billed as the inspiration for the town in the highly popular TV series, “Northern Exposure,” that aired on CBS from 1990 to 1995 (and was actually filmed in Roslyn, Wash.).

The off-beat little Alaskan berg barely occupies a wide spot in a moose trail, but Talkeetna features several artists’ shops, and hosts a yearly fundraiser ball where bachelors are auctioned off and a wilderness survival contest for women. But it’s now more famous for its feline politician than anything else.

Finding out about Stubbs got me thinking – of course.

I whole-heartedly believe I know of a 35-pound Pembroke Welsh Corgi who could make a whale (make that land manatee) of a political leader. I’m thinking that if Stubbs can do it, Jamie can.

Anyone who has noticed any of the columns I’ve helped him put together during the past couple of years already knows Jamie has a penchant for leadership, a great appreciation for what he thinks is right, and a keen snout for history. By applying those basic characteristics, he would likely thrive in a position of political authority.

I’ve run some ideas by him, and at this very moment he’s pondering a ground-breaking future as a canine elected official.


•Mayor Jamie: “There has been a lot of progress in this town in the recent past, and I can’t say I can’t take a lot of the credit. Certainly, many people with thumbs helped make it all possible, but I believe they needed a good delegator to give them direction, and I was just the Corgi to do it.”

•Sheriff Jamie: “So you say the gun found in your car that perfectly matched the weapon used in the crime belonged to your uncle’s neighbor, that the matching stories told by several witnesses implicating you are all lies, and that the residue found on your fingernails was mayonnaise, not meth. OK then, we’ll do a little verification of that, but in the meantime you’ll have to hold tight in a jail cell. I’d say we should be wrapped up with our investigation in, oh, about 37 years.”

•Senator Jamie: “Taxes are a necessity, but we have to find a way to administer them more wisely. I say we stop taxing dog toys, food and adoptions, and increase taxes on cat food, catnip, and anything else with that begins with the word or prefix ‘cat’ or by 637-percent.

“Also, I believe people wishing to have cats as pets should be required to obtain special permits, with costs of those permits beginning at 98-percent of a person’s yearly income.”

•President Jamie: “Now that you have given me this mandate to run – I mean improve your lives, I pledge to make sure there’s a $54,000 SUV in every garage and a pork chop bone on every lawn. And regarding recent reports that there’s too much Putin in Russia and the middle east, I say tell those people to quit eating so many beans.”

Jamie and I both hope Stubbs makes a full recovery from his unfortunate episode as a doggie chew toy. If this country is going to avoid the fall many people believe is inevitable, we’re going to need strong leaders like him to lean on.

And speaking of strong leadership, don’t be surprised if you see or hear “Jamie in 2016” commercials in the not too distant future. He’s not making any declarations just yet, but he hasn’t ruled out a run (or slow saunter) at an elected office.

And if he does, expect a spirited campaign, because this is one Big Lug who will be in it to win it.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Email:

Mayor Stubbs, of Talkeetna, Alaska, sips his favorite beverage (a mixure of water and catnip) from his favorite sipping receptacle (a wine glass).

Mayor Stubbs, of Talkeetna, Alaska, sips his favorite beverage (a mixure of water and catnip) from his favorite sipping receptacle (a wine glass).

Mayor Stubbs recovers from his recent horrific run-in with a dog that left him with several injuries.

Mayor Stubbs recovers from his recent horrific run-in with a dog that left him with several injuries.

Campaign buttons from Stubb's unsuccessful bid for vice-president in 2012.

Campaign buttons from Stubb’s unsuccessful bid for vice-president in 2012.

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Houston Police Chief Jim McNiell and Mayor Don Tottingham check out the city's proposed K-9 unit.

Jamie discusses his possible future in politics with Houston Police Chief Jim McNiell and Mayor Don Tottingham.