Days of our lives
(This appeared in Newsday’s Act2 section)
I’m only going to say this one time. June 3 was National Repeat Day.
In more ways than one, it’s a redundancy. We already have Groundhog Day in February — a metaphor for replication. And the last thing we need is an occasion to revive that old childhood inquiry meant to torture a younger sibling into a maddening echo. Remember? “Pete and Repeat were in a boat; Pete fell in and who was left?”
Of course, the answer, over and over, was “Repeat,” triggering a theoretically endless, monotonous refrain until the persecuted party pleaded for parental intervention. Or just clobbered the annoying questioner.
Anyway, National Repeat Day does not repeat itself. Right on schedule with the next sunrise, June 4 arrives and brings — listen to this — National Shopping Cart Day. More proof that there are too many frivolous designations on the calendar.
It’s one thing to have an annual nod to Cinco de Mayo and Labor Day, Memorial Day and Veterans Day, occasions originally meant to recall significant history. But National High Five Day (a moveable feast on the third Thursday in April)? Especially in these pandemic times of social distancing, a universal smacking of hands doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Go to an Internet near you and you will be inundated with wacky, exhaustive lists of these Days, including National Bobblehead Day (January 7), National Dog Biscuit Day (February 23), National Open an Umbrella Indoors Day (March 13), National Barbershop Quartet Day (April 11), National Paperclip Day (May 29), National Yo-Yo Day (June 6), National Wiggle Your Toes Day (August 6), National Punctuation Day (September 24!!!), National Pins and Needles Day (November 27), National Sock Day (December 4).
There are — no surprise — a surfeit of suggested food-related celebrations. Just in the month of June, there is National Hazelnut Cake Day (on the 1st), National Egg Day (3rd), National Cheese Day (4th), National Gingerbread Day (5th), National Applesauce Day (6th), National Chocolate Ice Cream Day (7th). National Fudge Day (16th) — followed immediately by the antidote of National Eat Your Vegetables Day (17th). If one lives through that barrage of cholesterol-restoration sessions without having to see a doctor, National Junk Food Day is July 21.
Okay. Apart from gastronomy-related commemorations is September 8, National Ampersand Day, when we are encouraged to use that curly symbol in place of the word “and.” Milk & cookies? Bread & butter? Rough & ready?
November 4 is National Common Sense Day, when it could be reasonable not to use an ampersand. April 23 is National Talk Like Shakespeare Day, which is said to promote the substitution of “thou,” “thee” and “ye” in your conversation in place of “you” and “they,” or to stick entirely to rhyming couplets. All of which could make you sound dreadfully out-of-date. Or just pompous. (To-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from Day to Day….)
Speaking of out-of-date: October 20 is National Suspenders Day.
But here’s a favorite to someone who has attempted to practice journalism for a half-century: April 4, Hug a Newsperson Day. And another, for those of us who never seem to get things right on the first try: October 17, National Mulligan Day.
It should be noted that today is not National Essay Day. That’s February 28, the birthdate of Michel de Montaigne, a French Renaissance philosopher (born Feb. 28, 1533) whose Essais influenced both French and English literature in thought and style.
True; philosophical this is not.
So, in the spirit of not-taking-this-too-seriously: Why not a National Take Three Years Off Your Age Day? To be celebrated every February 29.