Friday, July 28, 2023

Andy Young: Holidaze

Given the combination of this summer’s frequent rain, ceaseless humidity, and society’s increasingly litigious nature, I'm surprised some attention-seeking, greed-fueled attorney representing the Canine Anti-Defamation League hasn’t filed suit to eliminate the use of the term “Dog Days.”

Routinely associating energy-sapping climatic conditions with man’s best friend seems like a good way to turn loyal, tail-wagging companions into snarling, vicious curs. It’s times like these we should be thankful that most dogs can’t read, and those that can are generally too literal-minded to take potentially offensive idioms or metaphors personally.

What makes the ongoing muggy midsummer doldrums even less tolerable is the total absence of formal holidays. This year’s gap between July 4th and Labor Day consists of 61 sweltering 24-hour spans. At least there’s a school vacation (not to mention St. Paddy’s Day) between Washington’s birthday and Memorial Day.

Late July shouldn’t be unpleasant, let alone oppressively soul sucking. Fortunately, thanks to one unusually informative and imaginative website, dissatisfaction about the apparent dearth of midsummer holidays can quickly become a thing of the past. Thanks to, anyone with the right attitude can spend this week fully enjoying a wide variety of celebrations.

For openers, July 28 is National Milk Chocolate Day, National Waterpark Day, and National Talk in an Elevator Day. It’s also World Nation Conservation Day, Peruvian Independence Day, and World Hepatitis Day. I found that last one alarming until learning its purpose is to raise awareness about hepatitis, rather than encouraging people to actually go around spreading the disease itself.

Another designated July 28 “holiday” that might benefit from a bit of rebranding is Anniversary of the Fall of Fascism and Freedom Day. I for one am not unhappy about Fascism’s demise, assuming it actually has been eliminated. But without some strategic rearranging of words, the day’s unwieldy name suggests that freedom has fallen along with fascism, and as an enthusiastic supporter and longtime advocate of liberty I find that unsettling.

Like its immediate predecessor on the calendar, July 29 has plenty of excuses to make merry, including National Lasagna Day, National Chicken Wing Day, and International Tiger Day. In addition, July 29 is National Harold Day. This is, unsurprisingly, intended to honor everyone named Harold. Actor Harry Belafonte, football star Red Grange, composer Hal David and baseball Hall of Fame member Pee Wee Reese, Harolds all, would no doubt have a swell time on this day, were any of them still alive to celebrate it.

Nearly every public school in America is currently on summer vacation, so why has July 30 been designated National Support Public Education Day? I’m all for nourishing public education, but there’s a reason why National Waterskiing Day isn’t in mid-February. More logically placed July 30 “Days” include National Friendship Day, National Cheesecake Day, National Father-in-Law Day, National Whistleblowers Day, Paperback Book Day, and Share a Hug Day.

July’s final 24-hour period is officially National Avocado Day, International Lifeguard Appreciation Day, Shredded Wheat Day, National Raspberry Cake Day, and Uncommon Instrument Awareness Day.

There are undoubtedly plenty of August “holidays” listed on but I’m not looking to see what they are. Many probably involve food, and I’m already going to have enough trouble consuming all the leftover milk chocolate, lasagna, chicken wings, cheesecake, avocados, shredded wheat, and raspberry cake from the four previous days of celebrating. Plus, I’ll still be trying to figure out what to do with all those paperback books and uncommon instruments I’ll have lying around.

Maybe to celebrate August I’ll just head for a waterpark to see if any lifeguards named Harold would like to share a hug. <

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