MY FAVORITE CRAZY AWARENESS DAYS

On the website "Zany Holidays" it is written: "On any given day, there are a number of potentially dangerous and sociopathic zany holidays stalking the streets, preying on the innocent, and corrupting respectable calendars around the world." No truer words were ever written. Any nuisance who has an obsession, a cause to champion, a hobby-horse to ride, an ax to grind, or just a silly idea, launches an "awareness-raising" day (or week or month). It is just another kind of aggressive, intrusive advertising.

Sometimes the pests infest the calendar with as many variants as they can think of. Thus: January 24 is Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day, March 14 is Talk Like a Physicist Day, April 23 is Talk Like Shakespeare Day, May 19 is Talk Like a Pilot Day, May 21 is Talk Like Yoda Day, and September 20 is Talk Like a Pirate Day. The pests are not deterred by the fact that there are not enough days in the year. Thus: June 21 is World Handshake Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, National Chocolate Pudding Day, and also part of National Watermelon Seed Spitting Week.

Here is a list of "awareness days" whose very lunacy I find endearing:

January 3 is National Drinking Straw Day, because the drinking straw was invented by Marvin Chester Stone on January 3, 1888. Celebrated (obviously) by drinking through straws.

January 13 is National Rubber Ducky Day, because a rubber duck first appeared on "Sesame Street" on January 13, 1970. Celebrated with rubber duck races.

January 21 is International Fetish Day. Celebrated, mainly by the BDSM community (bondage and discipline, dominance and submission), by trying "to increase awareness of, and support for, the fetish community."

February 1 is Working Naked Day. Celebrated by people who work from home, taking advantage of the freedom this allows them.

February 8 is Extraterrestrial Culture Day, commemorating the Roswell, New Mexico UFO incident of 1947. Celebrated by trying "to celebrate and honor all past, present, and future extraterrestrial visitors."

February 9 is National Read in the Bathtub Day. Celebrated by combining cleanliness with literacy.

March 14 is Pi Day, because 3.14 are the first three digits of the value of pi. Celebrated by eating or throwing pies.

March 20 is Alien Abduction Day. Celebrated by watching the sky and hoping.

May 4 is International Respect for Chickens Day, that "celebrates the dignity, beauty, and life of chickens and protests the bleakness of their lives in farming operations." Celebrated by trying to educate people about the plight of chickens, or by adopting a chicken as a pet.

June19 is World Sauntering Day, originally a protest against the fad of jogging in the 1970's. Celebrated by walking slowly and enjoying life. "Should not be done with a small yappy dog."

July 2 is International Cherry Pit Spitting Day. Celebrated with cherry pit spitting distance competitions.

August 8 is International Orgasm Day. Celebrated (you can guess how).

November 21 is World Hello Day. Celebrated by greeting at least ten people.

December 11 is Mountain Day. Celebrated by cancelling classes without prior notice, while the students head out and climb the nearest mountain.

December 26 is National Whiners Day, because it is the day after Christmas, when you are fed up with good will. Celebrated by whining about unwanted Christmas gifts or anything else. "Most satisfying if your audience are connoisseurs of fine whines."