Potvin Newsly

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November: A Month for Stupid Holidays

On November 4th, when the election was called in Obama’s favor, I experienced joyous exuberance, realizing the political campaign season was over. But that was removed on Wednesday morning when I awake to see Christmas decorations on a light pole. Without realizing it, we’d all crossed over into the dreaded holiday season.

Every year I say the same thing: “I don’t think I can make it through another holiday season.” But, ever year there’s also plenty of alcohol abound. It starts with drinking for fun on Halloween, which makes the passing out of candy to tiny ghouls all the more enjoyable. Then its merits turn strictly social by Veteran’s Day, and the drinks pile upon me in isolation by Thanksgiving, giving way to my fear and loathing of the shamelessly capitalist Christmas Spirit. And, for the entire month of December, alcohol is my dear friend and crutch, a dependency churning my insides into a flammable mush concoction and relieving my liver of its duties as it turns to scar tissue. But then it’s all over on December 26th. That calls for celebration, and sobriety has no part in that. The week following Christmas is spent in a drunken haze, and as the calendar turns over, nobody can easily point out that I am the saddest drunk of them all. January 2nd arrives in time for me to check myself into detox just before expiring.

And for what? The never-ending parade of Christmas carols, the malls packed full of sickly children, and the muddy, wet and invariably cold slush falling onto my doorstep? Even all of these are tolerable with the right drinks in hand. But, as of late, the holiday season has been getting crammed with stupid holidays. It seems the masterminds behind all of this have been sneaking in these undeserving days while we’re all distracted by elections and carols and suicides. Here I will cover November’s stupid holidays (I might just save December’s for another day… perhaps sometime in December).

  • First, November’s month long observances. November is International Drum Month, National Epilepsy Month (An entire month dedicated to promoting epilepsy? Wrong on two levels!), National Model Railroad Month, and Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month. Let those sink in and try to think of a fun way to celebrate all of them at the same time.
  • November 1st – November 1st is All Saints’ Day, sometimes referred to as All Hallows’ Day (from which Halloween gains its name). Celebrate It: Build yourself a bonfire and pray to the patron saint of saints. Alternatively, go to work and act like you don’t know about this day. The 1st is also National Authors’ Day. Celebrate It: Become a national bestselling author and brag to your friends about how today is for you. And lastly, National Family Literacy Day falls on the first. Celebrate It: Teach your family how to read, or drink heavily.
  • November 2ndNational Deviled Egg Day. Celebrate It: Make deviled eggs and eat them until you throw up.
  • November 3rd – Today is John Montague’s birthday, and he “invented” the sandwich. The day’s not named after him, but rather is called simply Sandwich Day. Celebrate It: Make your favorite sandwich, poison it, and leave it on a sidewalk somewhere.
  • November 4thNational Candy Day hits America, giving you just enough time to recover from your sugar coma suffered on Halloween. Celebrate It: Instead of ingesting your candy orally, like on this holiday’s more well-known sister day, Halloween, ingest your favorite goodies rectally. What fun!
  • November 5thNational Donut Day keeps you from letting your blood sugar levels return to normal yet again. Celebrate It: Dress up like a police officer, head to your local donut shop to buy the famed treats, then use the delicious pastries to lure local neighborhood children into your “squad car.” Also, the 5th is Guy Fawkes Day, also known as Bonfire Night, which celebrates tyranny ruling supreme over upstart rebellions. Celebrate It: Make a giant bonfire in the middle of your street, and light off a bunch of fireworks. Add alcohol as necessary.
  • November 6thBasketball Day marks a day dedicated to athleticism and fitness in a sea of days designated for unhealthy eating habits. Celebrate It: Play basketball on your Xbox or Playstation while eating fast food and drinking lots of soda to stay hydrated.
  • November 7th – Despite protests from sane people, Hug-a-Bear Day continues to be celebrated annually. Originally dreamt up by a five-year-old preschooler in upstate New York, be warned that this exciting day could be hazardous to your health. Celebrate It: Head to Yellowstone National Park or Alaska and, well, try to hug a bear. Help yourself by wearing a jacket made of marshmallows and/or slacks of calves’ liver. Don’t forget, the 8th is also Magazine Day. Celebrate It: Switch things up by reading toilet paper and wiping your ass with a magazine!
  • November 8thX-Ray Day marks the discovery of the x-ray some years back. Celebrate It: Regardless of your health, head to your local emergency room and request a full-body x-ray. Then steal the copies when no ones looking. Alternatively, try to make your own x-ray machine!
  • November 9thParade Day is a day for celebrating parades by not having one. Celebrate It: Watch the History Channel’s special presentation, Famous Parades, made specifically for the great day of November 9th.
  • November 11thVeteran’s Day marks the end of the First World War. Celebrate It: Usually some department stores have a special half-off sale or something of the like, to help us remember our veterans and the sacrifices they’ve made. 25% off a Kashmir cardigan? That’s what I call Bataan Death March Savings!
  • November 12thElizabeth Cady Stanton Day, named after Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who was a women’s rights activist, I think, maybe. Celebrate It: Force your wife to bake a cake and apologize for voting, to help her remember what is was like in the before time.
  • November 13thMom’s and Dad’s Day, a day somehow different from both Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. Celebrate It: Don’t, it’s redundant.
  • November 14thNational Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day turns a chore into a reason to have a national holiday. Celebrate It: Take this opportunity to understand that even though you should clean out your fridge more like once a month, making a national holiday for the act insinuates that you only have to do it once a year.
  • November 15thAmerica Recycles Day again turns a chore into a day of celebrating a chore. Celebrate It: Recycle, but to make it special, only recycle on this day that occurs once a year. The 15th hosts another holiday, Pack Your Mom Lunch Day. Celebrate It: Don’t pack lunch for your mom, instead, pack your mom for lunch. Yummy!
  • November 16thButton Day occurs annually on this day. Celebrate It: Realize that even buttons have a day and you don’t.
  • November 17thHomemade Bread Day gives you an excuse to buy a bread maker that you will almost certainly never use and mostly just wastes space on your counter top. Celebrate It: Splurge by buying a really fancy loaf of bread at the store, then putting it in the microwave to make it warm and pretend that you made it yourself. Also, Young Reader’s Day and Take a Hike Day occur on the 17th. Celebrate Them: Force your children to hike alone through a perilous mountain-side trail whilst reading Thomas Pynchon’s classic, Gravity’s Rainbow. And they don’t get to come home until they’re done with both.
  • November 18thWilliam Tell Day marks the anniversary of when William Tell shot an apple of his son’s head in 1315. Celebrate It: Do something markedly stupid and irresponsible, then defend yourself by proclaiming “It’s William Tell Day, and like Mr. Tell, I am standing up against tyranny and the contrived, meaningless laws set forth by the oligarchy and enforced by mindless brutes.” Then, probably, go to jail.
  • November 20th – Here it is, Mexican Revolution Day, clearly marking something important in Mexico’s history. Celebrate It: Remind any Mexican friends you might have that today is Mexican Revolution Day, not Mexican Independence Day. Then ask them politely to pay homage.
  • November 21stWorld Hello Day. Celebrate It: Do something that makes you feel good about yourself, like listening to a Barack Obama speech.
  • November 22ndStop the Violence Day. Celebrate It: Try to elicit violent behavior from everyone you have contact with all day, then tell them to stop the violence.
  • November 23rdNational Cashew Day for all you nut lovers out there. Celebrate It: See how many cashews you can feed to your dog before you have to take him to the vet.
  • November 26th National Cake Day, but be warned, cheesecake isn’t really a cake. Celebrate It: If you don’t have diabetes yet, then that should be your goal by day’s end.
  • November 27thPins and Needles Day. Celebrate It: Try to make your arm or leg fall asleep, then stab it with pins and needles as feeling returns. Also, this day happens to be Thanksgiving Day, which is a rather obscure holiday that I’m not sure how to celebrate. Probably has something to do with bestiality, though.
  • November 30thStay at Home Because You’re Well Day is a day dedicated to flagrant honesty and laziness. Celebrate It: Call into work and say “I’m not coming in today because I’m not feeling sick,” then hang up the phone without waiting for a response. Your boss(es) should already know about this day anyway. Word of warning, however: if you are sick, you will be expected to not only work your shift, but to cover for everyone else who wasn’t able to make it in this day.

So that’s it, there’s only about two legitimate holidays in the whole of these listed here. Keep in mind that with all the days dedicated to eating lots of food, November is the perfect month to pick up bulimia nervosa.

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