By Bruce Stambaugh
Being a weekly newspaper columnist, I pay attention to the calendar. I have to if I want my columns to appear in print. If I miss a deadline, well you know.
I only just recently noticed the quirkiness of the 2016 calendar. For instance, February, the shortest month, had five Mondays. If you are reading this on Feb. 29, it’s “Leap Day.” Within its 31 days, January only had four Mondays. Go figure.
That got me delving into the rest of the year. My research revealed several interesting tidbits of facts and silliness. Every month has at lease one cause, and many weeks have more than one reason to celebrate.
Digging further, I discovered a wide diversity of day designations that I never heard of. I guess I need to get out more.
January and February are history. Here’s a sampling of what’s in store for the rest of 2016. For the sake of space, I picked the most notable ones, minus the standard holidays.March brings its share of quirkiness. March 3 is “If Pets had Thumbs Day.” March 9 is “Panic Day.” Besides the “Ides of March,” March 15 is “Dumbstruck Day.” I couldn’t make this stuff up.
April is no better. By starting off with “April Fools Day,” it follows that April is “National Humor Month.” Appropriately, it’s also “Stress Awareness Month.” The first week of April is “Read a Road Map Week.” I wonder when “GPS Week” is? April 4 is “Tell a Lie Day,” followed by “Go for Broke Day” on April 5.
May is “National Bike Month” and “National Photograph Month.” Designated days include May 3, “Lumpy Rug Day;” May 11, “Eat What You Want Day,” and the only Friday the 13th of the year.
Though I love June, I’m a little confused about its designations. It is “Aquarium Month” and the first week is “Fishing Week.” Maybe I can figure that out on June 1, “Flip a Coin Day.”
I like August. It’s “Admit You’re Happy Month,” which goes nicely with the second week, “National Smile Week.” Appropriately, Aug. 16 is “National Tell a Joke Day.”
Just in time for football season, September is “Little League Month” as in baseball. The ninth month starts off with “Emma M. Nutt Day.” She was the very first telephone operator. You’re on your own until October.
With 18 endorsements, October is a highly regarded month. Did I mention October is “Sarcastic Month?” That must explain why Oct. 3 is “Virus Appreciation Day.”
Hold your ears in November when it’s “National Drum Month.” And is it ironic that Nov. 8 is both the “U.S. General Election” and “Dunce Day?”
That brings us to December. It seems like 2016 will end goofy, too. Take Dec. 21, the winter solstice. Besides being the year’s day with the least daylight, Dec. 21 is “Humbug Day,” “Look on the Bright Side Day,” and “National Flashlight Day.”
Say what you will, the calendar is used to promote a variety of legitimate to questionable causes and remembrances. I’m not endorsing this practice, just reporting it.
I’ll simply stick to writing my columns as the literary spirit moves, quirky days or no quirky days. Enjoy this “Leap Day.” Tomorrow is “National Pig Day.”
© Bruce Stambaugh 2016