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I am pretty sure I heard correctly. The college English professor, speaking to a small group of geezers on literature back in late March, said that his secretary had reminded him as he left his office that the day was National Poetry Day. I knew that National Poetry Day always falls in October, but I let it slide, thinking I might have misunderstood what he said.

Special "days" sprout in abundance on our calendar. One of my favorites is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. International? How do you say Arrrr! in Taiwanese? Observed annually since 1995 on Sept. 19, the day was the brainchild of John Baur and Mark Summers as a parody of special days. The comedian Dave Barry heard of it and started promoting it.

I thought of a few other "special days" that could be added to our calendar.

National Cliché Awareness Day. Just think about it--at the end of the day when all is said and done--if it weren't for clichés many of us would have little to say, especially some preachers (Send your "seed" money to ...) , most bureaucrats (Let me check on that and get back to you) and all politicians (Let me be absolutely clear ...).

The next time we get one of our patented Arkansas gully-washing, toad-strangling rains, see how long you can go without saying or even thinking that time-worn phrase concerning canines and felines. Some of our most familiar clichés are also euphemisms such as downsizing. Perhaps the "art of euphemania" deserves a special day of its own.

ACME Corporation Appreciation Day would need to be on a Saturday in memory of Wile E. Coyote, who spent countless Saturday mornings vainly trying to capture or cause bodily harm to the Roadrunner, most usually using some product from the ACME company, which invariably backfired. Is there a man (or woman) alive who has not felt a kinship to poor Wile E. when trying to get some new product to work correctly, or even opening or putting it together? I doubt it.

ACME was eventually revealed to be a subsidiary of the Roadrunner Corporation, which explains a lot.

• An International Spit On A Statue Of Your Choice Day would allow individuals who don't have the wherewithal to topple or remove weighty statues to show their disrespect to an inanimate object.

Besides, removing objectionable monuments is a one-time event. Leaving the object in place, thus allowing annual displays of vitriol, seems a much more reasonable and satisfying option to me.

• A good day for a Take Your Cow To Church Sunday would be the first Sunday in May, the second already being taken by mothers. As the popularity of comfort animals grows, it is only natural that the list of such animals expands from mere dogs and cats to include more exotic and larger critters.

Being able to reach over and stroke Flossie's muzzle when the preacher starts stepping on your toes can remind you that Flossie still loves you despite what the preacher says.

• Here in the Natural State, one Friday a year should be designated Aw Shucks Friday, dedicated to those of us who aren't too afraid to affirm our hillbilly roots like the cowardly officials that named a portion of U.S. 67 "Rock and Roll Highway" instead of the more appropriate "Rockabilly Highway." Apparently they were afraid someone in the Big Apple might think, "Gosh, what a bunch of hillbillies they must be down there."

Workers and non-workers alike could wear overalls, a ragged straw hat, chew on a tobacco-less corncob pipe, while hanging their heads and shuffling the toe of their brogans in the dirt or shag carpet while saying "Aw Shucks, Ma'am," or maybe "Aw Shuckens," if you prefer.

National "Say It Ain't So, Joe" Day. Inspired by the memory of Shoeless Joe Jackson and the infamous Black Sox scandal of the 1919 World Series and dedicated to the dashed hopes of wonder of all ages, from Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny to the Loch Ness Monster, Sasquatch, the Fouke Monster and canals on Mars. The report of a young fan tugging at Jackson's sleeve as he left the courthouse, saying, "Say it ain't so, Joe," was later proven to be a fanciful fabrication itself.

Back to National Poetry Day. It happens on Oct. 3 this year.

Celebrate by reading Robert Frost's classic poem "Mending Wall," and decide for yourself if "good fences make good neighbors."


John McPherson is a freelance writer now residing Searcy who specializes in poetry and whimsical, perhaps satirical, prose.

Editorial on 04/18/2019

Print Headline: Holiday hoo-hah


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