Friday, January 31, 2020

With only two employees on shift yesterday, we felt we should investigate our new source, and what do you know? A new celebration shows up to take us away from it all.

National Escape Day

If your Thursday was anything like mine, it started too early and then overstayed its welcome. Depending on your level of satisfaction with your working life, a Thursday can be a happy inhalation before the glorious gust of weekend, or it might be an intrusive stop-gap day between the depths of the week and its inevitable release. Or perhaps you love your job, and Thursday is the precursor to the morose and miserable day when you have to say farewell to your office for two gruelling days. If you fall into that last category, please get me a job in whatever mythical fairyland you work.

National Escape Day came to me via that new site I’d found last week, which had escaped my research last year. I’m still hesitant to pull the trigger on these holidays, as their only “sources” are often links to other Holiday database sites, with no one pointing a finger at who originated the day and why. But an escape is an escape, and it should be celebrated as a necessary component of life in this society.

I hope everyone has their own brand of escapism that they can use to balance the niggling interruptions in their lives. For some it might be physical activity, perhaps movies, maybe just going for a quiet unicycle ride in the woods. Maybe you choose to escape the banality of existence by blowing bubbles through a straw into milk on the subway, or approaching strangers and asking if they’re Mick Fleetwood. Perhaps your escapism leads you to make crafts, like hand-painted thimble portraits, or tiny wigs for kiwi fruit. So long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else or intrude into the mandatory meat of your daily life, embrace it.

Me, I listen to music on my bus ride home, playing those puzzle games I talked about yesterday and tuning out social media, the news, and pretty much everything else. For Jodie it’s a good book that isn’t about teaching children. Whatever your escape, keep it handy and celebrate this whenever you can.

National Croissant Day

We had leftover croissants from the day before, some stuffed with bierocks beef, cabbage, onions and cheese (for Kansas Day), and a couple that were pristine and awaiting a glop of melty butter to send them to that special place of utter transcendence. National Croissant Day was a decadent joy.

The croissant is one of the best-known French pastries on the planet. I used to work in a French bakery that prided itself on its authentic croissants. Of course, had the internet been at my fingertips back then I might have pointed out that croissants are an Austrian concoction, not French. This would have likely led to my dismissal from that job even sooner (I was fired because I ineptly witnessed cockroaches in the kitchen area, but that’s a story for another day).

Croissants are known as viennoiserie pastries, meaning they have a few extra ingredients to give them a flavour beyond the horizon of dough. Much like your driver’s licence, most croissants are laminated. In bakery parlance, that means folding the dough over the butter and rolling it out – it’s how croissants get their buttery taste. You can stuff ‘em with custard, drizzle chocolate over ‘em, or just eat ‘em raw. And if you have the power to resist them, you’re stronger than I.

National Inane Answering Machine Message Day

Ridiculous outgoing answering machine messages are a natural consequence of leaving this technology in the hands of humanity. Whether it’s George Costanza’s take on the Greatest American Hero theme song or Sterling Archer’s constant voicemail fake-outs, there’s no end to the possibilities. Provided, of course, that you don’t care whether or not someone leaves an actual voicemail or hangs up in disgust.

Here’s my take – enough with the voicemails. If someone calls me, I get a little text bubble on my phone to tell me. If I don’t know them (or don’t want to chat) I ignore it. Otherwise I’ll call back. Making a person listen to their voicemails, only to hear “It’s me! Call me back!” is a waste of everyone’s time and energy. If you have a specific message, leave it; otherwise, move on and trust they’ll see you called.

But that’s more in line with yesterday’s Curmudgeon Day entry. We’re here to be inane, and yesterday that’s just what we were. Jodie and I left outgoing messages on our voicemails, both of which will remain in place until at least the end of February.

Today I find myself ferrying my wife to the airport and spending the evening celebrating alone. Here’s what we have:

  • National Inspire Your Heart With Art Day. Today will be about finding the art in the world around us – music, drama, visual arts, and hey, maybe even in creative non-fiction.
  • National Hot Chocolate Day. A toasty hot chocolate will warm our insides, perhaps while we listen to the disco classic, “You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate.
  • National Big Wig Day. We… we don’t own any wigs. Who are we, Moira Rose? I don’t know if we’ll be able to pull this one off.
  • National Backwards Day. Some walking backwards, some driving backwards, and maybe we’ll listen to some hidden Satanic messages in rock songs today.
  • Scotch Tape Day. I will find something to fix around the house, using only Scotch tape.
  • Brandy Alexander Day. I’m always up for a cocktail. Jodie won’t be sad she missed this one.
  • Eat Brussels Sprouts Day. Another one I’m not sure is real, but I don’t mind indulging.

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