Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Some days appear carved from molten butter, destined to end up in a puddly heap by their end, while remaining slick and scalding throughout. Thankfully, yesterday was a mellow warm ooze of I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Monday: a much more welcoming alternative. The list of prescribed celebrations was short, which suited my desire to focus my attentions elsewhere quite swimmingly. And what was on the docket was, for the most part, rather delightful. For example:

National Banana Split Day

A banana split is one of those desserts that can boast a next-level understanding of human psychology. Our brains are meant to focus on the banana itself – it’s right there in the name. A banana is a potassium-rich fruit, and undeniably good for the body. As a kicker, you even have other fruit bits involved, hinting that this is almost a fruit salad. It can even feature a few crushed-up nuts for protein.

But the split knows what it’s about. Behind that shielding wall of whipped cream you’ve got three scoops of ice cream (usually vanilla, chocolate and strawberry) and a generous topping of various sauces on top. It’s like having three ice cream sundaes at once, but with a banana to help us to deal with any potential guilt. One might fault the banana split for being so duplicitous, but our taste buds so love the deception that we’ll give it a pass.

Naturally the origin story of the banana split is divided among numerous claims to its invention. David Evans Strickler, a 23-year-old apprentice pharmacist from Latrobe, PA claimed to have created it in 1904. Lefty Lally, working out of a Columbus, OH pharmacist in the same year, also claims to have created it. Restaurant owner Ernest Hazard over in Wilmington, OH says it was his brainchild in 1907.

As with all of these conflicting origin stories, we simply don’t care. I think it’s perfectly logical for three different humans to recognize that bananas are sweet and pair well with ice cream. So they all invented it. It doesn’t matter – the banana split is a celebration meant to be savoured. And we did. We were torn over whether to create our own, using the three-flavour spumoni sitting in our freezer, or to find one locally. Dairy Queen does its own take on the banana split, and while it’s not the pure real-deal (they use their soft-serve, which is only a single flavour), it did the job. Our other alternative would have been to visit a restaurant, and we weren’t up to combing the city for the best split in town last night.

The one pictured above did the trick.

National Kiss & Make Up Day

So many ways to approach this rich and nuanced suggestion for a celebration. I kid of course, this is simply a rehash of National Reconciliation Day and a number of other days we have celebrated this year. The idea is to make up with someone with whom you’d previously been quarrelling, and I suppose the twist on this one is that a kiss is implied. Well, that certainly cuts down the list of potential quarrels. That racist I’ve been arguing with on social media? I’m not kissing that guy.

In fact, once ruling out my kids and my mother (we have no quarrels; she brings over delicious treats), this meant Jodie was my only option for celebrating this day. And as luck would have it, she went to bed Monday night rather displeased that I had been playing Grand Theft Auto V while Liberty rang the bells at our back door, indicating that she wanted to go outside. Yes, even dumb puppies can be trained to do this.

In my defense, I was trying to land a helicopter on that small round roof of the restaurant at the Los Santos airport – not an easy task. But yes, I should have hit pause and let the dog out. Fortunately I was able to offer this wonderful opportunity for Jodie to forgive me, and then to give me some of that good ol’ lovin’ (only a kiss – keep your thoughts clean). I’m sure that deep down she was grateful for this opportunity. Yep. I can read her well.

Hopefully I’ll have a few days to do something wrong again, as I’m sure we’re bound to run into another one of these patch-up-your-issues days before too long. Luckily, I’m quite the carefree deviant.

Touch-A-Heart Tuesday / Be Kind To Humankind Week

And we follow the generic forgiveness celebration with yet another generic do-something-good celebration. This one was launched by a lady named Lorraine Jara back in 1988. She was inspired by a tragic story from her home town of Toms River, New Jersey. It seems a couple of dudes were out rowing a boat when it capsized. Two ladies helped to pull them out of the freezing water, but they had no motor to hurry to shore and no radio to call for help. Apparently two boats equipped with radios passed by but refused to help. One of the two men died.

So Lorraine’s aim with this little unofficial holiday was to encourage us to not be the dicks in those two boats, but to be the two ladies who sacrificed their time to try to help those strangers. Knowing there are people out there who would be completely unwilling to put themselves out even a little to help save someone’s life is a depressing thought. So I’ll shelve my cynicism for this repeat, and hand Lorraine a win. We should be willing to take a hit to help others. After all, we never know when we’ll be those guys in the water.

Given our rather sedentary lifestyle, there was no going out yesterday to help anyone in person. Jodie did help out her niece, who is getting her start in the eyebrow-sculpting game, but that’s pretty weak. I opted for the old give-a-little route, just in case, and donated some bucks to the local Ronald McDonald House. They touch a lot of hearts behind those walls, and definitely deserve our support. Thanks, Lorraine.

National Second-Hand Wardrobe Day

I’m pretty sure I have said this before on some other similar day, but we don’t own a lot of second-hand clothes. This isn’t due to any sort of snootiness or better-than-thou-ness, we simply don’t. For one thing, I have a certain… shape of form that is not always easy to pair with a piece of clothing, new or used.

We both run into the issue that we also don’t want to go out and shop this year. Jodie has been buying her clothing online, while I’ve been stretching out my wardrobe from the previous decade (parts of it from decades prior to that one). Wandering through racks and racks of clothes that have recently been fondled and breathed-upon by others just isn’t a proper pandemic activity.

Pictured above is one of the few pieces of second-hand clothing I own: a coat owned by my dad that fits me surprisingly well, and will do me just fine for the upcoming autumn weeks. Not pictured above is the six packed bags of second-hand clothes that we packed in the truck to haul to Goodwill yesterday. We don’t wear a lot of second-hand clothes but we do understand that they are a welcome alternative for folks who could use the help. And besides, Jodie has exquisite tastes. For the gentlemen, they’ll just end up with a bunch of t-shirts designed for a slightly more rotund individual.

Today might be one of the easier days of this project, which is great news to those of us (both of us) who are craving an easy day:

  • National Dog Day. They say every dog has his day. Our have had about a dozen so far this year.
  • National Cherry Popsicle Day. My favourite flavour of popsicle, so we absolutely won’t be skipping this one.
  • La Tomatina. This is that infamous tomato war event in Bunol, Spain. Anyone want to come over and toss some tomatoes?
  • Musical Yoga Day. This one is up to Jodie.
  • National Toilet Paper Day. Yes, we do get around to celebrating everything around here eventually.
  • Make Your Own Luck Day. What if I want to make someone else’s luck?
  • Women’s Equality Day. Well, we aren’t coming out on the wrong side of history with this one.

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