Friday, November 6, 2020

If my calculations are correct – and I suspect if anything they are conservative – then at about 1,500 words every day for these articles I have put together close to a half-million words for this project. I could have written two novels or maybe three solid novellas with that effort. But what would be more fascinating – a series of space-detective stories about Markevious Fritz, Interstellar P.I. or a bunch of celebrations masking an accurate documentation of the deterioration of my mental faculties throughout 2020? Mr. Fritz can wait (actually it’s Dr. Fritz – he has a doctorate in space-diplomacy!). I’ve still got over fifty days to slip deeper off the charts. Let’s roll right into how I tried to push that along yesterday:

National Men Make Dinner Day

The only logical way for us to observe this celebration would be for me to make dinner, right? But what if I make dinner almost every night? Should Jodie make dinner instead? That seems counter-intuitive. In fact, the very nature of this celebration seems antiquated and tired. Are we still clinging to the gender roles that make every woman a domestic champ and every man a hardworking schlub with no kitchen skills? And what about households with two men? Do they have to eat two dinners? Are lesbians meant to starve for this celebration?

This is a great 20th century celebration, and it has no place in this particular household. I do the majority of the cooking around here because (a) I enjoy it, and (b) I’m not tutoring and marking and lesson-planning and trying to get a Masters degree when I’m done my work. My son also does the bulk of the cooking in his household because he also enjoys it. I’d also bet that the lucky soul who ends up with our daughter will be the cook as well. If not, I hope he REALLY likes Kraft Mac & Cheese.

So yesterday I made dinner. Sort of. I heated up dinner from the previous night and whipped up some more rice to go with it. This day might have meant something had they called it National Person Who Doesn’t Usually Cook Makes Dinner Day, but I didn’t come up with the celebration, I’m merely passing through.

National Hot Sauce Day

There is something magical about hot sauce. It can elevate something as boring as eggs into absolute magnificence. It can make the difference between a tepid, uninspiring chili and one that sets the taste buds into a frantic polka. Some folks prefer to avoid Scoville numbers at any cost, while others go crazy for that rush of endorphins that we get with spicy foods. I discussed the physiology of this a few weeks back for some other celebration. Might have been hot wings. It’s getting increasingly hard to remember.

Yesterday I refrained from dousing my morning cereal with hot sauce, as putting it on everything I ate would have been unpleasant and silly. I dolloped a few blobs onto my butter chicken last night, and that hit the spot nicely.

Frank’s Hot Sauce is the chili-laden sauce of choice in the US and Canada, and it’s a perfectly fine condiment. In fact, it’s the sauce that was originally used to create buffalo wings, so that’s quite the honour. On the list of best-selling condiments in America (a 9-year-old list, but still…), Frank’s rolls in at #12, edging out McIllhenny’s Tabasco sauce by just $3 million in sales.

In case you were curious (I was), Hellman’s Mayonnaise tops that list, followed by Tostito’s Salsa and Heinz Ketchup. #s 4, 5 and 6 are Best Foods mayo, Kraft Miracle Whip Mayonnaise and Kraft Mayonnaise. If that’s not confusing enough, “Kraft Mayo” pops in at #8. Americans enjoy mayonnaise too much, I think that’s the point of this list. But also, kudos to Frank and his hot sauce for smiting the competition. Most grocery stores have dozens of other creatively-titled brands to choose from though, so don’t limit yourself to the well-known. Hot sauce is, after all, about the adventure.

National Cat Week

Yep. I decided to go for the easy entry one more time this year, even though I’d let National Cat Day pass me by. But I didn’t feel like lighting a bonfire last night for Guy Fawkes, nor did I feel the need to initiate a bank transfer just because it was National Bank Transfer Day. So I tracked down a celebration that covers the entire week, and thought it would be a nice opportunity for my friends and family to once again share their feline magnificence with us.

Besides, that’s all I have to write about it. The photos below tell the rest of the story for me.

American Football Day

I could not find any source that could legitimately explain why this day falls on November 5. As luck would have it, it was a Thursday yesterday so there was a game to be played. Also as luck would have it, the teams playing were San Francisco and Green Bay, two teams who still hold a reasonable chance of making the playoffs. We watched. We were into the action. Then our luck ran out as we saw San Francisco was injured to the point of being essentially a team of backup players, and the game was a blowout.

But let’s look at the real burst of great luck going on here. We are into week 9 of a 17-week season, and while there have been numerous isolations and a couple of postponed games due to the pandemic, we’re still looking at potentially reaching the Super Bowl with the season intact. For the most part. It has been a weird couple of months, but that only makes sense in 2020.

So why do we love American football? As we stated back on Sports Fan Day, we both grew up with dads who loved the game, and it wound up being the lone sports interest that carried through into our adult lives. People say it’s slower than hockey or soccer, and they may be right. But it’s meant to be – it’s strategic and calculated. Fighting is not allowed because you have the opportunity to deliver violence unto your enemy through the course of regulated play. It’s brutal and exciting, everything a sport should be.

On the down side, it’s hard to watch people suffer life-altering trauma in pursuit of a win. It’s also hard to deal with some of the despicable humans who play the game at a high level – folks who can run a post route with razor-like precision, but who also can’t be bothered not to beat up their girlfriends when the notion strikes. And lastly, enough with Brady. Fucking retire already.

But the game is grand, and we were thrilled to celebrate it yesterday. Let’s hope it sticks around for the next couple of months.

And just like that, there’s always another today. Off we go into another batch of something-or-other, and maybe we can finally put an end to drinking ourselves to sleep by getting an election result. Here’s the menu:

  • National Jersey Friday. Wear a sports jersey. Good, I love these easy ones.
  • National Nachos Day. Okay, this is already shaping up to be one of my favourite days of the year.
  • Saxophone Day. I don’t have one sitting around, but I don’t mind cranking up Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street” a few times today.
  • Basketball Day. Do we watch basketball? Nah, there’s none on TV.
  • Fountain Pen Day. I won’t be writing today’s article in fountain pen, as it would just mess up my computer monitor.
  • Marooned Without A Compass Day. A day to get stuck on an island? Seems elaborate for a celebration when one could just eat nachos instead.
  • Love Your Lawyer Day. In the US I predict some lawyers will be feeling a lot of love in the form of paychecks in the coming days.

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