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Air Conditioning Appreciation Week

YOU probably thought you were on top of things, beginning the journey from the “new moon” (rosh chodesh) into contemplation, prayer and personal accounting, into the days of awe. Yeah, I thought I knew my calendar too. But then I was on the airplane and the woman sitting near me was reading her to-do list of craft activities for August.

She is a retired educator.

She was on a trip to Oregon to visit her granddaughter and prepared a lot of August-appropriate activities for them to craft together.

So, did you know we are currently in Air Conditioning Appreciation Week? I know, I thought it was some kind of joke or prank. I looked it up online after the flight. Yep. It is officially observed in Upstate New York. There is a formal chapter and all.

Now, I know it could be just an article pulling my leg and is, in fact, just a joke.

But then, many of the other searches I did for these new August holidays that I was just becoming aware of were online as well.

When I googled National Waffle Day, the first search that came up was an article titled “The Waffle Day Controversy.” So not only were these “holidays” showing up, but there were controversies. If controversy is not the ultimate emblem of credibility, I don’t know what is.

Apparently, National Waffle Day is on August 24, not to be confused with International Waffle Day on March 25. Gotta get those waffle dates straight, you know?

The first day of August is Friendship Day and National Raspberry Cream Pie Day. There are a lot of food holidays August pays homage to. On the second is Ice Cream Sandwich Day and Picnic Day (in Australia). On the third, National Watermelon Day. The fourth, Chocolate Chip Day, not to be eclipsed by Twins Day Festival.

The fifth is controversial because I saw it listed as National Waffle Day and National Mustard Day, so I suppose there is a second take on the Waffle Controversy.

The eighth is Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbors’ Porch Night. The ninth, Rice Pudding Day. The tenth, S’Mores Day. The twelfth is National Filet Mignon Day and the fourteenth is Creamsicle Day. Potato Day is on the nineteenth.

Not to be outdone by Sponge Cake Day on the twenty-third. August twenty-fourth features Peach Pie Day (again, not to be confused with Peach Cobbler Day in April). And August twenty-fifth is National Banana Split Day.

The twenty-sixth is Cherry Popsicle Day, not to be confused with S’Mores Day on August tenth. The grand finale of the month ends with National Toasted Marshmallow Day.

I never quite knew how observant and religious I apparently am!

LEST you think it is all shallow food themed holidays, you couldn’t be more mistaken. The bizzare August holidays run the whole gamut, and highlight substantive, content-filled holidays too.

Simultaneous with Air Conditioning Appreciation Week is National Clown Week. Here is a shout out to all you clowns who bring laughs and smiles to the down and out and sad. Oh yes, it is National Smile Week, too.

August begins with strong values, right on August first. It is American Family Day. It is also Respect For Parents Day. And Sports Day. The sixth is Wiggle Your Toes Day, and the eleventh is Play In The Sand Day. In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit I like those last two!

The twelfth is Middle Children’s Day, not to be outshined by International Left-Handers Day. Roller Coaster Day is on the sixteenth.

And conflating the secular and religious calendar of Elul, the twenty-fifth is Kiss and Make Up Day. A little early Yom Kippur there. You can get KAMUD cards online.

I think I left a few holidays out. Maybe it was Dog Day on the twenty-sixth, or something like that. Or Tell An Old Joke Day, oh yeah, that was in July, not August. I believe upcoming September is College Savings Month and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Month.

ALL this is clearly all a spoof and mocking of all the various American categories and attentions showered on every little thing, a commentary on all the serious Politically Correct care given to inconsequential things, not to mention the pampering society we live in. But you know it is always nice to have some fun and silliness.

It was sweet how this woman to my left, on the plane, was taking in all these holidays seriously, although I was kind of squirming in my seat trying to keep a straight face.

I think for now, I will stick to our one true and significant day in the calendar this month of Elul, and begin working on unlocking the holiness and preparations of this time before the days of awe.

Copyright © 2010 by the Intermountain Jewish News

Tehilla Goldberg

IJN columnist | View from Central Park

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