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Blubaugh: These days, everything has a day — or a week, or a month

Given that I couldn’t begin to write as authoritatively about Memorial Day as Commissioner Ed Rothstein, a retired colonel who contributed an Other Voices piece on the topic, or write anything approaching the power of the letter home written by a local soldier in Vietnam recounted by Mary Ashcraft in her Carroll Yesteryears column, I won’t even try.

Suffice it to say, it’s absolutely imperative that we devote a day each year to honor those who died fighting for us. There are a number of other “days,” however, that I’m not sure we really need.

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I’m not talking about religious holidays or national holidays or even greeting-card holidays like Valentine’s Day. These days, everybody and everything has a “day.” Or a week. Or a month.

For example, there are 73 “holidays” in May, according to nationaltoday.com. Everyone knows about Mother’s Day and Memorial Day and many are even familiar with Star Wars Day (May the Fourth), and Cinco de Mayo (May 5). But did you know May 3 was National Paranormal Day? And May 5 was National Hoagie Day?

May 6 was International No Diet Day and I did my part to honor that day without even knowing it. May 10 was National Clean Your Room Day. As usual, my kids chose not to celebrate that one.

May 12 was National Limerick Day. There once was a woman from Hampstead, who … oh never mind. Missed it by two weeks.

Foods really do well with these “holidays.” For instance, in the span of just one week this month, we had International Hummus Day (May 13), National Apple Pie Day (May 13), National Fruit Cocktail Day (May 13), National Buttermilk Biscuit Day (May 14), National Chocolate Chip Day (May 15), National Pizza Day (May 17) and National Devil’s Food Cake Day (May 19).

Incidentally, May 19 was also National Endangered Species Day, appropriate because if we all spent that week eating those foods to celebrate, our days would be numbered.

May 20 was National Be A Millionaire Day. I tried to participate in that one but no one would take my $1,000,000 check. May 24 was National Brother’s Day. I didn’t get a card.

While I missed National Moscato Day on May 9, I’m writing this on May 25, which through my research I’ve ascertained just happens to be National Wine Day. So, while you, the reader, might see no value in this column, becoming aware of such an important day makes it all worthwhile to me.

In our newsroom, we talk relatively often about these made-up “day/week/months” and even use them as news pegs — excuses to write about a topic. The medical field, in particular, increases awareness this way. For example, May is Arthritis Awareness Month, Celiac Disease Awareness Month, Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month, National Blood Pressure Month — it’s also National Hamburger Month, coincidence? — National Lyme Disease Awareness Month and Food Allergy Action Month. Trying to raise awareness is important, but with so many, at what point does it just become noise?

Lest you think May’s 73 holidays are a lot, only July, with 71, has fewer. October is the undisputed champion, packing 179 into its 31 days. I’m already looking forward to Oct. 4. It’s National Golf Lover’s Day, National Taco Day and National Vodka Day. It’s also World Smile Day. How could anyone play golf, eat tacos and partake in vodka and not smile?

OK, so we all know these days, weeks and months are started with the best of intentions and can have tremendous benefits. We also know, for the most part, they are ridiculous, but we put up with and even celebrate them. I certainly have. Until a few weeks ago, when I realized I just can’t do it any longer.

That epiphany came right around the time I received a press release proclaiming May 6 as “Read Your Farmers’ Almanac In The Bathroom Day.”

It touted the fact that the bathroom is the No. 1 place to read the almanac. I would’ve thought No. 2, but I digress. According to a reader survey, nearly half of the respondents indicated that of all the rooms in the house, the bathroom is where their copy resides. And it always has.

“Starting with the first edition back in 1818, readers would nail holes into the corners of the publication to hang it in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper when in a bind),” according to the release. “In 1919, the Almanac’s publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy. While plumbing has primarily moved indoors, the hole is so iconic that it is a part of every edition to this day.”

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Seriously, we need a day for this? Any of this?

On the other hand, you had no idea why the “Farmers’ Almanac” has a hole in it and now you do. Wouldn’t it be great if this was National You Learned Something From Your Newspaper Day?

Alas, I know what you’re doing with your newspaper today — as you do every May 26 — in celebration of National Paper Airplane Day.

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