There’s a holiday coming up this Saturday. It’s one that might not be on your calendar, but it should be. It’s been on mine for months, and I’m really looking forward to it.
If you only know about the standard “official” holidays — Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. — it might surprise you to realize that there are now holidays for almost anything you can think of, and some things that you almost definitely can’t.
For example, you may not know that we just marked Talk Like a Pirate Day on Sept. 19. If ye missed it, fear not, me hearty. Ye’ll not be hung from the yardarm for such a petty first-time offense. But mark me words — ye’ll be shark bait if ye fail to weigh the anchor and hoist the mizzen again! Arrrrgh!
Pirate talk isn’t for everyone, but we all love a picnic, amirite? Unfortunately, International Picnic Day is held on June 18. It rained here on June 18. How do I know? Because it always rains here on June 18. Every single June 18 in Southwest Florida is a rainy day, unless we’re in the middle of a drought, in which case we’re in a foul mood and don’t feel like a picnic. I suggest we rebel and move Florida Picnic Day to something more appropriate, perhaps in late March.
Halloween is coming up. You can tell because every supermarket is trying to offload thousands of pounds of candy. I still think the dentists and the sugar lobby are in cahoots over this one. If you want to skip out on the whole deal, try an alternative celebration: Oct. 31 is also Increase Your Psychic Powers Day. While this is just as ridiculous as dressing like a sexy lumberjack, at least your teeth won’t rot out. (And if you’re wondering how I knew what your costume was going to be … well, just call me Miss Cleo.)
Apparently taking dates from other holidays is no problem when you’re making up new ones. For most of us, Dec. 25 is Christmas — always has been, always will be. But now, thanks to the good folks at Libby’s, it’s also National Pumpkin Pie Day. Did you know commercial pie pumpkins are more akin to butternut squashes than to the familiar jack-o-lantern punkins? You can call them squash pies and it’s just as accurate. Mmmm … squash pie.
My favorite made-up holiday doesn’t have a fixed date. Instead, it’s celebrated on the first Friday the 13th of each year. That’s when we mark Blame Someone Else Day, and what a glorious day it is. No matter what boneheaded moron thing you do on that day, it’s not your fault — you get to blame someone else. Of course, someone else might blame you for the boneheaded moron thing they did, so get your alibis in order ahead of time.
Some other great holidays you might want to be aware of include Festival of Sleep Day (Jan. 3), Peanut Butter Lover’s Day (March 1), National Step in a Puddle Day (Jan. 11), National Dress Up Your Pet Day (Jan. 14), National Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day (Feb. 11), National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day (Nov. 15), Humiliation Day (Jan. 4) and National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day (Jan. 22).
These all sound like fun, but not one holds a candle to what’s coming up Sept. 28. The fourth Saturday in September is National Hunting and Fishing Day. I borrowed this information from their website:
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Officials announced recently that country music superstars Luke Bryan and Chris Janson will serve as honorary co-chairs for the 48th annual celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day. Recognized on the fourth Saturday of every September, National Hunting and Fishing Day serves as a reminder to the American public that wildlife and wild places exist today thanks to the ongoing leadership and funding from hunters, anglers, and shooters.
Together, more than 34 million outdoorsmen and women keep the unique American conservation system strong by raising $100,000 every 30 minutes through self-imposed fees and excise taxes. This groundbreaking model of conservation funding is recognized as the foundation that allows every American access to abundant wildlife and wild places to enjoy.
National Hunting and Fishing Day was formalized by Congress in 1971 to convey the message that conservation in America succeeds because of hunters and anglers. In 1972, Richard Nixon signed the first ever Presidential proclamation of National Hunting and Fishing Day, writing, “I urge all citizens to join with outdoor sportsmen in the wise use of our natural resources and in insuring their proper management for the benefit of future generations.”
National Hunting and Fishing Day is made possible through the sponsorship and generous support of the conservation organizations Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Izaak Walton League, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Wonders of Wildlife. For additional information about this year’s festivities or to get involved, visit NHFDay.org.
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So, how do you celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day? Duh: Go fishing or hunting. But don’t go alone. Take someone along with you — preferably someone who hasn’t had the opportunity to go in a while, or even a first-timer. Love of the outdoors is something that needs to be passed on. Once people experience it, many grow to enjoy it, and they’ll help us protect it for the future.
Sept. 28 is also Good Neighbor Day and Ask a Stupid Question Day. So be a good neighbor and go ask a not-so-stupid question: Would you like to go fishing with me?
Contact Capt. Josh Olive at 941-276-9657 or Publisher@WaterLineWeekly.com.