Tim Istock: Today Is National Humor Columnist Day

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2023

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By Tim Istock
For the Clemmons Courier

I made that up.

Not that it would surprise if there were actually such a day, what with all of the ever-expanding and seemingly never-ending glut of local, state, national and international commemorative days, weekly observances, awareness months, and federal holidays jockeying for calendar space.

Case in point, as I sit here writing this column, and in no particular order of importance, it is, The Year of the Rabbit, National Baked Bean Month, Nude Recreation Week, and, last but not least, World Snake Day. 

Now, before moving on, allow me to pause on that last one for just a moment. The following is a brief description of World Snake Day that I’m guessing is intended to pique your interest in the fork-tongued serpents:

“World Snake Day on July 16 urges increased awareness of the wide variety of species around the world. With around 3,500 species, finding a snake that fascinates you or that was unknown to you previously won’t be difficult.”

 Ok, so let me just say a few things about that. First of all, I can absolutely positively guarantee you beyond any reasonable doubt that this columnist will not be trying to find any of the 3500 species of “fascinating” snakes slithering around out there in the world, unknown to me or not. As a matter of fact, to my way of thinking, the more unknown they are to me – and remain – the better. Moreover, it is my sincere hope that finding any of the creepy crawlers proves not only to be extremely difficult but darned near impossible.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled rant regarding commemoration overload, already in progress.

Given that in our current attention-seeking culture, just about anything is now deemed worthy of special recognition, I’ve decided to put together my own list of special observances.


2024 – The Year Of The Pufferfish 

Whereas people born in 2023 – the year of the Rabbit – are believed to be vigilant, witty, quick-minded, and ingenious, people born in the year of the Pufferfish will more than likely be prickly, possess an overinflated sense of themselves, be potentially toxic and generally speaking, have a strong tendency towards being big-time blowhards (humor columnists being the exception, of course).


July – National Adopt A Carbohydrate Month 

Oh, the poor, lowly carbohydrates, or simply carbs, as they’re disdainfully referred to by those who tirelessly hunt down the vile, despicable nutrients in hopes of extinguishing any and all traces of them from their diet, if not the planet. Surely carbs are this generation’s designated food villain, much like cholesterol was in my generation, and quite frankly, I kinda feel sorry for them. I mean, all they want to do is spread a little sweetness and joy – and yes, maybe a few waistlines in the process – in a world increasingly dominated by anger, division, and woe. So go ahead, treat yourself to a donut – or three – before some meddling bureaucrat decides to render this endangered species permanently extinct, and we all end up blowing out birthday candles on a keto-inspired avocado and bacon fat bomb.


July 18-25: National Take A Goose To Work Week

 Hey, I’m serious, whatever it takes to get these honking, cantankerous, pooping machines out of our lawns and off of the streets in my neighborhood. On second thought, take two.


July 20 – National Day of Observing Absolutely Nothing.

Ahh yes, kick back and enjoy the time off from having to act like you genuinely care about some lame, contrived commemoration or celebration that deep down you really have zero interest in (National Humor Columnist Day excepted, of course).

After all, you may need the extra rest, as National Zookeeper Week is coming up, and you may find yourself choosing to volunteer a portion of your time and energy in helping to clean out a few rhino stalls or possibly bottle feed a baby orangutang at your local zoo.

 Oh, and since you’re heading that way anyway, do you mind taking a few more geese with you? Thanks.