Nfld. & Labrador·Humour

If there's a day for everything, how about one for secondary embarrassment?

There's a day for everything, writes Edward Riche, from the sublime to the ridiculous. On the latter, he says, there's still a lot of room for more options.

They can be from the sublime to the ridiculous — and on the latter, there's room for more

You know the feeling: that sensation of embarrassment, just because something has happened in front of you. Edward Riche says we should lean into it, and make a holiday of it. (Shutterstock )

This satirical column is by Edward Riche, a St. John's writer.

There is a day for everything now, from the sublime — International Day of Peace on Sept. 21 — to the ridiculous, such as National Chicken Wing Day, which I celebrate every July 29.

There are more days than there are spaces for them on the calendar. (Canada Day is also International Joke Day.)

Still, there is yet more territory to be marked. I propose:

National Day of Inaction and Unawareness

You have so much to do. The girl in volleyball, the boy sort of half decent at the hockey you can't afford. Your best friend has been so emotionally needy since her divorce that she is calling you at least three times a day. The house is up to your ears. You keep having a recurring stress dream in which the flight you barely caught in order to travel to the exam for which you hadn't studied is for some reason now landing in Kabul.

It might well be true that for every action there is inaction, and thus a day to mark that lack of effort.

Climate emergency. Pandemic. Galloping wealth inequality. By changing yourself you can change the world.

But you're just too goddamn tired. The National Day of Inaction and Unawareness (formerly National There Aren't Enough Hours In The Day) asks citizens to take a day to do SFA. Spend The National Day of Inaction and Unawareness on the couch reading or, better, sitting on a rock staring at a pond. But for God's sake don't try to accomplish anything and most importantly don't worry about it. Recharge your batteries, in this shape you are no good to anyone. Return to virtuous pursuits tomorrow.

International Month of Idiocy

Formerly National Day of the Idiot.

National Day for Night

A day to reflect on how motion pictures have shaped us. After a century of experiencing the moving image, we have come to see ourselves as characters in a three-act film and television narrative (one now approved by the Communist Party of China). Television groomed us to be passive receivers of information, paving the way for our uncritical reception of unregulated information from the internet. With surveillance capitalism we have gone from watching the show to being watched by it. National Day for Night is to remember that it isn't like a scene in a movie, but that a scene in a movie is like it.

National Day of the Unknown

Heavily redacted documents might be the focus of a day to mark the National Day of the Unknown. (CBC)

National Day of Secondary Embarrassment

Dad telling that inappropriate joke again. The signaling T-shirt. The bridesmaids dresses. The name dropper. Your client who flunked high school biology explaining why mRna vaccines are dangerous.

The Toronto Maple Leafs. People chanting in an indigenous or Asian language of which they don't understand a word. The People's Party of Canada. City council. Buddy in the bike shorts. The manager from HQ on the mainland talking to the Newfoundlanders at the regional office like they are children.

These are all triggers for agonizing secondary embarrassment.

For fear of being deemed an -ist or a hater, the secondarily embarrassed of our time must keep their own counsel and suffer in silence. Once a year they do so … secretly, together.

National Day of Days

Too many grievances, too many causes to support and things to celebrate? One day a year to do it all. Dusk to dawn guilt and recrimination, heartfelt but ultimately symbolic statements of concern punctuated by rounds of festive gaiety. The grim midday march on the seat of government continues downtown where it transforms into a rollicking parade. A blanket apology is offered at 3 p.m. before general licence for incorrect thought is granted. A moment of silence is followed by a fireworks display.

International End of Days

This is, after all, the only planet we've got. (NASA via Getty Images)

Whether you believe the apocalypse is the sport of some sadistic deity or ecocide by our own hand, here is an international day to remember this majestic planet is our only ride.

We need it, but it will do just fine without us.

Conduct yourself accordingly.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


Edward Riche

Freelance contributor

Edward Riche writes for the page, stage and screen. He lives in St. John's.

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