Today is National Read This Day

Morning team, well we’re rolling down the hill at speed towards the end of the year. And Yeee-fucking-haaa for that.

All the work Xmas parties are done and dusted, and I can almost taste the holidays.

Here’s the second last column for the year. And this weekend I had two columns in Sunday Times, so tomorrow i’ll post the other one. Which is about what you should call yourself if you’re going to write mommy porn. Or in fact, any kind of porn.

Hope you enjoy.



Earlier this year, friends invited me over to their house to celebrate Earth Hour. It’s an annual event aimed at getting people around the globe to shut off their power for one hour to remind us to be a little more mindful and take action to save the planet, in whatever way we can.

My friends live on a hill with a spectacular view of the city, so we had a couple of drinks by candlelight and some cold snacks, and then at the appointed hour we headed out onto their rooftop balcony to watch as all the lights in the city went out.

In a scene reminiscent of New Year’s Eve we held up our drinks and counted down from ten, five… four… three… two… one… and… nothing happened. We grumbled at the sorry state of the community and how lax Capetonians are, and how ashamed the neighbours should be. We could see the blue lights of their big-screen plasma TVs bouncing off their windows from where we stood. We double-checked our watches and shouted out loudly from our rooftop, ‘turn off your lights’ and ‘happy Earth Hour’. But still, not a single light went out. We were the only ones in the dark. In more ways than one. It turns out we got the day wrong, Earth Hour wasn’t till the following month.

But in our own defence, there are so many awareness hours, days, weeks and months in the calendar these days, it’s hardly surprising we got our dates confused. January alone hosts at least twenty five different days around the world. In fact, almost every day has a day.

There’s Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day and Global Belly Laugh Day, and let’s not forget National Dress Up Your Pet Day, shoved in there between National Braille Week, and World Leprosy Day. Even handwriting, popcorn and Winnie the Pooh get their own days in January.

Many of these days are set up by governments or major corporations to commemorate some kind of cause or further awareness. Their aim is to impart important health information and medical research, and inspire the public to find out more, or go get tested, like World Cancer Day which is in February and Aids Awareness Day, which is on the 1st December every year. But some of these other days must just be for a laugh, like Talk Like a Pirate Day, which occurs in September, or (or rather Arrr) National Alcohol Awareness week, which pops up in November in the UK every year. I’m not sure why we need that. Let me tell you, by the time November rolls around I’m well aware of alcohol.

Cleavage day is sometime in March or April, much to every heterosexual South African man’s delight. They haven’t announced a Penis Day yet, but I assume in the interest of fair play it’s still coming. Until then ladies, the next best thing is surely National Chocolate Week which pops up in October.

June also has some days worth mentioning, with International Surfing Day, Jam Week (UK), National Flip Flop Day (USA), National Tampon Alert Day (UK), World Juggling Day and Wrong Trouser Day (UK).

There’s even a World Alzheimer’s Month, but I forget when it is.
Are there any days left? Soon we’re going to have to have a National No Days Left Day.

I’m all for these days, but I do get a small uncomfortable niggle when I read that in September International Meningitis Awareness Week, and World Suicide Prevention Day are both shoved in between International Bacon Day and National Cupcake Week (UK). Do all the mad days minimise the importance of the serious days? Perhaps. Initiatives like Breast Cancer Awareness Month and World Diabetes Day save thousands of lives every year by raising awareness and encouraging people to get tested to ensure early detection of these terrible diseases. So should we consider lumping all the serious days together, or do the fun days help lift the mood a bit?

I’m not sure I want to live in a world that doesn’t have a Think About Sex Day in January, an International Pillow Fight Day, National Stationary Week, and National Stop Snoring Week in April, and an official Day of the Ninja in December.

One response to “Today is National Read This Day”

  1. Colin Plen says:

    a few years ago we were in Perth for their ‘switch off the lights’ night and it was awesome. We were at the river bank with 1000000 other people ( and we did not see or hear of any robberies or rapes or murders) and we all watched in awe as the lights came back on. Magic.

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