It is a sign of America’s greatness that we celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Exactly why that is a sign of greatness, I am not sure, but I have no doubt that it is.
According to a Web posting that bills itself as The Original Talk Like a Pirate Day Site, this event, begun in 2002, is officially celebrated on Sept. 19. But this year’s first known celebration occurred on Sept. 12 in Tasmania, and other commemorations have been scheduled well into October.
In some corners, it is recognized as International Talk Like a Pirate Day, another great American idea that has taken root around the world.
On Talk Like a Pirate Day this year, Calvin, our 6-year-old grandson, scored a dozen glazed doughnuts by dressing as a pirate on TLAPD and presenting his awesome visage at a Krispy Kreme shop, one of the few American enterprises that gives words like aargh and avast the respect they deserve on this special day.
Why we landlubbers celebrate pirates, or at least talking like pirates, in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, is uncertain.
I give at least partial credit to the fact that before the Glazers favored Tampa with their presence and started the new and improved ... well, at least the new ... Tampa Bay Bucs, their cheerleaders were known as SwashBucklers, and gave performances that were consistently inspiring, something the Bucs franchise badly needed on the field.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders, as they were imaginatively renamed, still put on a pretty good sideline show, but I long for the SwashBucklers of yesteryear.
But today’s epistle is about ladybugs, not pirates. Regular readers (patient folks that you are) have experienced these sudden shifts in direction before.
Just as America has a Talk Like a Pirate Day, we also have a Ladybug Day.
It will be celebrated, by those fortunate few who are aware of its existence, tomorrow, on Oct. 11, 2012, or, to Ladybugians throughout the land, on 10/11/12.
It is that arrangement of numerals that defines Ladybug Day, and they only roll around four times every century.
The next one will be on Jan. 2, 2103, or 1/2/3. And thereafter on 4/5/6, on 7/8/9, and on 10/11/12.
If you are blessed with just a touch of obsessive compulsive disorder (and I heard a judge on one of the TV crime shows observe the other night, “Aren’t we all?”) you
can appreciate such numerical alignments. (My friend Mary’s birthday is Dec. 12, and will be observed this year on 12/12/12. Unless I forget to observe it.)
Ron Gordon of Redwood City, Calif., who apparently has too much time on his hands, watches for date configurations like this, and emails cleverly illustrated cartoons drawing attention to them.
This year, he is conducting a contest for the cleverest celebratory concepts linked to Ladybug Day, an assortment which he suggests could include drawings, paintings, poems, essays, stories, picnics, “or just bug a special friend.”
Prizes — cash awards totaling $1,011.12 — will be awarded to the 10+11+12 winning entries, which I think comes to $30.64 apiece.
For details, you can Google Ladybug Day 2012 Ron Gordon, where you can read not only about Ladybug Day, but about such other Ron Gordon datebook anomalies as Odd Day (the last one on 7/9/11, next appearing on 9/11/13) and Square Root Day (coming next on 4/4/16).
(S. L. Frisbie is retired. Actually, there is little chance that he will forget Mary’s birthday. Hasn’t happened in their first 49 years of marriage, and he’s not expecting to let it happen in the second 49, either.)