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Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Laterally SpeakingFather's Day

Father’s Day

So that’s another Father’s Day come and gone. The only reason I know it happened is because I got a card from our dog. At least I think he wrote it, but his handwriting is somewhat similar to my wife’s. But that’s the only one. No card or tweet or What’s Ap from anyone else and—more particularly—nothing from my own children this year. Why does this happen? Do children get to a certain age (sort of 30/40-ish) when fathers somehow cease to exist? Or perhaps they’re too busy changing nappies and being parents themselves. Yes, I admit it. I’ve got a slight attack of grand-paternal neglect.

Of course, nobody ever forgets Mothers’ Day. If you do, that’s it—you’ll never be forgiven. It’s hugely central and all wrapped up with Mother Earth, Love, Warmth, the Family and Maternal Bosoms or something. Mothering Sunday is at the heart of every civilisation and has been celebrated for squillions of years, and rightly so. But in the current spirit of #MeToo and equal opportunities for both sexes, why is Father’s Day so relatively low key?

Naturally all such days are mostly commercial fictions of Clinton’s and the gift-wrap fraternity who have made a parcel of days in order to sell us more greeting cards. I haven’t checked recently but I assume you can easily buy cards for Cousins’ Day, Brother’s Day, Sister’s Day, Step Offspring’s Day as well as Groundhog Day (again and again of course). What about Cat Day? We already have Dog Days to mark the so-called hottest days of summer, so we surely need Family Pet Day (wagon wheel treats for your hamster and rum flavoured millet seed to make your budgie fall off its perch in a drunken stupor).

Hats off especially to the USA who already celebrate such delights as Patriot’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day (boundless Trumpeted patriotism and not just the movie) and Grandparent’s Day on September 8th (hurrah—well done!). Americans are world leaders when it comes to celebrating individual days. They’re entirely responsible for bringing us Halloween and even Thanksgiving. I know this is true because I was invited to a Thanksgiving party last year. In Bournemouth.

The more the merrier I say… we’re obviously way behind over here. Let’s have a different holiday one day each week in the UK to help keep our gift-wrap industry afloat. Here’s my personal lateral list of new UK holidays starting with…

County Day: fly the Dorset flag on Dorset Day and dance a little pirouette on Chesil Beach. Amazingly, I discover that this day already exists! It’s officially on June 1st—three days before the official Devon Day which is the feast day of Saint Petroc on June 4th. And Somerset Day is on May 11th. I don’t know about you, but I was not aware of these, so where’s all the publicity? How come we don’t celebrate all three days with great joy and feastings throughout the Southwest? If we were in the States, we’d have bunting and flags lining every avenue and all-day street parties. In the UK we only seem to do this when it’s a Royal Celebration or a Wedding.

Letter Day: we all know about D-Day, but what about the first three letters of the alphabet? I propose that ‘A Day’ (otherwise known as Hay Day) is a September party to take the place of Harvest Festival. Lots of other countries venerate the collection of fruits and crops from the fields. It’d be pretty easy to get sponsorship in these days of fashionable green fingers (garden centres, seed companies and organic foods) and we could all eat freshly picked green veg for lunch and nibble on home-spiralized carrots for supper. ‘A Day’ is also known as Bunny Rabbit Day.

The next letter day is easy… ‘B Day’ is clearly a day to celebrate bathrooms and loos and pipes and plumbers. Sponsorship comes from B&Q or Wickes. Make sure you’ve put the hot water on to all-day at home before the day starts.

‘C Day’: I thought about this but it’s pretty obvious really. The ‘C’ stands for vitamin C, so the day is marked by sucking oranges and lemons and attending anti-scurvy classes. Boring Marshwood Fact of the Day: Did you know that in addition to all citrus fruits, it’s broccoli and Brussels sprouts that contain the most vitamin C. This might go some way to explaining why children traditionally don’t like them.

Then, please don’t forget ‘Robin Day’: a day to write to the BBC complaining about the fall in broadcasting standards and media political bias and how ‘Disgusted’ doesn’t only live in Tunbridge Wells and why Hedgehogs should be better protected and how the Archers has completely lost the plot on Radio 4.

And I haven’t yet mentioned ‘Doris Day’: a day to celebrate the glories of old movies and reminisce about the times when singers could actually sing rather than be retuned electronically to be teeth shatteringly pitch perfect with automatic robot-like voices. Perfectly in tune, but perfectly inhuman.

That’s enough of a rant for today. And it all started with Father’s Day… My sons, I forgive you. But don’t anyone dare forget next year!

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