by Kim Pederson…….
The other night at Full Metal Trivia at Mary Ellen’s, several of the questions were about Festivus, including on what date does Festivus occur? We didn’t know the date, or any of the other answers for that matter. As it turns out, Festivus is today, December 23. The holiday, or perhaps anti-holiday is a better term, is a secular one created by the father of a Seinfeld writer as “an alternative to the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season.” If you celebrate Festivus, today you will be having a Festivus dinner after gathering around the Festivus pole (an unadorned aluminum rod), airing grievances, performing feats of strength, and discussing Festivus “miracles,” that is, easily explainable events. (If you need a detailed illustration of Festivus, watch “The Strike” episode of Seinfeld.)
You might not be surprised to learn that the idea of making up holidays appeals to me and this seems to be the perfect opportunity for me to combine it with my own favorite practice of making up words. In the spirit of something or other, all my made-up words/holidays will rhyme (sort of) with “Festivus.”
- Sleptivus – This day marks the celebration of sleeping in and is observed by, well, sleeping in. Doing this properly means not getting up before noon. Sleptivus occurs on the Friday before the spring vernal equinox, which just happens to coincide coincidentally with World Sleep Day. Sleptivus also adapts the slogan from WSD, which in 2018 will be “Join the Sleep World, Preserve Your Rhythms to Enjoy life.” The Sleptivus version of this is “Conk Out to Conch In.” (Note that the infinitive “to conch” is the KWestSpeak equivalent of “chill out.”)
- Kleptivus – This day marks a day of remembrance and contrition for walking out of a retail establishment and discovering there is something in your pocket (or stuffed down your pants) that you somehow neglected to buy. To atone for this mistake, on Kleptivus, those guilty of this sin of omission visit a retail establishment, select and pay for an item, and then return the item to the shelf or rack and leave the store without it. (Data show that on this day, most stores experience “expandage” instead of “shrinkage.” Researchers have not a clue yet as to why this happens since Kleptivus, for reasons you might understand, is not an advertised or promoted holiday.) Kleptivus is celebrated on November 16, the date in 1861 on which The Lancet published its signature article “Kleptomania.”
- Bingetivus – This holiday takes place on August 29, the day in 1997 when Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph founded Netflix. As you might surmise, from 12:00:01 a.m. on August 29 to 12:00:00 a.m. on August 30, Bingetivants stream the programming of their choice without pause except for the occasional bathroom break and trips to the kitchen to replenish drinks and junk food. Also, as you might surmise, stimulants are popular on this day—ranging from coffee to Red Bull to, in extreme cases and usually in the waning stages of bingewatching, mild electric shock.
- Skeptivus – This day celebrates the expression of skepticism—better known as the belief that any true knowledge is impossible or that all knowledge is uncertain. Skeptivants proclaim and avow their doubt or incredulity regarding pretty much everything. To support this claim, they recommend that anti-skeptics apply “The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich” to anything and everything and view the results. Skeptivus occurs quotidianly, that is, for Skeptivants, every day is Skeptivus. They do double-down in their skeptivusing, however, on December 21, the day of demise, although some have yet to be convinced of this, for Doubting Thomas.
By now you’re likely thinking or more likely shouting at the screen, “Enough already!” which translates to “please stop now before I become violent.” I empathize completely, so much so that I will declare this day, indeed this moment, to be Enoughtivus, the official holiday for those who can’t take it anymore. The “it” can be anything of your choosing, and how you celebrate this holiday is up to you. I suggest, however, that since it is also Festivus today and you might be airing your grievances anyway, why not go that route?
Visit Kim Pederson’s blog RatBlurt: Mostly Random Short-Attention-Span Musings.