The Offbeat Almanac – February 2021

February 1 You remember that chocolate cake that you were supposed to make last week? Well today you can redeem yourself by celebrating Decorate With Candy Day! Hint: I like those red hot sugary candies the best!

February 2 Of course everyone knows that today is Groundhog Day, but did you know that it’s also Marmot Day? Admittedly groundhogs are actually in the Marmot genus, but you know how it is. Marmot always said there’d be days like this!

February 3 is known as The Day the Music Died. On this date in 1959, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and The Big Bopper died in a plane crash. Commemorate by pulling out some old LP’s and listening to “Peggy Sue”. If your response to this is “What’s an LP”, then allow me to refer you back to Curmudgeon Day.

February 4 is Stuffed Mushroom Day! I don’t like mushrooms, but I do like jokes, so in honor of this day, I’ll tell you my best mushroom joke. “Why was the mushroom stuffed? I don’t know, maybe he ate too much at the party! After all, he’s quite a fungi!” Thank you, I’ll be here all month.

February 5 is Weatherman’s Day! In honor of this day, and continuing the theme of Stuffed Mushroom Day, I give you my best weatherman joke. “Why did the weatherman bring a bar of soap to work? He was predicting showers!”

February 6 is Ice Cream for Breakfast Day! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating whatever you want whenever you want is the most important part of being an adult. Combine these two important elements, and celebrate by eating ice cream for breakfast!

February 7 is a great day to show someone you’re thinking of them with Send a Card to a Friend Day. They’ll really love you if you make it an empty black American Express card!

February 8 Go fly a kite! No, really, do it because today is Kite Flying Day! Just don’t tie a key to it and stand out in a rain storm. For one thing, it’s illegal. For another, Mythbusters tried it and demonstrated that it would kill you. You don’t want to be responsible for ruining a national holiday, do you?

February 9 is Extraterrestrial Culture Day. From Doctor Who and E.T. to Men in Black, celebrate by streaming some of your favorite extraterrestrial media. You never know, your neighbor could be an alien in hiding! Word on the street is several prominent politicians are lizard people. When you think about it, this would actually explain a lot!

February 10 is Plimsoll Day! What’s a plimsoll you ask? It’s basically a beach shoe made out of canvas with a rubber sole. A common example of a plimsoll is the famous Chuck Taylor All-Star Converse. Who knew something so cool had such a weird name? Fun fact: I’m wearing my Chucks as I write this column! Photographic proof available via Twitter.

February 11 We’ve all heard the expression “There’s no sense crying over spilled milk.” Today that expression comes to fruition with Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day! Honestly though, if I had a cookie and a heaping tall glass of chocolate milk, and the milk spilled, I think I would probably cry.

February 12 is Darwin Day which commemorates the birthday of Charles Darwin, author of On the Origin of Species. Celebrate this day, or I’ll be a monkey’s aunt. Hmm, that doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it?

February 13 Yes, of course today is Valentine’s Day Eve, but it’s also Get A Different Name Day. Perhaps you’ve just realized you forgot to make those dinner reservations for tomorrow. If so, today is an excellent opportunity to change your name! You can call me Stormageddon Dark Lord of All.

February 14 is a day for hearts, flowers, and sweethearts. It’s also a terrific opportunity to show you care in a different less conventional way. Today is Donor Day. Hospitals and blood banks are always in need of blood donors. Even if your blood type is negative, I’m positive your help is needed!

February 15 is Hippo Day! The Hippopotamus is an under appreciated animal. Hippos are the third largest land mammal, can run up to about 30 kilometers per hour, and are actually most closely related to whales and porpoises. You don’t want a hippopotamus for Christmas though – they take up way too much room. Besides, do you know how much a hippo eats? Actually not much – only about 11 kilograms a day.

February 16 is Innovation Day. Speaking of innovation, why don’t we have transporter beams yet? Celebrate Innovation Day by building a functional transporter beam. You’ll be filty rich and have my eternal gratitude!

February 17 reminds us all to be kind with Random Acts of Kindness Day. Shovel an elderly neighbor’s walk, pay someone a compliment, or even bake cookies for a friend or co-worker (or hard working columnist). In short, make the world a little better today by doing something kind.

February 18 is for all the wine lovers out there. Today is Drink Wine Day. Now most of us don’t need a special holiday to do this, but why not observe anyway? Invite friends over for supper and break out that more expensive bottle you’ve been saving for a special occasion. After all, it is the season.

February 19 is Chocolate Mint Day. For some reason the chocolate mint candies that restaurants often serve always seem fancy to me. Therefore, I think Chocolate Mint Day should be celebrated in style: wear a tuxedo while eating your favorite chocolate mint concoction. Trust me, it will be awesome!

February 20 Yes, Valentines Day is long over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep a little spice in your life. Today is Handcuff Day. On this day, I offer the following advice: fur lined is most comfortable, don’t close them too tight, and whatever you do, don’t lose the key. You don’t want to have to explain to your mother or best friend what happened, do you?

February 21 is Single Tasking Day. It’s a busy world out there, so take some time today to slow down and focus on only one thing at a time. Curl up on your couch with your favorite hot beverage, fire up Netflix and chill. Though I suppose technically that is sort of multi-tasking. Eh, I never was very good at this following instructions thing.

February 22 I don’t want to brag, but I think I might be the best at celebrating today’s holiday. It’s Be Humble Day! Observe this holiday by having a competition with your friends as to who can come up with the best way to celebrate. Or if you want to do something to benefit someone else, buy a Humble Bundle. All bundle proceeds go to charity.

February 23 is Curling is Cool Day. I know that most of you will think this is a big fat lie, and I admit on face value curling does look like a weird sport, but it actually has an interesting history. Curling can be traced back to the 1500’s in Scotland and in the mid 1800’s was demonstrated to Queen Victoria by the Earl of Mansfield. Curling is considered a sport of ettiquete. Opponents congratulate each other on good plays, and typically the winners by the losers a drink after.

February 24 is Inconvenience Yourself Day. I’m not entirely certain why you would go out of your way to celebrate today but, then again, doing so fulfills the obligation to observe. Take the slightly difficult road today. Hold a door open a little longer for the person who isn’t walking fast enough. Help a little old lady across the street. Get that item off the top shelf for a shorter spouse or roommate. Pretty soon it won’t seem so inconvenient after all.

February 25 encourages the young women in our lives with Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. I am not the most mathematically inclined person (a slight understatement), but even I recognize how cool it is to be an engineer. If you know a young woman who has a scientific and curious mind, introduce them to engineering. She might become the next Stephanie Louise Kwolek who discovered liquid crystalline polymers which are used to make Kevlar.

February 26 is Tell A Fairy Tale Day. Fairy tales are the backbone of literature, and you’re never too old for a good fairy tale. Celebrate today by making up your own fairy tale. Pick up a copy of Politically Correct Fairy Tales for a good laugh. No matter how you celebrate, I guarantee today will end Happily Ever After.

February 27 is World Sword Swallower’s Day. Granted, this holiday is a little hard to, well, swallow, but I am confident you can still celebrate. Find a sword swallowing show near you, or stream some sword swallowing videos online. Personally, I’m not convinced sword swallowing is all it’s cut out to be, so I recommend you leave it to the professionals.

February 28 is Tooth Fairy Day! Today we pay homage to the generous sprite that is known for leaving coins or other treats under our pillow. Since I presume we have all long passed the age when our teeth are likely to fall out, I suggest celebrating today by setting your next dental appointment. Not as much fun as treats or money under your pillow, but I have it on good authority that the tooth fairy goes by chronological rather than behavioral age!

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