Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

A day to celebrate our fair city

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(Note to Readers: Want to win a (bad word) prize? Then read to the bottom of today's (bad word) column and enter the (bad word) contest. You're welcome.)

Every day has its day.

After spending several valuable minutes researching this topic on the Internet, I can safely report it is all but impossible to find a single day on the calendar that has NOT been set aside to celebrate or commemorate some inane theme, concept, historical event, mindless activity, product, service or Hallmark card-style sentiment.

For instance, off the top of your head, do you know what is special about today, July 26, other than the fact it is the 207th day of the year (208 in leap years) and the anniversary of the moment in 1533 when Atahualpa, the 13th and last emperor of the Incas, died by strangulation at the hands of Francisco Pizarro's Spanish conquistadors, marking the end of 300 years of Inca civilization?

Well, do you? (I'll play the Jeopardy theme while you think: "Do do do do do do do ... do do do do doot do do do do do!") Give up? Of course you do. Well, along with being Friday, today is also National All or Nothing Day.

You are probably wondering why today is National All or Nothing Day. The truth is, no one has a (bad word) clue how this day got started, which is pretty much the story for most of the oddball special days on the calendar.

What should you do today? The website Punchbowl says: "All or Nothing Day is a time to take risks and live on the edge. Live like today is your last day on Earth and let your inner daredevil shine. Be sure to make peace with your enemies, spend time with your loved ones, and do something you've always wanted to do. Try something new, seek adventure, and give this day all you've got."

In other words, go for broke. After all, what's the worst that could happen? Well, for starters, you could end up as flat as a pancake after your parachute fails to open, or get slapped in your risk-taking face when you confess your love for someone who finds you as appealing as milk that is way past its best-before date.

So, all things considered, this idea doesn't deserve its own day. If you don't want to take your life in your own quivering hands, you could safely celebrate the fact today is also National Coffee Milkshake Day, National Aunt and Uncle Day and (this is a particular favourite) National System Administrator Appreciation Day.

The point I am making is that nothing -- and I mean NOTHING -- is so lame or trivial that it does not merit its own slot on the calendar, which it likely will share with other equally stupid special days.

Not that there aren't a few days worth marking, such as July 14 (National Nude Day, wherein people no one would ever want to see naked exercise their right to do things without their clothes on); July 15 (National Cow Appreciation Day, wherein cow owners share their feelings with their bovine companions); July 23 (National Hotdog Day, on which we tip our caps to the world's most totally tubular food); and July 28 (National Lasagna Day, which needs no explanation).

The calendar is jam-packed with these wacky days, most of which I recommend you forget, especially July 2, which (go ahead and look this up) is National I Forgot Day, definitely not a day to remember.

So what I am proposing today -- which is also the birthday of Bert, the short-fused, straightlaced, pigeon-and-bottle-cap-loving roommate of Ernie on Sesame Street -- is that we put our heads together and create our very own special Winnipeg-centric day.

Which is why I'm announcing Doug's Make Up A Day and Win a Swell Prize Contest, in which you, the readers, get a chance to win prizes in exchange for suggesting a day on which Winnipeggers can pay homage to themselves, something like:

1) It's A Dry Cold Day -- A day to honour the most traditional of all Winnipeg greetings;

2) Mosquito Appreciation Day -- When we pay tribute to what might as well be our provincial bird;

3) We Don't Pay Retail Day -- A wholesale celebration of the legendary fiscal spirit of the Winnipeg consumer;

4) At Least We're Not Toronto Day -- Ditto Regina.

5) Wait Until Next Year Day -- A day for local sports fans to reassure each other the Bombers and the Jets have a legitimate shot at the Cup... next year.

I think you get the idea, so (along with your contact information) email me (a) the name of your special day; and (b) what Winnipeg thing or quality it will celebrate. I'll pick the three I like best and award the winners prizes such as concert tickets (I have two for Paul McCartney to give away) and Free Press books.

Whatever you come up with, it will be a great day, unless it's held on July 2, in which case, I've forgotten it already.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 26, 2013 A2

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