Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, the one holiday that is impossible to write about without using derogatory ethnic stereotypes.
So instead, I’ll tell you about some holidays you can celebrate next week without throwing up.
For instance, next week is National Button Week. Its organizers suggest you observe it by riding up and down in elevators and taking the time to finally figure out what the ECO button in your car does. Also, if you’ve been inclined to panic ever since Inauguration Day, this is the week to do it!
Wait! I’ve just been informed that those are the wrong kinds of buttons. You can also put your “I’m With Hillary” button back in the drawer.
However, while you’re rummaging through your closet tonight looking for something green to wear tomorrow that won’t make you look like a head of lettuce, you might want to grab an outfit that has buttons, because those are the kinds of buttons National Button Week is all about.
You may be wondering how many people could possibly want to celebrate National Button Week. Well, at least 3,000, to be sure. That’s how many folks are members of the National Button Society, which is a real thing with real people and, I’m guessing, real buttons.
The National Button Society (motto: “Buttons: The Best of All Best Fasteners”) asks this question of visitors to its website:
“Do you remember playing with your mother’s—or grandmother’s or great-grandmother’s—button box or jar or tin?”
Um, no I don’t. I don’t recall if my mother ever sewed anything, and the only thing I remember about my grandmother is that she would suck on Canada Mints all day until it looked like she was foaming at the mouth.
The NBS website intro continues:
“The impulse to collect is a basic part of the human psyche, and buttons have been admired and collected for centuries. Button collecting was recognized as an organized hobby through the founding of the National Button Society in 1938.”
Gee, I had no idea that hobbies had to be recognized like countries and dog breeds. That doesn’t bode well for my pastime: collecting unidentified wires and cables, many of which are from devices I haven’t used in over a decade, and some of which have connectors that don’t even look remotely familiar. One of them could be from an Apple Newton for all I know, although I never owned an Apple Newton. I have a drawer full of these wires and, sadly, we even took them with us when we moved six years ago.
But I digress.
The National Button Society has many suggestions for thrilling ways to enjoy National Button Week:
- Submit an article to your local newspaper about button collecting.
- Post a photo of your favorite button on your Facebook page and invite your friends to take a look.
- Twitter about your button activities.
- Invite a non-member to a club meeting.
There are two things we can learn from this list. First, button collecting seems to be exactly as exciting as you would think. And, second, the NBS seems hell-bent on spreading the button gospel and would like its members to go out unto the world and convert those who would worship zippers and snaps. I’m assuming here that it would also like to launch a campaign to discredit Velcro as the devil’s work.
Whoops. My apologies. I didn’t intend to spend so much time on National Button Week. Let’s quickly move on to some more of next week’s festivities.
For example, it’s also Brain Awareness Week, which seems like a natural, and possibly necessary, followup to St. Patrick’s Day. But if your reaction to Brain Awareness Week is “Huh?” you might want to look into National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week, during which you are invited to sample the vast array of inhalants and poisons available.
Ha ha. Only kidding. So please put down that nail polish remover. National Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week (NIPAW) was instituted by the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition to prevent inhalant abuse and save lives. According to the Alliance for Consumer Education, a child is 50% less likely to try an inhalant if an adult has spoken to them about the dangers of inhalant abuse. So be sure to speak to your child during NIPAW so that they will use crystal meth instead of stealing your spray paint.
If you really want to make a splash, you’ll be happy to know that next week is also Tsunami Awareness Week, although I have no idea why. I mean, the only way you wouldn’t be aware of a tsunami hitting your town is if you were busy celebrating National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week. I can’t imagine a scenario in which you’re hanging onto a lamppost for dear life as waves go rushing by and a neighbor surfs past yelling, “There’s a tsunami!” and you reply, “Really? I wasn’t aware.”
Finally, after you’ve consumed all that green beer and corned beef and cabbage, you’ll be wanting some nice, rich chocolate. Good thing it’s American Chocolate Week, created to “give chocolate lovers a chance to indulge in their favorite chocolate delicacies.” This is about as necessary as Tsunami Awareness Week, since the chocolate lovers I know don’t need an excuse to indulge.
Anyway, happy St. Patrick’s Day, be aware of your brain, and see you soon.