What does it take to unleash your indignation? Eight years ago, a calendar and a couple of beers did it for me.
It came to my attention that some busybody proclaimed the second Monday in January as National Clean Off Your Desk Day. This impertinence provoked me to declare the following day, January 13, The International Day to Bite Me.
The busybody in question was one Anna Chase Moeller, daughter of Bill Chase, who co-founded the Chase's Calendar of Events in 1957. Rumour has it that Anna helped in the family business, and in so doing, shared a desk with her father. As is the case with pretty much all entrepreneurs, forward-thinkers, creative personalities, and productive people of every stripe, the desk was a mess. In a snit, Anna declared National Clean Off Your Desk Day to humiliate her father's habits. Once a year, Bill was forced to sacrifice a day of personal productivity to appease his daughter, who no doubt could have worked on the goddamn kitchen table if the sight of actual work upset her so goddamn much. Neat-freaks have used it to shame us normal people ever since.
In 2017, The International Day to Bite Me falls on a Friday. By coincidence, the first Friday the 13th of every year is National Blame Someone Else Day. (It's also National Rubber Duckie Day, but that's another story.)
On Friday, August 13 1982, a sleepy Michigan woman found that her alarm clock had failed to ring. This set off a cascade of lateness and bad luck that hounded her throughout the day. The National Blame Someone Else Day commemorates her string of excuses and apologies. In truth, it should be National Blame Fate Day, since the mechanical failure likely had no human source. Unless it was the woman herself who failed to set the alarm on August 12—in which case we should celebrate National Sorry, It's My Own Damned Fault Day.
Who was this unfortunate woman? None other than a certain Mrs Anna Chase Moeller.
Clearly, this amounts to an abuse of privilege. Anna's way to vent petty annoyances was to declare a day after them, because in the days before the internet, she was one of the few who could. Well, two can play at that game now, eh?
By the authority vested in me by Typepad blogging software, Deutschland über Elvis declares The International Day to Bite Me 2017 open for all. The ritual Flipping of the Bird will take place across Germany and the rest of the world, perhaps flipped all the harder because it might occur over Friday drinks.
Personally, I spread the message by keeping calm. On the International Day to Bite Me graphics page, you'll find an #ID2BM Keep Calm message, created on the official Keep Calm and Carry On Merchandise Store. I had it embroidered on a pillow, suitable for screaming into.