The Other Columbus: National Beer Float Light Cat Pin Zuke Day

Scott Woods
Heathcliff, Garfield and Gizmo are rescue kittens who are enjoying a holiday photo shoot with Vicki Hahn.

The pandemic has ruined every holiday for the last several months. Regardless of how you come down on specific observances, we should all be able to empathize with people who couldn’t see their mothers on Mother’s Day for fear of infecting them, or couldn’t get out to honor the fallen veterans in their lives on Memorial Day.

There is every likelihood we will lose Labor Day come September, as well, though I am sure the ritual of shedding your white outfits can still be managed in quarantine. The only holiday that was preserved during the spread of COVID-19 was the Fourth of July, which people everywhere celebrated for weeks before and after the designated date, much to the chagrin of pet owners everywhere.

I don’t celebrate many holidays, but I do note their capacity for community. Regardless of how you feel about the problematic histories of Thanksgiving or Christmas, most of their detractors still make their case from across a family dinner table. It is that part of the holidays that even a crank like me misses: the times when everything would stop and allow one to take stock of the people in their life under a theme or series of colorful explosives. And it’s not just families at stake; there is a warm pride that comes from participating in communal celebrations, in having something to rally behind as citizens. And since we can’t go to concerts, festivals and, depending on the week, bars, the sting of losing holiday rituals is real.

To this end, I propose a new holiday, one comprised of the random holidays occurring within a given time window. The idea is that participants celebrate all of the holidays in one day, giving oneself over to the caprice of self-control and the heady rush of safe-enough hedonism. Things are pretty dark these days, so how about we jump right in and use the holidays happening within the next few days.

Columbus, I give you: National Beer Float Light Cat Pin Zuke Day! (NBFLCPZD)

This amalgamation of six non-federally recognized holidays is to be celebrated on August 8, which falls on a Saturday this year. It all sounds very “extra,” but I assure you that you will be able to celebrate this holiday from home, given a day or two to gather the right ingredients.

Holiday source #1: National Root Beer Float Day (August 6)

A&W used to give away floats for this, but it is unknown at press time if this is still the case during the pandemic. But no bother: You’ll be celebrating this piece of NBFLCPZD in three minutes flat. Get the biggest cup you own, dump a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream inside, then pour on the fizz. I like mine with a little vanilla bean ice cream to get it that real, old-fashioned taste that used to come from safrole, but was canceled back in the 1960s because it gave people liver damage.

Activity: Make a root beer float.

Holiday source #2: International Beer Day (August 7)

If you live in Columbus, you need absolutely no assistance from me on how to celebrate this portion of the program.

Activity: Go Bucks.

Holiday source #3: National Lighthouse Day (August 7)

Being landlocked, this holiday doesn’t usually hit our radar when it rolls around every year. We’re missing out, as lighthouses are wondrous structures typically situated in beautiful locales. Don’t let that eye-rolling film with Willem Dafoe and Sparkly Vampire throw you off of lighthouses; there is something magical about them, something safe and beckoning for both seafarers and land-lovers alike. I don’t even get down with big boats and oceans like that because YOU KNOW. But I still love me a good lighthouse.

Activity: Visit, draw, paint or support a lighthouse financially through the American Lighthouse Foundation or a similar organization.

Holiday source #4: International Cat Day (August 8)

Few things are better than a cat who acts like they like you (save for every dog that has ever existed). If they were good enough to be worshipped by the Egyptians, they’re good enough for a holiday recognizing their fair-weather tendencies. Also, they make for the best memes.

Activity: get your cat a new toy or food. If you don’t live with a cat, share a few cat memes.

Holiday source #5: National Bowling Day (August 8)

Let’s be clear: It isnot safe to be out here putting your fingers in publicly accessible ball holes and rented shoes right now. Do not celebrate this by going to a bowling alley.

Activity: Make a bowling game out of something in the house. Use toilet paper rolls for pins and a baseball as your bowling ball. It’s basically what the ancient Egyptians used: a round rock covered in leather.

Holiday source #6: National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day (August 8)

I thought this one was bogus, but it turns out it’s a thing. With publicly transmitted diseases being what they are right now, I don’t advise actually doing this one this year, at least not in the traditional way. You shouldn’t be accepting random things on your porch. If you do, you should quarantine the item for at least 4 days. See how it’s not really worth it?

Activity: Eat a zucchini or zuck-infused dish on your porch or deck for all your neighbors to see.

This is something we could do as a a city from month to month for as long as the shutdown lasts. And before someone lifts my idea, the official hashtags are #NatBeerFloatLightCatPinZukeDay and #NBFLCPZD.