Today come two special days that are always on February 2nd: Groundhog Day (a U.S. holiday that most non-Americans find risible) and Candelmas (or the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple). Plus the event of the day in North American sport, the Super Bowl (#48, in East Rutherford NJ), which overwhelms much of American culture.

I have never watched a Super Bowl game, even for the commercials, and I’m not starting this year. In fact, my enthusiasm for American football, which was at best moderate, has declined precipitously as I learn more about the consequences of this brutal sport for its players.

There are a few linguistic angles to the day. There are sites reporting that the organizers have been threatening to sue people who use 48 in their postings or publicity, arguing that the number is their legally protected property. This offends me.

Then there are many on the net who have taken to referring to the day as Superb Owl Day (complete with owl photos or drawings), an orthographic recutting that tickles me. And it connects to recent stories of Snowy Owl sightings in remarkable (and lemming-poor) places, some very far from its usual Arctic haunts. (A beautiful bird, but capable of becoming a pest.)

Mostly there’s the question of what to do today. Play games or music or just socialize with other disaffectoids. Several cable television stations run “marathons” of old shows (one offers a marathon of zombies!). Or watch DVDs of movies or tv shows that suit your tastes; my usual choice is to go for comedy with a linguistic twist, of which there is an incredibly rich vein of material: Monty Python, the Marx Brothers, Richard Pryor, Stephen Fry, George Carlin, and much much more.

I welcome nominations of favorites. (I have a very large collection of DVDs.)


One Response to “Days”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    “Groundhog Day (a U.S. holiday that most non-Americans find risible…”

    Not just non-Americans.

    Our household avoided the Superb Owl by going to a contra dance and having a great time, but I confess that if our local team had been in it we would have had a hard choice.

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