Monday, January 21, 2013

On Squirrels, Penguins, and Ravens

In all seriousness, today is commonly recognized as an important day of celebration. MLK, Jr. Day is a truly righteous holiday, allowing all Americans to consider the sacrifices that Dr. King made on behalf of equality for all people in this country. He is a true American hero, and he deserves the recognition that he receives, now and forever.

However, this voice in the wilderness is not prone to staying serious for too long, so let’s move on to matters less important, but far more open to ridicule. Today is a confluence of three wonderful things for us here at Central Standard. The first is a warm up for an even more momentous day next month, the second allows me to really put my true personality on display, and the third is something that makes me prouder than I have any real right to be.

First, today is Squirrel Appreciation Day. Many of you already know of my love for Groundhog Day (my favorite minor holiday), so I was pleased to discover that today was set aside for a more diminutive rodent relative of the whistle pig. Not only am I pleased to have a day to acknowledge all of the diligent hard work of squirrels everywhere, burying acorns, nesting in people’s attics, and destroying more bird feeders than any other non-bird yard animal known to man, but I am happy to have this day as a stand in for yesterday’s Penguin Appreciation Day, which, sadly, I neglected to recognize in due time. (A sorrowful tip of the pen to all of my penguin friends out there.) As a result, all of squirreldom receives all of my love today.  And, they shall receive it in a most excellent way, since today is also, National Hugging Day.

There is nothing like a good hug, is there? One thing that makes me the happiest is to hug someone. As a matter of fact, I have been known to hug complete strangers while walking down the street. It is just hard not to show your love for your fellow man when all it takes is to wrap the two arms you probably have around the torso that another person probably has. Needless to say, hugs become more complicated when approaching someone without a torso, but a dedicated hugger can usually accomplish a decent enough hug with nothing more than a neck or a leg to grapple with. And, of course, non-torso situation really do not come up that often.

So, today brings together two celebrations that certainly can be recognized jointly. I charge you all with going out today and hugging a squirrel!  And, while you are at it, give thanks that today is not Bear Appreciation Day, Mountain Lion Appreciation Day, nor Shark Appreciation Day.

Oh, yeah, and that third thing? How excited I was yesterday watching a collection of men whom I have no actual connection to, pound another collection of men I have no connection to into the turf of Gillette Stadium.  I know that it is irrational to feel pride that a team with a certain uniform wins a game. After all, what role did I have in the accomplishment? None. But, it would take someone with a better psychological mind to explain why so many of us feel the connection that we do to certain sports teams, and, in the long run, I don’t care. I am an unapologetic Ravens fan. I was there for their first game, and I have rooted them on no matter where I happen to live.  So, I say without shame that I did a little dance last night when the whistle blew, and the scoreboard read Baltimore 28, New England 13. Go Ravens! We’ll see you on February 3 in New Orleans. 

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