Day 457: Beer, Boobs, Bands & Bongs – Happy April!

originally published April 1, 2013

It’s April 1, a day when I can proudly post my retirement from this 1000-day project, only to retract it in a smartly-placed “APRIL FOOLS” at the end of the article. But I won’t do that. I respect my audience too much. Also, pulling a prank on April Fools Day is like getting drunk on New Year’s Eve: it can be fun, but it’s entirely too expected and unoriginal. There is no crime greater than unoriginality.

Okay, that’s not true. But I enjoy ending paragraphs dramatically, and what’s more dramatic than a wildly inaccurate generalization? I’m already getting off-topic here. I’ll start over.

It’s April 1, and that means 29 more days of melty grossness in Edmonton. I’ve got a handful of April observances here that you might not be aware of. These are reasons to celebrate, because celebrating each day is the single most important thing you could ever do. (drama!)

If ever there was a reason to celebrate something, how about April 6th, also known as New Beer’s Eve? Eighty years ago, when authorities decided that the American public was suffering enough with the Great Depression, they decided to lift the moronic veil of Prohibition and allow the huddled masses to once again consume the sweet nectar of fermented things. That magnificent day of libation liberation was April 7, which meant the streets were lined with eager and thirsty crowds the night before, eagerly awaiting the grand midnight opening of the breweries and bars, which were no doubt excited to be settling for a  much slimmer profit margin than they’d earned in the black market of Prohibition.

This year marks 80 years of freedom to drink – certainly a milestone worth celebrating. Let’s raise a glass to FDR and thank him for obliterating that constitutional monstrosity.

At some point in late March or early April, the world unites in celebration of National Cleavage Day. Only two possible origin stories could exist for such a day – male horniness or corporate shillism. This day contains a bit of both. Wonderbra (or, in all fairness, some male Wonderbra executive) came up with the concept back in 2002. On the one hand, it’s a chance for women to be proud of their bodies and men to shamelessly gawk at them. On the other, it’s an opportunity for the Wonderbra people to show off how generous they are.

The company sponsors parties at bars and restaurants around South Africa – yes, this is a South African party, but I don’t see why the rest of the world shouldn’t adopt it – donating all proceeds to the Sunflower Fund, a non-profit NGO dedicated to help South Africans suffering with leukemia and other such illnesses. Sounds like a legit holiday to me.

Is it too early for the First Day Of Summer? Not in Iceland, where they still commemorate the Old Norse calendar, which is divided into two seasons. Under that system, the first day of summer falls on the first Thursday after April 18.

I don’t know much about Icelandic climate, but if it’s anything like Edmonton’s climate, this makes sense. Our spring and autumn are so abbreviated, they may as well not exist. We have shitty-snow-season and that period of about 5-6 months when it’s not wholly unpleasant to walk out the door without a coat.

The UN hasn’t needed to act as the military conscience of the world ever since the US decided its morality was the right and just one ten years ago. Instead they’ve turned their attention to other matters, like announcing International Jazz Day with Herbie Hancock last year. This April 30th celebration is meant to honor the musical form as a uniting force for “peace, unity, dialogue, and enhanced cooperation among people.” I can get behind that – music is a pure and primal means for strangers to work together to produce something great. And why not jazz? It’s hard to find a jazz song with a dark and angry message.

Hancock is technically a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. Add that to the list of trivia bits I’ve learned today.

When April 19 rolls around, you’d best prepare yourself for the deluge of marijuana posts that will pour into the Internet the next day. As I’ve mentioned before, ‘420’ became synchronous with pot intake thanks to a group of teenage stoners in San Raphael, California, who made it a regular plan to meet up at a local statue at 4:20pm to get high. Somehow – possibly thanks to the local Grateful Dead fans who carried the ‘420’ flag around the country with them – this spread to become an internationally-known thing.

So sure, if you want to light up and smoke something on April 20th, go for it. This annual observance is not likely to leave our culture anytime soon. Even when those ridiculous laws are lifted and we can all join Colorado and Washington in their wise journey of personal choice and responsibility, people will still claim 4/20 to be a day of blazing. Hell, we’ve still got New Beer’s Eve, don’t we?

Speaking of pot – and I should point out that April appears to be a month full of holidays devoted to beer, pot, boobs and music – the first annual Herb Cup takes place this year on April 20. Major League Soccer is still a hard-sell in North America, with Canadians maintaining their fixation on hockey and Americans enraptured with football, baseball or basketball above everything else. But soccer is the global sport of choice, and its popularity in this corner of the world is growing steadily.

So why not throw in a bit of a gimmick? When Major League Soccer announced their schedule for 2013, astute observers noted a meeting between the Seattle Sounders FC and the Colorado Rapids on April 20. As previously stated, Colorado and Washington are the two states where legalized recreational pot use became a reality last November. The media immediately leapt on this ‘coincidence’ and dubbed the event the Herb Cup, the Smoke-A-Bowl, the Cannabis Cup or the 420 Derby.

The game begins around 4:00 local time. That’ll give fans time to roll a few, I guess.

So happy April to everyone. Remember to keep the April Fools jokes light and devoid of cruelty, and stock up on the good things – April sounds like a damn fun month.

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