Today is Hop When Someone Says “Rhubarb” Day and I hope your celebrations are progressing well. Perhaps you have not heard of this more obscure holiday?
When I was in high school my best friend Mike Young (Now R. Michael Young PhD) was given a calendar with lots of white space. Anyone who knew Mike and his creativity would know that this was a particularly bad idea. Mike started making up his own holidays. My birthday that year, coincidentally I am assured, fell in the middle of Take a Fool to Lunch Week and right on Take a Tall Fool to Lunch Day. I would have protested loudly… if not for the promise of a free lunch.
So far as I know Hop When Someone Says “Rhubarb” Day is only celebrated in the United States and Finland and is celebrated, it would be fair to say, by a relatively small group of people. When I was in high school we had a Finish exchange student who taught us that the Finish word for rhubarb is “raparperi” and who introduce her native country to the holiday.
I highly encourage recognizing this holiday. My wife’s day started badly this morning with our (niece’s) barking dog waking her early. She is not normally a morning person and waking up when it is still dark can ruin her whole day. But I promise you there is nothing like an unexpected hop to put your day back on course.
Many years after high school I was in Tanzania and I was walking with an American who was particularly proud of his Finish heritage.
“There is one vegetable that Finland gave to the world. Does anyone know what that vegetable is?”
No. It couldn’t be. That would be just too perfect. But I took a chance and not only correctly guessed the veggie but answered the astonished man in the only word of Finish that I speak.
The only thing that would have made that story better would be if I could tell you that the date was August 17, but it was not. But I did at least learn that every useless fact eventually comes in handy.