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Front Porch: Let’s toast everything this month

Today is World Rat Day. No really.

Oh sure, we know about Earth Day and Arbor Day this month, not to mention the just concluded April Fool’s Day. Those are among the biggies in April, but there are a host of other days and periods of celebration that are not nearly so well known.

And in truth, these others may not be quite as official, but nevertheless, there exists any number of lesser noted days of observance, no matter how dubious or self-serving the origin, that are held dear by – well, someone.

And so we have, among others, World Rat Day, a day founded in 2002 “to recognize the fancy rat as a wonderful pet and companion animal for people of all ages.” Apparently there are parties and greeting cards for the occasion.

This is fun.

We just missed National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day (April 2), not to be confused with National Peanut Day (Sept. 13) or National Peanut Butter Lovers Day (March 8) or National Peanut Butter Fudge Day (Nov. 20) or even National Peanut Brittle Day (Jan. 26).

I’ve checked it out and it appears that on April 2 even some restaurants pay (small) homage with such items as deep fried PBJ sandwiches. I’ve also learned some interesting things about peanuts, such as the fact that astronaut Alan Shepard brought peanut butter with him into space, that a man pushed a peanut to the top of Pike’s Peak once using his nose (taking nearly five days) and that America has elected two peanut farmers as president (Jimmy Carter and Thomas Jefferson). Who knew?

Fascinating as that may be, I’d rather focus on this Sunday, which offers my personal April favorite, No Housework Day. It is also New Beer’s Eve that day – and for very interesting reasons. A law signed by President Franklin Roosevelt marked the end of Prohibition, thereby making the sale of beer once again legal on April 7, 1933, after 13 dry years. People lined up on the evening of April 6 outside taverns and breweries waiting for midnight, when they could once again purchase beer legally. And that, of course, then makes April 7 National Beer Day.

I also kind of like April 12, Big Wind Day, which came about, it seems, in celebration of the strongest wind velocity ever measured on the surface of the Earth. Weather surveyors recorded wind of 231 miles per hour at the Mt. Washington observatory in New Hampshire on April 12, 1934. But if you like your days of observation to be food centered, April 12 is also National Licorice Day.

Some celebrations appear too large to be contained in just one day; some need a whole week. This week, for example, is National Egg Salad Week. I wasn’t able to find out what merriment has been planned for the week, but I’m guessing eggs and maybe a little mayonnaise will be blended in festive manner everywhere and consumed with special delight.

Coming up are Bat Appreciation Week (April 14-20), International Whistlers’ Week (April 17-21) and National Scoop the Poop Week (April 24-30). There are, of course, observances of a more serious nature – not that observers of all events don’t have a stake in what they care about.

Of greater gravitas are such observances as National Week of the Ocean (April 7-13), National Library Week (April 14-20) and National Pet ID Week (third week of April).

Or if one week isn’t enough, this month also offers month-long observances to consider – what with April being National Frog Month, National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month (apparently more time is needed to celebrate melted cheese than egg salad), Straw Hat Month and Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage Month.

But consider what we’ve already missed this year and mark your calendars for next year. Here are a few items to keep in mind for next January, which is National Tubers and Dried Fruit Month – Drinking Straw Day (Jan. 3) and Rubber Duckie Day (Jan. 13).

I kind of gravitate toward Curmudgeons Day, which is Jan 29, but don’t forget Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day (Jan. 24), which commemorates the 1848 discovery of gold in California. Why the gold discovery is celebrated in such a fashion, I have no idea.

In February, which is both National Grapefruit Month and Pull Your Sofa Off the Wall Month, there’s Working Naked Day on Feb. 1. March, national Umbrella Month (shouldn’t that be April?), offers up its third week as American Chocolate Week. The week of March 3-9 is National Procrastination Week, but I don’t suppose anyone will mind if you celebrate it the next week or whenever you get around to it.

So many fun dates to look forward to, and there’s something for everybody. Personally, I can’t wait for May 11, National Eat Anything You Want Day, when whatever my food indulgences might be, I’ll be consuming under a more or less quasi-official, semi-blessed sanction.

All the bacon I want and no guilt. That’s my kind of day!

 Stefanie Pettit can be reachedat upwindsailor@

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