Vegetables For World Peace
by Mad Dog
Isnt it obvious when someones happy?
They smile a lot, they dont get upset when their favorite TV show is pre-empted for
the Xtreme Badminton finals, and they generally flaunt their happiness every chance they
|| National Admit Youre Happy Day came and went and no one noticed. It was
supposed to be August 8th but, well, it didnt happen. Sure, a few people woke up,
stretched, and once they stopped hacking and realized they hadnt coughed up their
intestines admitted they were happy to be alive, but this certainly wasnt the mass
show of ecstasy the planners had hoped for.
Pam Johnson, of Dallas, Texas was the mastermind behind this
non-occasion. This is only fitting since shes the founder of the Secret Society of
Happy People, a group I greatly admire since very few organizations live up to their name
as well as theirs does.
Pam decided that August 8th should be National Admit
Youre Happy Day, so she sent letters to all 50 governors asking them to make
official proclamations to that effect. Fifteen went along with the idea. Seventeen said
thanks, but no thanks. One, New Yorks Governor Pataki, hedged his bet by saying
hed wait and see what everyone else did. The other seventeen letters came back
marked "Moved, Left No Forwarding Address. Besides, Are You Serious?" Just
kidding. Actually they got them, they just couldnt stop laughing long enough to
This will go down in history as an important event. Not
because so many governors actually agreed that we didnt need a day to declare our
happiness, but because for once in my life I actually agreed with a politician. Face it,
isnt it obvious when someones happy? They smile a lot, they dont get
upset when their favorite TV show is pre-empted for the Xtreme Badminton finals, and they
generally flaunt their happiness every chance they get, since nothing makes them happier
than knowing an unhappy person will become more unhappy seeing a happy person displaying
their happiness. This, by the way, is the chief cause of most crimes against Moonies,
mimes, and Richard Simmons.
As a nation, we could use International Forgiveness Day to let England off the hook for
taxing us without representation and forgive the Japanese for bombing Pearl Harbor.
|| People seem to
like days that honor causes. Theres Random Acts of Kindness Day (November 10th),
Bike to Work Day (May 21st), and Buy Nothing Day (November 26th). According to a flier I
saw posted on a telephone pole just after it happened, August 1st was International
Forgiveness Day. Youll forgive me if I missed it.
Im not sure if this is a real, honest to goodness, official
day, but it was sponsored by the Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance and it sounds like they
ought to know. It wasnt clear from the flier who or what would be forgiven, so I can
only assume that everyone would be forgiven for everything. This is a good thing, since
holding a grudge is bad for your blood pressure, slows digestion, and generally makes
people think of you as a big fat poophead.
So for medical reasons, if no others, I think its good
that we have a day when we can forgive each other. This gives me the chance to finally
forgive the kids down the block who years ago held me down while Bobby Bagley put a worm
on my forehead. It would be the perfect opportunity for me to forgive my parents for not
giving me half the money they saved when I didnt go to college. And I could go ahead
and forgive that old lady who rammed my supermarket cart the other day so she could cut in
front of me at the checkout line. Well, as long as she forgives me for tripping her on her
As a nation, we could use International Forgiveness Day to let
England off the hook for taxing us without representation. We could forgive the Japanese
for bombing Pearl Harbor. And we could finally forgive my forefathers for bringing
Africans to the United States and enslaving them, even though they lived in Austria and
Hungary at the time and didnt make it to these shores until forty years after the
Emancipation Proclamation. Hell, we could even use this day to forgive the programming
executives at the TV networks for this years crop of stupefying new shows. On second
thought, even I have limits of forgiveness
This year more than 30,000 people showed up in Bunol, Spain at the end of August for a
festival where they threw 140 tons of tomatoes at each other. To put this in perspective,
that was 9.3 lbs. per person (or 72 kilometers per hour metric).
|| Its easy to
see how something as simple as setting up a special day can help a societal problem. After
all, slapping bumper stickers on our cars works like a charm. Think about it. You
dont see bumper stickers on cars anymore that say "Mean People Suck"
because after the 5,698,298th one hit the road mean people stopped sucking. And weve
visualized world peace so well while staring at the car in front of us during a traffic
jam that youre probably like I am and have forgotten what it was like before we
attained it. Okay, so maybe that one didnt work, but thats only because the
bumper stickers distributors didnt get enough of them to Kosovo, Rwanda, East
Timor, the Middle East, Ireland, Dagestan, and Congress.
risk of being called a cynic, Im not sure visualization is really enough. We may
need tomatoes. Yes, tomatoes. In Spain theyve devised a unique way of avoiding war:
they take their aggressions out by throwing tomatoes at each other. This year more than
30,000 people showed up in Bunol, Spain at the end of August for a festival where they
threw 140 tons of tomatoes at each other. To put this in perspective, that was 9.3 lbs.
per person (or 72 kilometers per hour metric). Theyve been doing this for years, and
its been officially sponsored by the city since 1979. The glory of it is, Spain
hasnt been in a war since! And even better, they didnt have to slap a single
bumper sticker on their car to accomplish it.
So I say lets arm ourselves with tomatoes. Theyre
safe, effective, taste better than bullets, and throwing them is much more fun than all
the special observance days put together. Well, at lease until Forgive Me For Not
Admitting Im Happy Day rolls around.
©1999 Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. Read
them while waiting for your tomatoes to ripen.