By Ned Hickson
There was a time when, in order to promote an important issue through a week of "National Awareness," you actually needed to have an issue that was important -- something that could save lives, improve society, or, at the very least, boost the sale of Hallmark cards.
But not anymore.
I say this because, as you may or may not know, we're fast approaching "National Psychic Week." (For those of you who weren't aware of this, I'm sorry: But there's a very good chance you are not psychic.) According to one website, the purpose of this week-long focus is to "dispel skepticism [of psychics] through factual awareness."
Thanks to an article that appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times sent in from Barry Smythe of Dallas, Texas, I have a better understanding of how it might take an entire week to dispel all that skepticism -- especially after reading about Ulf Buck, a blind psychic from Meldorf, Germany, who claims he can read people's futures by feeling their naked buttocks.
(Warning to women who frequent singles bars: Men who frequent singles bars may be reading this column.)
According to Buck, creases representing success, career and artistic ability extend inward from the extremities of the buttocks (Similar to a map of Hollywood), while five other creases radiate outward. Though Buck explained that those creases represent areas such as love and money, when asked about that crease radiating down the middle, he just said, "Ewww."
My point is, if you have a habit of sitting naked on wicker furniture, don't waste your time getting a buttocks reading.
No. My real point is that people no longer pay any attention to "National Awareness" weeks because the topics have gotten so stupid.
For example, when's the last time you observed "National Fresh Breath" week with any level of enthusiasm? Did you gargle more? Brush better? Buy an extra roll of Certs?
(No one in THIS office did, I can tell you that.)
The problem is that there are no guidelines when it comes to petitioning for "National Awareness" status -- which is why we have 40 states that participate in "Sky Awareness" week each year. First of all, do we really need a whole week? Unless you're lying face down getting a buttocks reading, how long does it take to look straight up? Considering that there are 10 states that don't observe "Sky Awareness" week at all, we can conclude that they either, 1) Think it's stupid, 2) Put all of their efforts into having a great "Fresh Breath" week, or 3) Have no idea the sky actually exists.
Which could explain the idea behind "Brain Awareness" week.
That's right. The same people who brought us "Mustard" week and "Bat Survey" week would like us to remember that we have brains. (Even though, oddly enough, those same people scheduled "National Hot Dog" week to take place three months AFTER "National Mustard" week.)
The bottom line, of course, is that coming up with wisecracks about buttocks readings, while cheeky, requires more brain activity than most "Awareness Week" topics.
Though I'm sure that'll change some day, exactly when is anybody's guess.
Then again, they do say hindsight is 20/20....
You can write to Ned Hickson at:
The Siuslaw News at P.O. Box 10, Florence, OR 97439.