Published in the June 29, 2017 edition.





Athought occurred to me while anticipating the July Fourth Parade. As important as Independence Day is, it overshadows other early summer observances that just don’t get the respect they deserve. It’s like having a birthday on Christmas. Nobody notices.

Well, I’m here to right this wrong, because fighting injustice is what I’m all about.

Break out the Purell because tomorrow, June 30, is National Handshake Day. The custom of shaking hands goes back thousands of years and is thought to have originated as a gesture of peace by demonstrating that the hand holds no weapon.

Wikipedia, second only to CNN in credibility, says that research has shown that after shaking hands people have a tendency to bring the shaken hand to the vicinity of the nose and smell it. This may serve an evolutionary need to learn about the person whose hand was shaken, replacing a more overt sniffing behavior that is common among animals. This may also be way more than you wanted to know about shaking hands.

Saturday, July 1 is Canada Day. Most Americans are more likely to observe the Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo than Canada Day, which is a shame. If you know a Canadian, shake his hand and say, “Happy Canada Day, eh?” Trust me, he’ll appreciate it.

July 1 is also the 46th anniversary of the ratification of the 26th Amendment to the Constitution, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18. I have a much older “friend” who recalls that he had been waiting patiently to turn 21 so he could vote, only to see the voting age lowered to 18 a few months before he turned 21. My “friend” maintains to this day that lowering the voting age to 18 is responsible for most of America’s ills. He’s probably just bitter.

Monday, July 3 marks the official beginning of the “Dog Days,” the hottest part of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The “Dog Days” were originally named for Sirius, the “Dog Star,” which ancients believed caused the hot weather. Today, we believe that driving cars causes warmer temperatures, which makes almost as much sense.

Not coincidentally, July 1 also begins “Air Conditioning Appreciation Days.” Virtue-signaling environmentalists like to rail against air conditioning as a human self-indulgence and a cause of climate change. But that’s a lot of hot air. Air conditioning is one of the greatest inventions in history, not just for the quality of human life, but because it fosters human health and greater productivity.

Another way to stay cool is to wear less clothes, which brings us to Nude Recreation Week (July 4-10). I don’t recommend nude recreation for everyone, but I’m happy to make determinations on a case by case basis. Knowing about this observance can be revealing if you know someone who always seems to take their vacation during this week.

Meanwhile, I’ll be here in Wakefield, fully clothed, enjoying the parade.

I’ll wave to Tom Brady for you.