The Laughing Toastmaster: May Days! May Days!
When did theme days become as common as the common noun?
Have you noticed? Our annual calendar is as crowded as a Benidorm beach in July. I’m talking about themed days, which seemed to have reproduced faster than a rabbit farm on steroids.
Take the month of May. When I was a child (about ten years ago) there were only two important days to remember: May 1st, International Workers’ Day (the remaining 364 days are for the shareholders). My left-wing uncles would hum ‘The International’ and swap stories about their struggle for the forty-hour week and fair pay. Funny how today I struggle for ANY ‘hour week’ and ANY pay. We’ve come so far!
The second sacrosanct day was (and still is) May 10th, my Mum’s birthday. Trust me you don’t want to forget that or you won’t be singing ‘The International’, just Mozart’s ‘Requiem’.
Today, as a Toastmaster, May brings the three most important days of the year, ‘The District 91 Toastmaster Conference’, also known as The Best District Conference of the Universe! I’m not joking. This weekend is filled with more stellar speaking stars than the Milky Way, creating a galaxy of future shooting stars in the making. It’s truly out of this world!
Surely that’s enough excitement for one month? Nope. Themed days in May are like confetti at a paper shredding party; abundant, useless and you can’t get them out of your hair.
Now I can understand ‘Red Cross Day’ or ‘United Nations Peacekeepers’ Day’ honouring our calendar, but what kind of person thought ‘Candied Orange Peel Day’ merited the same importance? Someone like me whose sweet tooth is bigger than an alligator’s (Alligator Day May 29) and just as vicious if you eat my Krispy Kreme donuts!
There’s no sugar coating it. May is a smorgasbord of fatty unhealth, including Nutty Fudge, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Apple Pie, Raspberry Tart and Blueberry Cheesecake Day. This sugar rush is enough to send anyone into a diabetic coma (and possible death), conveniently covered with ‘Life Insurance Day’ (May 2nd).
It doesn’t stop there. Sponsored by ‘No Diet Day’ and ‘Eat What You Want Day’ the sweet binge continues with Crêpes Suzette, Macaroon and finally Taffy Day. Yes taffy. Stuff powerful enough to remove a molar without a visit to your dentist. Perhaps that’s why someone (a dental hygienist most likely) felt the need to warn us with ‘Root Canal Appreciation Day’. Party pooper!
Luckily, there’s no ruining May’s party. It is by far the most hedonistic, pleasure-seeking, over indulgent month of the year! I’m not just talking about The District 91 Conference’s Saturday-Night-drunken-bacchanal-party! Sorry, I meant our ‘Delicate champagne polite chitchat get-together’.
Starting with Lei Dei (also known as fertility day … hint, hint) there’s enough booze and dubious activities to turn a quiet garden party in Surrey into a rampant Woodstock festival. Nakedness included. Kicking off with World Naked Gardening Day, allotments suddenly turn into tourist spots, giving a whole different meaning to ‘wildlife watch’. To lift your spirits (among other things) there’s Cocktail Day, Beer, Whisky and Homebrew Day (for the ‘hardened’ enthusiast). Posher crowds can jolly-ho with Wine Day, Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay Day. Although I think all plummy posh-ness vanishes when showing off your shrubs.
Not a gardener? Don’t worry! Take advantage of ‘No Pants Day’ and enjoy ‘Outdoor Intercourse Day’! If you live in the UK, make sure to check the weather. You don’t want it to ‘hail on your parade’ or frostbite your favourite bits, which would lead to ‘End of the World Day’ (May 21st).
In May the fun never ends! For us Toastmasters there’s ‘Stay Up All Night Night’, for that speech you promised to give the next day and have NADA. There’s also ‘Blame Someone Else Day’, very convenient for us speakers who didn’t win the contests … blame the judges!
As a Toastmaster, my personal favourite is May 22nd, ‘International Day of Being You’. Toastmasters gives you the skills needed for public speaking, but more importantly, it helps you find your voice. Once you find your voice, you also find the courage to JUST BE YOU.
Enough talk! I don’t know about you, but I’m off to the D91 Conference Saturday-Night-drunken-decadent-debauched-downright-degenerate-all-nighter! Sorry, I meant our demure, dainty, disciplined evening event.
——— Sonia Aste is an engineer, writer and comedienne who thanks to Toastmasters, found her voice. She is a member of the Riverside Communicators Club.
——— Catch her at D91 conference:
- Friday 6th May, 20:20 Hosting ‘Toastmasters do Stand-Up Comedy’
- Sunday 8th May 09:50 ‘And the Winner is … none of these panellists! How to learn, grow and bounce back from losing’.