For those who need an excuse

Ed
Ed Smith
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I hope I've saved you from missing it. Had you gone past today without realizing what a special day it is you would certainly have gone into a blue funk. Worse still, you would have blamed me for not telling you about it.

So what's so special about Aug. 23? The amazing thing is that so many of you have to ask. I discovered it a couple of weeks ago in the online computer news under Yahoo. There's really no excuse for not being up to date with the news, you know. Never know what you're missing.

The view from here - I hope I've saved you from missing it. Had you gone past today without realizing what a special day it is you would certainly have gone into a blue funk. Worse still, you would have blamed me for not telling you about it.

So what's so special about Aug. 23? The amazing thing is that so many of you have to ask. I discovered it a couple of weeks ago in the online computer news under Yahoo. There's really no excuse for not being up to date with the news, you know. Never know what you're missing.

Like the baby who was pronounced dead by doctors in Jerusalem and put in a refrigerator. Five hours later when the parents went to take it for burial, the baby came to life. The story said that doctors were stunned. No shik, Shylock!

The doctors who pronounced it dead weren't real bright. Not having any other reasonable explanation, they called it a miracle.

"When something happens we can't explain," said one of them, "we call it a miracle."

Perhaps that's why my mother always referred to me as a miracle.

Back to Aug. 23. Move over Martin Luther King Day and Labour Day. Take a backseat Halloween and bonfire night.

A group of people in British Columbia is lobbying the federal government to have that day declared - are you ready? - sex day. A day to celebrate the joy of sex, they say, with as many people doing the celebrating as possible.

This would not be a day for rollicking in the hay with anyone whose four limbs might be inviting you to play. Oh dear me, no. This would be for responsible people who are already into physical relationships, but who might have let things slide for awhile so that the relationship is tired and boring.

I remember a professor in university telling us about a colleague of his who was doing a survey of one of his senior classes as to the frequency of sex among them. There were some who said the usual twice a week, others once a month and one fellow - and only one - who confessed that he and his wife indulged once a year. He was jumping up and down and waving his arms and finally the professor said, "Why are you so excited?"

"Because," the student shouted, "tonight's the night!"

This special day would be for people like that, thus making it twice a year.

The people in B.C. would like to see the day made a national holiday so that people would be free to pursue the wide and varied methodologies associated with this activity. Failing that, this group went on, people should feel free to call in sick on the 23rd, or better still, call in healthy.

The people responsible for this idea say that all manners of benefit would accrue to society in general. The overall morale of the nation would be raised considerably. Hotels and motels would make a mint. In a country where the death rate is outstripping the birth rate, there'd be a welcome bump in the population. Sales of Viagra and Cialis would go through the roof.

The people in Newfoundland and Labrador have long been recognized as the most sexually active people in Canada. No less a publication than Maclean's magazine has pronounced it so on several occasions.

The question, then, is, "Why on earth do we need a day solely devoted to the pleasures of the flesh when our nights seem pretty well taken up by them now?" Allow me to illustrate with sweet truth.

A few days ago we had the pleasure of a visit by good friends from Tecumseh, Ontario. He's an Anglican priest there. He had his parents with them visiting relatives in the area. We had them all in for a memorable supper one night.

Most of you know I avoid using people's real names in the column for fear of giving offence or getting sued. For want of something better, therefore, we'll call him Uncle Robert. His wife we'll call Vivacious Viv because that's a name you don't see very often.

Uncle Robert is 92 years old. He doesn't mind me telling you that because he's rather proud of it. I won't tell you how old Vivacious Viv is except to say she's a fair bit younger. They had us in stitches all night. He has that twinkle in his eye common to real rascals. She works hard trying to keep him from being totally outrageous.

Somewhere in the middle of one of OH's delicious baked ham dinners, I let drop that Aug. 23 was sex day in Canada. There was the expected response from around the table until suddenly Vivacious Viv's quiet voice broke into the conversation.

"Every day," she said casually, "is sex day with Robert."

Every day? Every day? Robert is 92 years old, for Pete's sake! I know people get it on into their 70s and even 80s but 92? Every day?

You might question it except for the matter-of-fact way she said it. And she didn't seem to be the kind who would just drop that for the fun of it. I glanced at Uncle Robert and he seemed entirely comfortable with what she said. Not in the least surprised.

Let's say she's exaggerating the every day bit. Let's say it's only every second day or twice a week. Holy macaroni! Or better still, holy matrimony!

I couldn't decide whether her entirely unexpected one line was a greater compliment to him or to her. Finally, I decided it had to be both because it takes two to tango at any age.

Whatever, those are the kind of people that Maclean's was talking about. Earthy, humorous and full of life for as long as they have life. I can't think Aug. 23 will be much different for them than Aug. 22 or Aug. 24.

In case you're wondering, neither of them had any problem with me telling you this story. So, here's to you, Robert and Viv.

God bless you and your seed forever.

Ed Smith lives in Springdale. His e-mail address is edsmith@nf.sympatico.ca. Ed will be signing copies of his book, "The Seventh Day," at Coles bookstore in the Avalon Mall in St. John's today from 7-9 p.m. and at Chapters on Kenmount Road in St. John's Sunday from 2-4 p.m.

Organizations: Yahoo, Maclean's, Chapters

Geographic location: Jerusalem, British Columbia, Canada B.C. Newfoundland and Labrador Tecumseh Ontario St. John's Springdale Kenmount Road

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