We need a new holiday, not so much for the sake of the greeting card industry, but for our own peace of mind and perspective. We have Thanksgiving, where we give thanks, and we have Christmas, where we receive gifts. We need a special holiday combining both themes into one glorious day of giving thanks for gifts never received. Let’s call this holiday, “Whew Day” in honor of the comic books of my youth. “Whew” is the sound of air rushing from your body. It’s the sound you make when you realize just how close you came to destruction. It’s a cliché, but “Whew! That was a close one!”
I’ll start the holiday off. When I was a kid, I wanted to be called “Davy.” Davy Jones, that Manchester waif, was a girl-magnet pop star, and I wanted to glam on to his British mojo. David was phonetically close to Davy, so it would be a believable transition. My parents — wise beings that they are — suggested I stick with David. Normally, I ignored any and all parental counsel, but for some reason, I listened to them. And I’m glad I did. Whew! “Cute Pop Star Davy McCoy” sounds horrible. Besides, I’m too old to have a bunch of girls faint every time they hear my name. Think of the liability insurance claims!
Another instance comes to mind. I was driving in a swamp in Florida. It was a nature trail that wound for miles through muck and reeds. At one turn in the road, I came upon several alligators sunning themselves on the asphalt. I parked the car to get out for a closer look, when someone stopped me. “OK, fine...I’ll just watch them from in here.” I sulked, but I’m glad I wised up. “Cute Pop Star Davy McCoy eaten alive by alligators” sounds worse than horrible. More fainting girls and even more liability claims. Have you ever tried to sue an alligator? Whew!
You can just stop that gloating, right now. You have your own Whew Day stories. Maybe it’s that job you wanted with the airline that went bankrupt. Maybe it’s that sexy French or Italian car you almost bought, right before they left the U.S. market. Maybe it’s a tattoo, piercing, or implant that you just had to have, but never got. Just remember them all, wipe your brow and say, “Happy Whew Day!”
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Covington and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.