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This Day in History

Aug 2, 2004

August is not just a time to eat hot dogs and watch baseball fans get into fist fights. It is flush with holidays that most Americans fail to recognize. What your Hilary Duff calendar doesn't tell you is that August embraces a number of lesser known, but still important, national observances. I bet you didn't know Klondike that it's the official Admit You're Happy Month. So smile, dammit. It is the time of year when we join forces as a nation to recognize the Catfish. August is National Eye Exam Month, so be sure to have your peepers inspected by a trained optometrist. Finally, it's Romance Awareness Month. In order to do my part, I shall make a point to read a paperback with Fabio on the cover. Then I will vomit.

August is also the month I was born. I remember getting those giant-sized birthday cards that detail all the landmark events that occured on This Day in History. Considering I haven't seen one of those in years (do they still exist?), I decided to refresh my memory. I was surprised by what I discovered.

For instance, I demand to know why no one ever told me that my birthday falls on National Ice Cream Sandwich Day! Moreover, albeit less popular than the hallowed sandwich, August 2 is also National Ice Cream Soda Day. I feel so cheated.

Other notable events:

Apollonia was Born- 1961

After Vanity quit Purple Rain, Prince was in dire need of a new muse for his pet project. After auditioning over 700 girls, he found his budding starlet in one Apollonia Patricia Kotero. He quickly christened her Apollonia after a character from Vantiy 6 The Godfather. Not only did she replace Vanity in the movie, she also usurped her as the head of the girl group Vanity 6, which conveniently became Apollonia 6. Hmmm...and Vanity 6 was so damn good.

Apollonia's brilliant performance as a 19-year-old (cough) vixen seeking to make it in the sultry Minneapolis underground rock scene is frequently overlooked. How can anyone forget her 'baptism' in Lake Minnetonka? Or so she thought it was Lake Minnetonka. That Prince is a wily one indeed! Either way, you get to see her boobies.

When pugs attack

National Clown Week - August 1 - 7

Who knew such horrors existed? There is a whole week dedicated to grease paint and dogs wearing little hats. I wouldn't say that I have full-blown coulrophobia, however, I definitely would not want to be trapped in an elevator with Poopie the Clown. Or with his pony.

The National Clown Week Proclamation was signed by Richard M. Nixon on August 2, 1971. It begins with the following statement:
Whoever has heard the laughter of a child or seen sudden delight on the face of a lonely old man has understood in those brief moments mysteries deeper than love.
I kill children. The Clown Proclamation disturbs the shit out of me. What's even worse is that I generally associate clowns with child molesters. John Wayne Gacy Jr., the Killer Clown, is the most obvious example. Before the police found the decomposing bodies of numerous young boys under his house and buried in his garden, Gacy was an active member of Chicago's Junior Chamber of Commerce and frequently entertained hospitalized children as "Pogo the Clown." He was sentenced to death in 1980 and was executed in 1994 by lethal injection. As an aside, Michael Jackson recently purchased a clown car for his Neverland Ranch.

If on the other hand, National Clown Week serves to delight you with childlike wonder, by all means squeak a horn and do some cartwheels. Just please adhere to the 300-foot rule. As in, don't come any closer to me than 300 feet.

Contrary to popular belief, I'm not a total pessimist and do see one bright spot on the horizon. President Nixon hit the nail on the head as he concludes the National Clown Week Proclamation:
Babs I urge the people of the United States to recognize the contributions made by clowns in their entertainment at children's hospitals, charitable institutions, for the mentally retarded, and generally helping to lift the spirits and boost the morale of our people.
Maybe that's all our country needs to snap out of this fear-of-terrorism funk. George W. Bush should heed the wise words of Barbara Streisand and Send in the Clowns. We all just need to laugh again.

Edward Furlong was born - 1977

Edward Furlong is my favorite Hollywood fuck-up. Not only does he share my birthday, but like me, he was born in the Year of the Snake. Because of this I will always have a special place for him in my heart.

Dude... At 14, Eddie Furlong made his film debut in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. He appeared as John Connor, son of Sarah and the target of the T-1000, that molten liquid cop guy that everyone thought was so badass back in 1991. His best friend, Tim, was played by Danny Cooksey who got his start as Sam, that irritating red-haired kid from Diff'rent Strokes. If you recall, Sam moved into the Park Ave. pad when Mr. D. married Maggie/Dixie Carter, the aerobics instructor. I'd be curious I'm still cute! to know how many times Todd Bridges beat him up in order to get money for crack. By the time he appeared in Terminator 2, Danny's Diff'rent Strokes' bowl cut had blossomed into a lush flowing mullet. Its flutter added that extra bit of suspense to the scene where he and Eddie try to escape from the T-1000 in the high speed motorcycle chase.

Eddie went on to appear in American History X and Pecker, the John Waters flick that also stars Christina Ricci as Laundro-Mat Girl. The boyish innocence he displays in Pecker belies nothing of the bloated junkie who falls asleep on public benches and gets arrested for drunk driving. I'd send some birthday heroin if not for the ridiculous cost of postage these days. Damn you, Postal Union!

Peter O'Toole, born in 1934

Supergirl Mr. O'Toole has received numerous Academy Award nominations over the course of his career. He was awarded the Best British Actor (BAFTA) in 1963 for his title role in Lawrence of Arabia. Despite these honors, I would argue that Mr. O'Toole's proudest moment was when he appeared as Zaltar in Supergirl: The Movie (1984). Here's the long story short (and please don't spend too much time trying Oh, Tool. to understand): Zaltar is the founder of Argo City, Supergirl's hometown in a distant universe. He blames himself after Supergirl loses the Omega Hedron, the glowing ball that powers the city. Horrified that the Omega Hedron has disappeared and fallen into the wrong hands, he commits himself to the Phantom Zone (which is pretty much just a giant Tar Pit.) After Supergirl sufficiently fucks up while trying to get the Omega Hedron back, she also ends up in the Phantom Zone with Zaltar. In the end, he selflessly sacrifices himself so that she can survive. Now that's some Oscar-worthy cinema.


Barb(ed) Wire

Finally, on This Day in History, August 2, 1887, we witnessed the arrival of an invention our modern society cannot live without: Rowell Hodge patented barbed wire. Pam Anderson's career would never be where it is today. We've got Rowell to thank for that.


(Happy birthday, sweetheart! --ed)
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