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
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
Patricia Kotero. He quickly christened her Apollonia after a character from
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
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
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
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
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)