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Who Needs More Bad News?

There’s more to April than National Anxiety Month

I could tell you that the General Assembly, which adjourned this week, managed to spin straw into gold and everybody’s happy.
    But you wouldn’t believe me, because you know that even in fairy tales there’s a heavy price levied on too much cleverness.
    Truth is that nobody’s very happy with the results. In this Assembly, one diner’s meat has been another’s poison.
    If you were blown over by the prospect of developing offshore wind as a renewable energy source, there are others claiming all that huffing and puffing will blow the house down.
    While you rooted for a state bag levy of five cents on many of the plastic bags you collect purchase by purchase, somebody else insisted that fee would take the last nickel out of the purses of the poor.
    Neither of those bills will become law this year.
    If every new tax seems like a robber knocking on your door, you’ll be rejoicing, because new taxes are few. Of course your rejoicing may end when the axe chops your special interest out of the state budget.
    The flush tax goes up, and our nine biggest counties, plus Baltimore, will be figuring out ways — and dollars — to control stormwater runoff.
    At that news you’re rejoicing — or gnashing your teeth at the freedom-destroying intrusions of state government.
    “We’re going to tax rain water,” quipped Sen. E.J. Pipkin, a conservative wit who’s inherited his Republican forefather Spiro Agnew’s way with word.
    I could tell you all that and more, but with this General Assembly’s nobody’s very happy. Who needs more bad news? So I’m sure not going to remind you that tax day is coming.

On the Other Hand ...

   Instead, I’m going to tell you that the month that gets off to a laughing start with April Fool’s Day has plenty more to keep you smiling all the way up to May Day. April is, after all, National Humor Month.
    There’s a grin — or a grimace — in every day, according to Oracle ThinkQuest, which compiles day-by-day designations for every month of the year: (No, the website doesn’t tell you who makes these things up.)
    We’ve already missed Tell-A-Lie Day, on April 4. But we can compensate with National Honesty Day on April 30.
    People with special interest in balls occupy a couple of April days. April 10 was Golfers Day. April 18 will be International Jugglers Day.
    Rebellion in various forms seizes a few more. April 3 was Don’t Go To Work Unless It’s Fun Day and April 7 No Housework Day. I should have known, for I failed to celebrate either of those days. Why wasn’t I told? I can make that complaint officially on April 13, Blame Somebody Else Day.
    Other April days call on you to seize the day: April 5 was Go for Broke Day; April 8, All Is Ours Day. We’ve missed those, but this paper comes to you just in time to enjoy Look Up At The Sky Day on April 12. If you haven’t sooner, April 28 gives you leave to Kiss Your Mate.
    A couple more April days are just quirky: Tweed Day on April 3, Name Yourself Day on April 9, Eight-Track Tape Day on April 11, Rubber Eraser Day on April 15 and All Look Alike Day on April 20.
    Food is April’s biggest cause for celebration. April 2 was National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. April 14 is National Pecan Day. Eggs Benedict Day is April 16. The next day, April 17 is National Cheeseball Day. Garlic Day is April 19, and National Jelly Bean Day April 22. Next comes a run of food days: April 24 is National Pigs in a Blanket Day, April 25 National Zucchini Bread Day and April 26 National Pretzel Day. Still hungry? April 29 is National Shrimp Scampi Day.
    April is the honorary month for all kinds of things besides humor.
    April is Poetry Month … and International Guitar Month. It’s National Welding Month … and National Garden Month. It’s Keep America Beautiful Month … and National Anxiety Month, which reaches its peak on April 16, National Stress Awareness Day.
    I almost missed one. Just this minute, Gov. Martin O’Malley has made April Environmental Education Month in Maryland.
    My favorite April appellation is Grilled Cheese Month.
    When my husband wants to enjoy my best humor, he prepares his Utterly Beloved Grilled Cheese Sandwich. It makes me so happy that I’m willing to ignore the likely artery-clogging effect of all that dairy fat, compounded because he grills with butter instead of simply melting the cheese on bread in the toaster oven.
    If you’re not so enthusiastic about Grilled Cheese Month, here’s another timely designation for comparison.
    We’re now celebrating Severe Storms Awareness Week, when we’re called upon to prepare to survive the worst weather Mother Nature can hurl our way. Last year, a record 27 tornadoes touched down in Maryland. This year could be worse.
    Think about that long enough, and you’ll understand why National Anxiety Month is also Grilled Cheese Month.

Sandra Olivetti Martin

Editor and publisher; [email protected]