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Tampa Tribune on Holidays

          Copyright 2002 The Tribune Co. Publishes The Tampa Tribune

                               The Tampa Tribune

                      April 7, 2002, Sunday

Couple Turn Oddball Holidays Into Hobby

BYLINE: JEFF HOUCK , jhouck@tampatrib.com

   When it comes to inventing holidays, Thomas Roy is a regular Thomas Edison.

   Needing a discussion topic during his radio talk show in 1986, Roy told his Lebanon, Pa., listeners that they should be celebrating Northern Hemisphere Hoodie-Hoo Day by running outside at high noon and yelling "Hoodie-Hoo" to chase winter away.

   Darned if they didn't do it.

   Emboldened by his success, Roy submitted the holiday to Chase's Calendar of Events, an annual almanac of all sorts of holidays and remembrances. Chase's included Hoodie-Hoo Day in the next edition, and his career took off from there.

   "It was like telling a serial killer that there's a mansion full of people up on the hill," Roy says.

   Since then, Roy has concocted about 60 oddball holidays that have become a font of inspiration for TV and radio stations around the world. The holidays, which range from Take Your Houseplants for a Walk Day (July 27) to Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbors' Porch Day (Aug. 8), are now protected by copyright and are used by e-mail greeting card provider Blue Mountain Arts.

   After Roy married 12 years ago, his wife, Ruth, quickly got into the act.

   It's not a lucrative hobby, but someone pays the Roys a few hundred bucks every now and then to use one of the ideas. Entemann's piggybacked his Eat What You Want Day to launch a snack cake at Grand Central Station last May 11. Days Inn pays a small fee to use Be Bald and Be Free Day (Oct. 14) for a spot featuring Willard Scott.

   Holidays help pay the bills, though, for the 57-year-old Renaissance fair manager and sometime actor (he played an evangelist in the 1995 Brad Pitt-Bruce Willis movie "12 Monkeys" and does a mean Nixon impersonation). The Roys' Web site, Wellcat Holidays - at www.wellcat.com/ holiday.html- registers a half-million hits a year.

   "I always invent holidays that everyone will get," Roy says.

   Well, not everyone. Chase's has thrown back a couple or asked him for revisions. No Socks Day originally was No Underwear Day.

   "To be honest, we rejected Nosehair Narcs Day because we weren't sure it was necessarily tasteful," says Kathy Keil, assistant editor of Chase's.

   Inspiration comes from everywhere. After his son, Michael, stepped on a bee a few years ago, it quickly evolved into Step on a Bee Day. "That's the kind of household we have," Roy says.

   If notoriety were money, Roy would be a rich man. He does a few hundred interviews each year for morning talk show hosts around the world and tons of TV stations down under that use his Hug an Australian Day as fodder for feature stories. The holidays' mirthful appeal is obvious, says Keil.

   "It's simple and lighthearted," she says. "People like to have fun. Other people submit holidays to us, but by far we get more calls about the Roys' holidays."


This was their on-line copy. The newspaper carried a sidebar feature on us, photos, web address.
The Weird Days Of Our Lives

Published: Apr 7, 2002


Have an urge today to put your petunia in a more plentiful pot? That's understandable, considering the calendar tells us April 7 is Repot Your Plant Day.

But that's tame compared with the avalanche of goofy dates designated as faux holidays throughout the year.

There's Richter Scale Day (April 26), Courageous Follower Day (March 4), Donut Day (June 7), Mirthday (June 22), Be an Angel Day (Aug. 22), Hug an Australian Day (April 26) and Laugh and Grow Rich Day (Feb. 8).

No Housework Day is also today (feel free to celebrate this year-round). Eat What You Want Day is May 11 (this would come in handy during Thanksgiving), and Lips Appreciation Day feels out of place on March 16. Why not celebrate that on Valentine's Day?

The de facto king and queen of holidays are Thomas and Ruth Roy of Lebanon, Pa. They've created and copyrighted 60 days during the year, including Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day (March 27), For the Love of Mike Day (Feb. 22) and Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day (Nov. 8).

Below you'll find a few of the year's quirkier offerings, some of which come from the House of Roy. Don't like 'em? Wait until next March 26. That's Make Up Your Own Holiday Day.

Name Your PC Day (Nov. 20): How about we just name it Crash?

Be Bald and Be Free Day (Oct. 14): Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose.

Blah Blah Blah Day (April 17): Yada yada yada.

Grouch Day (Oct. 15): Why not just call this No Coffee in the Morning Day.

Bad Day Day (Nov. 19): Day-O, Bad Dayyyy-O, bad day come and I wanna go home.

Sinkie Day (Nov. 29): A day for eating over the sink? When did the drive-thru install a sink?

Join Hands Day (June 15): Reminder to create Wash Hands After Join Hands Day.

No Socks Day (May 8): No socks, we can do. No pants requires a public access TV show.

Bad Poetry Day (Aug. 18): I think that I shall never see/A day to honor good poetry.

Be Late Day (Sept. 5): Note to self - Wait until next year to celebrate.

Fight Procrastination Day (Sept. 4): Note to self - Wait until Sept. 5 to celebrate.

What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day? (March 3): The TV would always be tuned to Animal Planet.

Northern Hemisphere Hoodie-Hoo Day (Feb. 20): How can we celebrate this if we have no *&$!! idea what it is???

Jeff Houck


Healthy Herbs, Hilarious Holidays!