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International You'rewelcomegiving Day On:2009-10-19 16:21:46

My stint on the Nobel Peace Prize Committee having proven so successful, and having now found myself at a loose end, I’ve decided to join the steering committee of the international campaign to have the day after Thanksgiving renamed from the rather boring "the day after Thanksgiving" or the truly dreadful and downright evil-sounding “Black Friday”, to the much more appropriate "You'rewelcomegiving Day."

Actually, I suppose, before I begin this essay I should admit that the word ‘join’ is just a little bit inaccurate, and that maybe it would be better to replace it with the slightly more honest ‘create’ since at the moment the campaign and it’s committee consists of just me and Georgia’s dog Sally: and since Sally is the canine equivalent of a slightly deaf ninety-six-year-old who hasn’t got the faintest idea what’s going on, and is actually only in it for the occasional dog treat, I suppose it’s really more of a just
But, be that as it may, I must (with Sally’s somewhat spotty help) ACT!

I mean just look at those two stinky alternatives to the absolutely wondrous You'rewelcomegiving Day: look first at "the day after Thanksgiving"---Why that name’s about as imaginative as a dead frog, and since, as has been demonstrated in numerous randomized controlled trials, even live frogs are notoriously lacking in imagination, I’m sure that you, with your superior imaginative skills can easily imagine how unimaginative that must be.
Then, second, and indeed last, look at that terrible, terrible “Black Friday”. Now Black Friday should never be confused with the various Black Sundays (involving as they do fires, massacres and other disasters); Black Mondays (involving as they do even more fires, massacres and other disasters); Black Tuesdays (with their stock-market-crashery and the like); nor Black Wednesday (of which my slight research reveals but one, though since it did involve problems with the Great British pound that ought to count for something); Black Thursdays (more, and varied, nastinesses); nor any similarly named other Fridays (some of which were very Black indeed); nor, finally, Black Saturday (one of which, August 4 in the year 1621, was a particularly dark and stormy day in Scotland, and as such---and since the Scots Parliament had just passed some Acts tending to encourage the existence of Scottish bishops---was taken as an obvious sign of the Apocalypse).

Indeed Our (not that I like the idea of claiming it, but... but...) ‘Our’ Black Friday seems itself to be ab initio a term not of endearment, the name apparently being first applied to it in the 1960s by the Philadelphia Police Department in recognition of the dreadful traffic jams and general mayhem and over-crowding that it was seen to generate.

Now contrast those evil and banal1 cognomens with the lightness and beauty, the comfort and joy, the loaves and kippers of You'rewelcomegiving Day. Consider how it commemorates that Truly American phrase “You’re welcome”, a phrase which constitutes (along with Carrot Cake, the Marshal Plan and the President’s contributions to peace) the only indisputably positive contributions to the culture and well-being of the World that this great (if often somewhat isolationist) country has made. That phrase that can cover the whole gamut of receiving thanks from “Oh thanks for opening the door for me” “You’re welcome” to “Oh thank you, thank you, thank you for saving the life of my only child and ensuring that she will eventually play the violin again!!! And then grow up to win the Nobel Prize for Peace!!!!” “You’re welcome”.
Why even my own dear2 and eloquent homeland has nothing to stand beside ‘You’re welcome’ and, when receiving thanks, can only squirm, and mumble vague and embarrassed stuff like "Oh ...Oh ...think, think... um... ... think nothing of it"--which of course has the distinct disadvantage of setting things up so that the giver of the thanks inevitably and immediately does start to think nothing of it! And so any nobler actions we may stumble upon are peremptorily dismissed and so over the years we unfortunate Englishmen have developed a reputation for being somewhat fainéant and useless, bereft of you’rewelcomeness.

So, as these shews demonstrate just as ‘thank you’ is most appropriately followed with ‘you’re welcome’, so too must Thanksgiving with You’rewelcomegiving, and Thanksgiving Day be followed with You’rewelcomegiving Day.
So join with me in supporting this noble onomastic effort: found your own chapters of You’rewelcomegivingday Societies; write to your congressman; parade in the streets (look what it did for Macy’s) and above all send me lots of money to continue the fight. Ithenkewe and...

Cheerio for now
Richard Howland-Bolton



1  banal: and I don’t mean ‘Of or belonging to compulsory feudal service’.

2  dear: well you try renting an apartment in London.

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