International Bacon Day

international bacon day

Today is International Bacon Day, celebrated on the Saturday before Labor Day since 2009 as indicated on a blog which includes helpful translations for the globetrotting bacon lover:

English – Can I have some Bacon?
Dutch – Kan ik wat Bacon hebben?
French – Est-ce que je peux prendre du lard ?
German – Kann ich etwas Speck haben?
Greek – Μπορώ να έχω κάποιο μπέϊκον;
Italian – Posso avere certa pancetta affumicata?
Japanese – 私はベーコンを食べてもいいか。
Korean – 나는 약간 베이컨이 있어서 좋은가?
Portuguese – Posso eu ter algum bacon?
Russian – Могу я иметь некоторый бекон?
Spanish – ¿Puedo tener un poco de tocino?

Perhaps the ultimate celebration would involve preparation of the Bacon Explosion: a pound of basket-woven bacon wrapped around two pounds of sausage which are stuffed with a pound of fried bacon crumbles. Not in the mood to cook? Order it directly from BBQ Addicts and have a happy International Bacon Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

September 1 is Chicken Boy Day

Today is Chicken Boy Day, celebrating the birthday of the fiberglass legend on September 1, 1969, or thereabouts. Official birth records are unavailable.

chicken boy day

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Twenty-two feet tall, referred to by many as the Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles, California, Chicken Boy stood atop his namesake restaurant on Broadway between Fourth & Fifth Streets for fourteen years, betraying no emotion regarding the dismembered, fried fowl that presumably filled the golden bucket he held before him.

When the restaurant closed in the autumn of 1983, Chicken Boy awaited a fate similar to that of his flesh-covered counterparts: mechanical separation followed by the discarding of his skeletal remains. Artist Amy Inouye, who had grown fond of the landmark since her move to Los Angeles in the 1970s, decided to save him.

While the owners may have been unsure of her sanity, they were persuaded by her sincerity. With permission secured, she made many calls to moving companies that started, “Can I get an estimate to dismantle and move a 22-foot-tall fiberglass statue of a man with a chicken’s head, also known as Chicken Boy?” Eventually, she convinced one that she was not making a prank call and the move was scheduled.

On May 4, 1984, Chicken Boy was removed and taken to the first of many storage facilities. Inouye sent letters to several museums, certain they would want to include the Los Angeles icon in their sculpture gardens. Only one or two responded that Chicken Boy was a sign and therefore did not qualify as art.

Inouye began to sell Chicken Boy t-shirts, then lapel pins, pens and mugs, among other things. She put together a souvenir catalog. The proceeds helped pay for storage. At its zenith, her mailing list boasted 14,000 names.

Of the phenomenon, Inouye says, “The legend of Chicken Boy grew far beyond downtown LA—it became obvious that his appeal was universal. In every person, it seems, there is a little or a lot of self-conscious awkwardness trying to accept those cards they were dealt—we are, in fact, all Chicken Boy.”

Despite mentions in Newsweek, Esquire, the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, air time on countless radio shows and a brief viewing at the underground Arco Plaza mall, Chicken Boy had no place to call his own.

In a film called Chicken Boy: the Movie, he comes alive due to the Harmonic Convergence of 1987, a Mayan/Hell/astrological alignment/power center prophesy even less believable than a fiberglass statue receiving the breath of life and learning to play the accordion.

chicken boy day

In early 2007,  Inouye found a small office building in Highland Park where she could run a small art gallery while Chicken Boy watched over Route 66 from his rooftop perch. The neighborhood of artists and musicians welcomed them both. She applied for and received a Community Beautification Grant.

Then, after eight months spent navigating the permit process, Chicken Boy was hoisted to his new roost atop Future Studio at 5558 North Figueroa Street. On October 18, 2007, after twenty-three years, five months and fourteen days, Chicken Boy was finally home.

chicken boy day

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Mel Brooks once said, “The whole word chicken is funny. The ch, the i, the k, put it all together, youʼve got the funniest word in the English language.” Maybe that explains the appeal of Chicken Boy. It definitely explains why we’ve used the word seventeen times.

Happy Chicken Boy Day! (Whoops, eighteen!)

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw

On the Friday and Saturday before Labor Day, a festival known as the Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw takes place in Sauk City/Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. It’s estimated that 40,000 people attend each year. The current record for a throw is 248 feet. Perhaps a little background is in order.wisconsin state cow chip throw

The pioneers who settled the Plains in the 1800s faced cold winters with little water and timber. Hunters had discovered that dried buffalo dung patties, or chips, could be burned for fuel. They were odorless and burned with intense heat and no soot.

The buffalo were all but gone by that time, hunted out of existence, so settlers gathered cow chips and stored them for winter when they would rely on them to warm their homes and keep their cooking fires burning. The chips were so valuable that they were often used to barter for food and other provisions.

In 1970, organizers of the Cimarron Territory Celebration in Beaver, Oklahoma, trademarked the “World Championship Cow Chip Throw,” requiring other towns wishing to host an “official” throw to certify their events with the Beaver Chamber of Commerce. (So far, it has authorized throws in South Dakota and Illinois, as well as Wisconsin.)

In 1975, the Sauk Prairie Jaycees declared the Sauk Prairie area as the Cow Chip Capital of Wisconsin and, with Beaver’s blessings, organized the first Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw. In 1989, the Wisconsin State Legislature proclaimed the cow chip the Unofficial State Muffin.

wisconsin state cow chip throw

According to the Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw Committee, the following rules apply to today’s Corporate Throw and tomorrow’s Men’s and Women’s Throws. In the event of a dispute, the Chip Judge has the final say.

  1. Each contestant must choose two chips from the wagon-load provided by the official Meadow Muffin Committee.
  2. Chips shall be at least 6 inches in diameter.
  3. Of the two chips, the one thrown the farthest shall count.
  4. If a chip breaks up during the throw or while in the air, the piece that travels the greatest distance will be scored.
  5. Any attempt to alter the shape of a chip—except in rare instances when a loose fragment may be removed, provided the removal does not render the chip less than 6 inches in diameter—will result in a 25-foot penalty. The decision of the Chip Judge will be final.
  6. While no gloves may be worn while throwing, licking your hands is allowed to get a better grip.

That last one is optional, folks.

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays