By MIA FREEDMAN
In Australia right now, it’s Octsober. I think. Sounds like the one where you give up drinking for a month. Wait, isn’t that Feb-fast? Or Dry-July? Soon we will all be paid not to drink all year round. Please God, do not take December from us because that would be too cruel. Christmas parties? Sober? Bitch please.
I do believe it all started with Movember, the month where men are encouraged to grow a moustache to raise funds and awareness for prostate chancer charities which has since grown to include other men’s health charities. Last Movember, 850,000 men worldwide grew moustaches and millions of dollars were raised. Movember started in Australia. We should be proud.
The list of months-with-corresponding-actions has since become epic and includes the following:
JULY: Dry july
In Britain, they also have Movember but some of their other months are different. Right now, while Australia does Octsober, the Brits are celebrating (that word seem wrong but I’m not sure which other one to use….observing?) Stoptober. This month was named by their health department as a way to encourage smokers to give up the fags for a month to see if it might stick.
As Times columnist Caitlin Moran wrote this week:
Three weeks ago, I told my sister about the then-forthcoming Stoptober. “I’m thinking of giving it a go,” I said. “Just to, you know, see what it’s like.” “Go right ahead,” she said, lighting up. “It’ll always be Fagtember for me.”
Despite my sister’s disregard, I personally like this renaming of all the months, accompanied by a sympathetic action.
In Stoptober we all stop smoking, then on November 1 we all start growing moustaches. Chuck the fags, grow a moustache; the year is starting to resemble the barked dance instructions for Agadoo. I look forward to “Shakepineapplebruary”. Indeed, that’s not all I look forward to.
For, with ten months as yet un-renamed, it seems like there’s still everything to play for in this nascent game of “claim a month for a thing”. I’d like to suggest a few more “month concepts” to whoever it is who decides these things.
“Plebruary.” In which the achievements of the working classes are celebrated for 28 days straight – 29 in each leap year. Those taking part in Plebruary wear T-shirts depicting their favourite plebs – Joe Orton; Nye Bevan; Kathy Burke; John Lydon; J.K. Rowling; Morecambe and Wise; Richard Burton; Mo Farah; Vivienne Westwood; Amy Winehouse; the Bee Gees; the Smiths; Pat Phoenix; Charles Dickens; Shirley Bassey; the Beatles; Noddy Holder screaming, “IT’S CHRISTMAS!!!” – and commit themselves to tweeting, “And without the unions Britain will go back to this suffocating feudal inbreeding,” during Downton Abbey.
Plebruary climaxes on the last day, when two million serfs spend the morning smelting a massive iron dancefloor before 48 hours straight dancing to acid house and Girls Aloud. It’s basically the Olympics opening ceremony, but every year. Who doesn’t want that? Who doesn’t want Plebruary?
That sounds quite genius. But I like Moran’s next proposal even better. “Flawgust”. It goes like this:
For a month, there’s no photoshopping or airbrushing and celebrities compete to reveal the most impressive crop of chin acne. A series of high-profile make-unders kicks in to make people look much, much rougher, yet more relaxed. Flawgust’s ideal publicity coup would be to have Kate Middleton take part, rocking up at the opening of a new school looking a bit knackered and sweaty and saying, “Not even that Mitchum 48-hour deodorant is touching the sides today. I smell like onion soup. Off onion soup. Can someone Febreze me down before I meet the kids?” before knocking back a massive glass of wine and laughing hysterically at Prince William’s Blue Harbour deck shoes.
I’m up for Flawgust and I’m quite inspired to try and re-name some other months with associated actions. Care to help?