Monday, October 06, 2008

October 6 is Mad Hatter Day !

October 6th is Mad Hatter Day, a holiday created 22 years ago in Boulder, Colorado by some computer people with too much time on their hands (guess they had run out of Star Trek fan fiction). They picked October 6 as the date, because of the "10/6" tag on the Mad Hatter's hat.

I stumbled upon a Mad Hatter Day entry at Ari Rampkin's really old home page (which he updated 9 years ago -- seriously, dude, teh Interweb is never going to be more than a fad if you don't update once in a while. The tubes get clogged, man!)

According to Rampkin, we celebrate silliness on Mad Hatter Day. Do something silly for the sake of being silly. Do something unexpected. Hurl a scone. Wear a funny hat. Speak like a Canadian pirate. ("Arrr, it's aboot time you walked the plank, eh.")

Rampkin presciently wrote on his page 12 years ago:
"But what if your work involves something inherently silly -- say marketing, where you put on a three-piece suit (five or six layers of fabric) in the summertime, tie a piece of cloth around your neck to restrict blood flow to the brain, and set about trying to convince people to buy things they don't want and can't afford because this will give the country a Healthy Economy? In this case, doing something absolutely sane will have a more startling effect than you can possibly imagine."
Eerie, isn't it?

(By the way, the phrase "mad as a hatter" was created because hat makers -- also called milliners -- used mercury to cure felt. And because they breathed the fumes and got it on their hands, they suffered neurological damage, which led to slurred speech, hallucinations, and psychotic symptoms

And then, they retired and became marketers

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