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tomtac ([personal profile] tomtac) wrote2010-06-25 06:52 pm
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Happy Surprise Day! (from Robert Silverberg's Lost Race of Mars)

June 25 is six months from Christmas, going back, or going forward.
For someone who thinks Christmas should come more than once a year,
June 25 is a good day for duplicating it.

It isn't a religious thing, but is for gift-giving.

(Sigh ... now here is the part where some people sneer. Robert
Silverberg wrote a children's science fiction book named "Lost Race of
Mars" back a long ways, about a brother and sister whose parents get a
job at the United Nations colony on Mars. A long time ago, I read it,
and it wasn't too bad.

(Chapter 1 was about 'Surprise Day', which Silverberg wasn't pushing
for an actual holiday. In the book, the parents had invented it as a
family thing, just because they wanted more than one gift day during
the year, and they would give each other gifts (or rather, the parents
would come up with most of the gifts). In Chapter 1, the parents
announced that their gift, that year, would be the move to Mars.

(A lot of people didn't like 'Lost Race of Mars', so I haven't talked
of it much. It really is necessary to remember it was a children's
book. ... But I really did like the Surprise Day idea, and all my
life I've silently given June 25 a little star on the calendar inside
my head. Not for gifts, but just surprises or keeping the eyes open.

(People who have read Rosemary's Baby might have a different take --
June 25 was supposed to be the Antichrist's birthday, for the same
reason (opposite of Dec 25, far from it as one could get).

(Last year really -was- a surprise day. Farrah Fawcett (may she rest
in peace) and Michael Jackson (ditto) both departed that day.

(This year ... I decided to post it here. My private little holiday?

(Tell you what, here's a pile of Martian pebbles on the Bar. For a
Mars Sample Return mission to get one, it would take billions of
dollars, so one of these should probably pay for a BOYC. Enjoy my
private little holiday this weekend. If you are good, I'll arrange it
so next year June 25 will be on the weekend for real, instead of a
Friday night.)

[identity profile] 2010-06-25 11:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Thanks Tom!

[identity profile] 2010-06-25 11:44 pm (UTC)(link)
I have officially adopted it as the next summer holiday -- although Albert Day (August 26th) remains dear to my heart, too.

I've decided to start celebrating tonight -- with a Tom COLLINS in your honour, Tom -- since I just happen to have my friend Mary Kromminga's tail-end of a bottle of gin and some diet fizzy lemonade to hand... [grin]

I think I'll go out back and hang one on -- a SURPRISE DAY ornament on my GINKGO TREE, I mean --

I am touched by your story, and now I'm going to read that Silverberg novel -- he wrote so much -- I'm ashamed to say I didn't know this one.