It’s hard to believe that there’s only one more day left in July! Fall (in the Northern Hemisphere) will be on us before we know, and then . . . degeneration and extinction. But I am still sentient, typing this with Hili lying beside me on the couch, furry and purring. It’s July 30, 2016: International Friendship Day—a day to celebrate our pals, human or animal. The holiday was, as is so often the case, created by the greeting card industry (“Big Card”) to sell their stuff, but it’s still worthwhile to take some time to contemplate the value of friends. After all, without them, who would help move our stuff?
On this day in 1956, there was a setback for secularists, as President Dwight Eisenhower signed a joint resolution of Congress establishing “In God We Trust” as the U.S. national motto. Can you imagine a worse one? It could be fixed by replacing “God” with “Reason,” but there’s no chance that will happen. I now realize that even when this country is mostly populated by nonbelievers, as will happen some day, people will still favor that motto as a sign of Belief in Belief, and regard its elimination as bigotry against faith. On this day in 1966, England won the World Cup, which hasn’t happened again in the past 50 years. On July 30, 1974, Nixon released the subpoenaed Watergate tapes; exactly a year later Jimmy Hoffa disappeared from a restaurant parking lot, never to be seen again: and, in 2003, the last old style VW Beetle came off the assembly line—in Mexico. I always wanted one but never bought one, though I did get a VW Rabbit when I moved to Chicago. (It died in a car crash, and I now have an excellent 2000 Honda Civic.)
Notables born this day include Emily Brontë (1809), Henry Ford (1863), Casey Stengel (1890)j, Peter Bogdanovich (1939; he directed the best of all American films, “The Last Picture Show”), and Arnold Schwarzenegger (1947). Those who died on this day include Joyce Kilmer (1918; can you name his one famous poem?) and Ingmar Bergman (2007). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili gave me a warm and furry welcome, though I’m a bit dubious about her motives:
Hili: I couldn’t wait for you to get here.Jerry: Neither could I.Hili: We have to go to the kitchen and eat something now because we are hungry.
Hili: Nie mogłam się na ciebie doczekać.
Jerry: Ja też nie.
Hili: Musimy coś zjeść, bo jesteśmy głodni.
Gus sent us a photo of his bedtime; the appropriate saying is “Good night; sleep white; don’t let the bedbugs bite.”
Finally, here’s a gratuitous video of an alpaca cuddling with cats, sent by reader Anne-Marie: