Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Happy National Gorilla Suit Day

The long wait is over. My favorite holiday has arrived.

What? You've never heard of National Gorilla Suit Day? Well, I've written this post just in time.

National Gorilla Suit Day was the invention of the late Don Martin, the famous Mad Magazine cartoonist. If you grew up in the 1960's, chances are you read his imaginative work. A few of his cartoons centered on National Gorilla Suit Day. It took a while, but NGSD is showing signs of catching on. It's the day for getting the dusty gorillla suit out of the closet and putting it to use in public.

(For the complete history, click on http://www.povonline.com/National%20Gorilla%20Suit%20Day.htm . Great job by the author by the way. And make sure you check out the banners.)

That Web page only missed two great moments in gorilla suits. I would think every TV network that runs M*A*S*H should air the episode from one of the early years of the show's history. In it, Hawkeye and Trapper send away for gorilla suits. They have them on when Frank Burns comes to them with a personal medical problem, and one of the doctors gets to utter the line, "Why do people wait so long to go see their gorilla?"

The other came in the fall of 2005. Theo Epstein was about to (temporarily) leave as general manager of the Boston Red Sox. The action and resulting news conference was a circus, so Epstein put on a gorilla suit to sneak out of Fenway Park. The suit later was auctioned to charity. When told of National Gorilla Suit Day, Epstein quipped in an e-mail, "I guess I got my dates wrong."

NGSD seems to be gaining in popularity. As I recall, a Google search of it a year only produced a few hits. This time, there are many more. At this rate, we'll be giving the postman another day from work for it by 2010.

Sadly, I don't have my own gorilla suit. One on eBay costs $40, with a $50 shipping fee. With those fees, it's easy to buy into conspiracy theories that National Gorilla Suit Day is a cheap ploy by the nation's gorilla suit manufacturers to move product. (I confess - I stole that line from Martin's original cartoon, so consider it a tribute.) But I'll be thinking in solidarity with those who will be visiting their friends as the celebration goes on throughout the country.

(Say, an entire post about gorillas, and not one line about bananas. I'm slipping.)

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