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Fiz - 3.29.06 

Happy Eskimo Pie Patent Day!

This here internet was supposed to be making my life less stressful, with the online shopping, unlimited information of dubious origin, and free porn. Instead, my agitation is compounding because I've just learned that Tweed Day is right around the corner (April 3), yet I'm fresh out! And it's all Teddy Geiger's fault (well, maybe it isn't, but I figured I'd get a jump on Blame Somebody Else Day, April 13).

My calendar has gotten crowded thanks to Bizarre American Holidays (, a website created by a couple of high school students at Oracle's ThinkQuest Library. But there are actually a number of online locations that break down the odder observances, such as Holiday Insights (, which also provides helpful directions that might allow you to get a "Day" of your own.

On August 8 you can combat squash proliferation by celebrating Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day. January 22 may be Answer Your Cat's Question Day, but you really should be doing that the other 364 days of the year as well. Some of the holidays listed are puzzling (try to have a deerstalker cap handy on December 8, Take It In The Ear Day) and some are just plain dangerous (please give careful consideration to participating in Use Even If Seal Is Broken Day on November 24).

I was unable to trace the evolution of the majority of these holidays, but I can tell you that when September 2 rolls around, I will need to find a way to observe both the anniversary of my birth and National Beheading Day. So listen up: if my birthdays aren't wall-to-wall bliss henceforth, heads will roll. Yeah, I've made the threat before, but I've got the internet on my side now.

--- Dayna Papaleo

Law and monsters

Ever since the halcyon days of the obese Hogg sisters (Ima and Ura), popular culture has had an affinity for good names. Yet, a certain je ne sais quois can only come from a moniker that meshes onomatopoeia with a word combination that feels as though it ought to mean something. Ergo: Batton Lash. And yet, you ask, who is this Batton Lash?

For almost three decades, Lash has been creating cartoons about inadequate monsters and the lawyers who defend them. His strip, Wolff & Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre, began in The Brooklyn Paper in 1979. The attorneys in your family may well remember the adventures of Alanna Wolff and Jeff Byrd from the pages of The National Law Journal (1983-97). In the early '90s, Wolff and Byrd began appearing in their own comic book, Supernatural Law, on a sporadic semi-annual basis.

Lash writes and draws his tales of vampires and other foul creatures under legal duress. Then an attorney friend checks the stories to ensure validity, which adds enough legalese to satisfy the most ardent fan of Scott Turow. The glee that Lash brings to his twisted little world puts the spark in his stories, while his artwork follows the fine line required of mystic realism.

Lash also contributes to the output of Bongo Comics, home of the Simpsons posse. Lastly, one of the more bizarre footnotes on any resume has to belong to Lash for writing Archie Meets The Punisher in 1994, provoking the dire déjà vu of Jimi Hendrix opening for The Monkees.

--- Craig Brownlie

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