More national holidays are badly needed

If you’re like me, every now and then you just want to scream about something. It might be the price of coffee or gas. It might be the way your hair looks when you leave the beauty parlor. Maybe it’s the flat tire on your way to church or the fender bender you’re involved in the day after your husband dropped full insurance coverage. You just need a good scream to make everything go away.

You know what I mean. It’s often the little things in life that get us down. The years have taught us to expect major problems and catastrophes, and we’ve learned to accept and deal with them. It’s the loose filling or the wet newspaper or the pen without ink that drives us crazy.

Which brings me to the point of this little musing. We need a special day when we can let off steam, a day set aside to rid ourselves of pent up stress. Twenty-four hours of uninterrupted hollering, shouting, or yelling at everything and everybody bothering us

Friends, family members, neighbors, strangers, pets, circumstances, or objects that rouse our temper during the year would have to endure the national holiday I recommend.

Maybe it already exists. Somewhere in some little town across this great country there must be a celebration dubbed the National Day of Scream. If there isn’t one, we should start a grassroots campaign demanding our do-nothing Congress declares such a day. Our feeble leaders could choose a month that’s a little lean on holidays. August springs to mind. Other than county fairs, August is a fairly dull month.

On the chosen day, folks would be encouraged to scream as often and as long as their lungs and throat could tolerate. People from all generations, races, and religions could release all their anger, frustration, and disappointment. Everyone would have the right to scream at anyone and no one would be allowed to take offense. We could release a cascade of tension and anxiety without fear of repercussion.

Munch’s famous painting, “The Scream,” always fascinated me. Critics have speculated it’s a self-portrait, the result of the artist’s agoraphobia. Well, I don’t know any more than the critics, but I have a theory. I think Munch was at his wit’s end and needed an outlet. What better way to preserve a strong emotion than to commit it to canvas. Maybe Munch was having a bad day. Maybe one bad day rolled into another until the days became years, and his only outlet was his art.

The first time I came across Munch’s anxiety paintings, I found them rather disturbing. Who would want to hang such macabre works in their living room. The very fact it’s called a living room would negate the purchase of such art because his models do not appear to be enjoying life.

Interesting, isn’t it, that the screamer is holding his hands over his ears while he screams. One could argue he’s tired of hearing the noise in his head so he covers his ears and emits a scream no one can hear. Isn’t that the zenith of frustration?

I’ll give you an example. Perhaps you will relate to it. The other day I was ready to scream at the unfairness of life. I know everything is random, but why do some people seem to have all the luck. I’m acquainted with a fellow I’ll call Flash who is two years my senior.

He could pass for 45 and is healthier than any winning Triple Crown horse. Strangers compliment his perfect posture, waitresses give him discounts, and everybody wants to be his friend.

On summer days, Flash drives around town in his snazzy red Corvette convertible or whizzes down I-75 on his fancy blue Honda motorcycle. To the untrained eye, he appears to tap dance his way through life. He was hailed as a conquering hero when he did nothing more than sail on the freighter Edward L. Ryerson.

The hands of Flash have never seen arthritis, a callus, or a blister. He diets and pounds melt from him like ice cream on a warm day. He’s bests me at golf, pool, bowling, ping pong, swimming, even Old Maid, and he has more clothes than Penney’s Men’s Department.

Flash loses at the casino, then wins it all back. He never gets a speeding ticket, and he speeds all the time. His employer throws money at him as if it were confetti. When he’s not home, his neighbor cuts his grass. Squirrels don’t build nests in his storage shed. Moles don’t come near his yard. Even the occasional mouse ventures no farther than the first trap in his garage.

But guess what? I met Flash 15 years ago and know him very well. Just like everybody else, he could benefit from a good healthy scream. He worries about everything. It’s a hard task maintaining appearances and pretending you don’t have a care in the world. A loud and long scream might work wonders in liberating all the frustrations layered in his mind.

So there you have it. Even the most blessed among us have problems. Until Congress acts, I suppose we’ll have to settle for imitating Munch’s famous painting. Open our mouths wide and release a silent scream. Nobody will hear, but maybe we’ll feel better knowing we initiated our own National Day of Scream.

Editor’s note: Sharon M. Kennedy of Brimley is a humorist who infuses her musings with a hardy dose of matriarchal common sense. She writes about everyday experiences most of us have encountered at one time or another on our journey through life. Her articles are a combination of present day observations and nostalgic glances of the past.