Now that Eli Manning has seen his shadow, and Punxsutawney Phil has guided the Giants to another Super Bowl victory, it’s time to re-focus our collectively worsening eyesight on that next great February festival of fun: National Bagels & Lox Day.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t it obvious Phil got away with that intentional grounding late in the first half simply because he was a groundhog?
Well, although not my point here, I must agree. The referees were simply too worried about NAAHG (National Association for the Advancement of Hibernating Groundhogs) backlash from such a stereotyping penalty. It’s sad to see proper officiating derailed by political correctness.
Anyway, to answer that other thing you were thinking about:
Lox is neither what you change to keep a distraught ex-lover from getting back into your apartment (see “locks”), nor your lack of strictness with small children you babysit and routinely allow to watch “Jersey Shore” and stick crayons up their nostrils (see “lax”).
Lox is actually cured salmon that, when combined with a bagel, is commonly enjoyed by people Mel Gibson doesn’t like.
Usually, a basic “bagel and lox” is completed by spreading on a white ring of deliciousness that’s better known as cocaine. Wait! I meant cream cheese. Of course.
So, this Thursday, kosher delicatessens everywhere will celebrate this classic piece of Jewish cuisine during “National Bagels & Lox Day.”
There are many small gatherings across America where people eat and discuss bagels and lox, but there’s no bigger party than New York City’s annual National Bagels & Lox Day Parade. The parade’s grand marshal, Woody Allen, dresses up as a large bagel and lox sandwich, marches down 5th Avenue, and then jumps into a giant container of Philadelphia cream cheese.
Unfortunately, not much else is known about National Bagels & Lox Day, mostly because I’m too lazy to click past the first page of search results on Google. I did, however—in pushing aside my journalistic nose hairs and inhaling the deep scent of fresh-baked knowledge—learn some basic facts.
According to party-planning Web site punchbowl.com, bagels were invented in 16th century Poland as lean bread to be eaten during Lent. Jewish families would eat them every Friday night after watching “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”
Bagels were brought to the U.S. by Jewish immigrants in the 1800s. When bagel met lox and cream cheese at a pub one humid August night in 1883, sparks flew hot and heavy.
Bagels and Lox have even been to Broadway as the namesake of the 1951 comedy “Bagel and Yox.” And who could forget their epic 1972 musical tour “Long Hair and Hungry Stomachs,” where they teamed up with singer-songwriters Loggins and Messina?
Anyway, even if bagels and lox aren’t your thing, you’ll be happy to know February is full of food holidays. For instance, not only is this National Cherry Month, but Feb. 25 is National Chocolate-Covered Nuts Day. I won’t be making jokes about either observance.
I can’t, however, forget to mention Feb. 23, the best day of all: International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day (I swear this is real). Personally, it’s unclear to me whether the dogs or the owners are supposed to appreciate the biscuits. From an owners’ standpoint, I can understand — giving my dog some biscuits is usually the only way I can get him to stop humping things.
All of these, mind you, could legally (but hopefully never will) become official public observances under Title 36 of the U.S. Code, if they were designated by Congress and given a proclamation by the President.
Given the nation’s many problems though, it’s hard to imagine this being a pressing issue in the Obama administration:
SECRETARY (Bursting through Oval Office doors): MR. PRESIDENT, YOU NEED TO SIGN THIS NOW!
OBAMA: What is it? Has Iran launched a surprise nuclear attack? Do I actually get to use the retaliatory launch codes?
SECRETARY: No, Mr. President, it’s not about that. It’s about your country needing you to consider … the guacamole option …”
OBAMA: Jim, I told you I’m a salsa man! I won’t do it!
SECRETARY: With all due respect, Mr. President, don’t make this a red or green issue! Congress is united; National Guacamole Day will encourage our citizens to buy guacamole and tortilla chips, thus supporting the nation’s corn and avocado growers. Don’t let the people down!
OBAMA (sighing): Fine. Where’s my corn cob-shaped signing pen?
Anyway, just remember: February has much to celebrate, and much to eat. Now who’s hungry?