Happy National Punch Day! (9/20)

Today we celebrate the complete ambiguity of the English language. I mean, really, is there any better occasion to acknowledge the ridiculousness of our language than on National Punch Day? Punch is something we drink, we inflict pain with, we use to put holes through paper, to describe a shocking yet pleasurable experience, and it’s the name brand of a cigar. With that many meanings, clarification about the nature of National Punch Day was not going to be possible, mostly because nearly all of the National Days of the month on The List are totally fake, so something as generic as National Punch Day had little to no chance of yeilding a legitimate definition.

Of course, something you will find when you search online for information on something as random as the origin of National Punch Day, is how monotonously unoriginal most of we bloggers really are, just copying and pasting someone elses already plagiarized words onto our own pages with absolutely no attribution. As I scrolled down my “National Punch Day” results page, I found the exact quote,

“The word “punch” (allegedly) comes from the Hindustani word “panch,” which means “five,”

on the following sites:

with many others simply substituting the word “allegedly” for the word “actually.” The thing I didn’t find was any evidence actually capable of linking the word punch to a Hindustani derivation other than the internet-wide repetion of the rumor.

I still celebrated the stuff, though, even though most varieties make me feel really very funky! Since there weren’t any proms or weddings scheduled on my calendar today, however, I was pretty much relegated to the convenience store. Kool-aid would surely have brough back some memories of childhood, but to get the full effect, I’d have to make it with half the recommended sugar so that it gave the exact watery experience it did when my super health conscious mom made for me. Hawaiian Punch is another mainstream fruit punch option, but that stuff would bring back awful college memories. Hawaiian Punch was the mixer of

The Hawaiian Punch Guy

choice for “Hunch Punch,” which was typically made with equal parts Hawaiian punch and pure grain alcohol. Of course my roommates used to pour it into their half drank 40-ounce bottles of Old English 800 malt liquor before they went out to the clubs… (mmph!) Yep, I just grossed myself out.

Mmmm! My Spider senses are tingling… on my tongue!

All ambiguity, plagiarism, and disgusting fruit punch experiences aside, there is one thing that seems to be universally true of the word “punch” when it’s used to describe a drink. It is necessarily a mixture of two or more fruit juices along with (or without) the addition of water, soda or booze. It also doesn’t have to be red.  Still, for me fruit punch is still a kids drink, straight up! That’s why I went with an apple and pear Spidey Belly Washer. Well, it may also have had something to do with the shirt I was wearing at the time.

See you Friday for National Pecan Cookie Day.

About Jim Clark

"If it was worth doing, then it is worth writing!" -- Jim Clark -- Someone else probably said that before, and I'm sure that each semester she starts her Creative Writing 101 class by writing it on the board, but I never took that lady's class so I am taking her quote! I work in the world of advertising, but I write for a living. Here in the second decade of the '00s, we find ourselves in a culture where virtually everyone writes for a living. With all the clicking and clacking on Facebook, Twitter, emails and texts, our lives are more than ever intertwined with writing. At the same time, it's also become increasingly more important to shorten our thoughts down to as few characters as possible. So, now, more than ever, I think it's also important to hold a place in our lives for expanding and honing our thoughts through writing. This is my place for that.
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