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When Is National Absurdity Day?

Updated on December 7, 2014
A lovely carpet covered Smart Car.
A lovely carpet covered Smart Car. | Source

November 20 is both National Absurdity Day and False Confession Day in the United States and the combination could result in some hilarious or catastrophic outcomes.

This seems to be a Mega April Fool's Day in November. Not quite like the solstices or the equinoxes, the holiday is five months away from April, rather than half a year.

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Purple Lemon
Purple Lemon
Purple Lemon | Source

Surreal: Fruit or Cocoon?

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An Elaborate Absurdist Event

The Day of Absurdity was right on time in 2013, because an actress who specializes in Russian Absurdism seems to have helped to begin a hoax during the first half of November, to the effect that the beloved and quirky comedian Andy Kaufman is still alive.She claimed to be a daughter of the comedian, who was hiding from hi fans and the stress of public life.

According to Alexandra Tartarsky, just like Elvis, Andy wanted to escape the crowds and publicity so he faked his death.

Kaufman was good at hoaxes and jokes, so perhaps his brother Michael decided to spring this one on the world 30 years after Andy's leaving.

One side of the debate holds that Michael hired Tartartsky to help him with the Kaufman-esque stunt. The other side is Michael, who on November 11, reported to a crowd that he showed up at a restaurant on Christmas Eve 1999 to meet Andy and received a letter from him instead. Michael says the letter relayed Andy's happiness in being out of the public eye.

Since Andy Kaufman had been practicing Easter Medication, some attendees at his funereal are reporting that he may have only slowed down his heartbeat and breathing to assume the appearance of death.

This may be the best example of the absurd in November 2013, because all of this elaborate presentation occurred at the annual Andy Kaufman Awards. It probably is an elaborate hoax that Andy would have appreciated.

Andy was the best Elvis impersonator I ever witnessed, but an older gentleman who looked a lot like The King. claimed to be Elvis, and published a short book a few years ago suddenly disappeared. Whether he was Presley or not, his several years in semi-public view are also absurd.

No matter the facts, some people may begin to think that the elderly person claiming to be Elvis was actually Andy.

Combining events, that's a lot of absurdity and false confession!

Bubba Ho-Tep (Limited Collector's Edition)
Bubba Ho-Tep (Limited Collector's Edition)

This absurdly clever caper is elevated into a moving meditation on the diminutions of age and the vagaries of fame.


This absurdly clever caper is elevated by Bruce Campbell's pensive Elvis into a moving meditation on the diminutions of age and the vagaries of fame.

-- Peter Travers, Critic at Rolling Stone Magazine

Elvis Has 9 Lives

I think that Elvis sightings occur nearly every day. Because he has probably hundreds of distant cousins, like myself, this phenomenon may not be so absurd. Some men look a little like Elvis, some fellows look a lot more like him, and some tribute artists added plastic surgery to their preparations inordeer to portray him.

Steve Michaels from Toronto and Doug Church from the USA are the top two Elvis tribute performers and no longer enter the competitions for "Elvis impersonators." Even so, Andy Kaufman was probably een ore believable. However, Bruce Campbell played Elvis in the award winning Bubba HoTep (2002), as absurd a comedy as ever was presented.

In the film, we find that Elvis faked his death and, in a nursing home, pretends to be a delirious senior citizen who believes he is Elvis. Ossie Davis portrays a senior who believes himself to be JFK, with the claim that the government dyed him black. Together with other nursing home residents like the Lone Ranger, they battle an Egyptian mummy come back to life to exact vengeance.

Bubba HoTep Trailer: Comedy Horror

Saps at Sea Food Scenes

Chefs Laurel and Hardy

Saps at Sea (1940)

  • Hal Roach Studios/United Artsts

Even the title of this Laurel and Hardy film is a bit absurd. It is a pun on the 1937 movies Souls at Sea, which starred Gary Cooper. Another absurdity is that, in real life, Oliver Hardy was badly burned in a cooking accident while under contract to Roach Studios, and the last L&H film for that outfit included cooking.

Saps begins realistically with a workplace problem. Laurel and Hardy are hard at work in a horn factory, when Oliver begins to have a panic attack related to the constant noise of honking. He and Stanley visit he company doctor, who prescribes a soothing sea voyage as treatment.

Laurel and Hardy go to sea to rest, but Stanley keeps making loud noises and Oliver is afraid of open water. Together, they confront an escaped killer on board their boat. The criminal and the ship's cook demand that the duo cook dinner. L & H plan to poison the criminal with fake foods.

The comedy partners comply with demands and prepare a meal of alternatives: spaghetti (string from mop heads), meatballs (sponges), and cheese (grated soap). However, Stanley is forced by the killer to eat the "meal" and his facial expressions while chewing are hilarious!

Even more absurd in this film are scenes of an apartment maintenance worker gone haywire. He causes all the refrigerators in the building to play music and the radios to freeze over.

L & H are such favorites, because of their convincing trips from the real to the surreal - and the accents resulting from pairing of an Englishman with a man from Georgia. In his recent Las Vegas act, Jerry Lewis spoke of his admiration of Stanley Laurel, his influence on Jerry, and their friendship. In turn, Charlie Chaplin had influenced both of them.

A Trillion Dollar Coin


An Absurdist Poll

Which is most absurd?

See results

Money That Does Not Exist

This is a mock up of a possible $1,000,000,000,000 coin. Rumors in the media in the 2010s included one in which America would mint a few such coins to avoid raising the National Debt Ceiling and perhaps pay off indebtedness to China. No such coin was minted.

An interesting fiction incident involves another type of currency. In an old science fiction short story, a man becomes part of an elaborate housing scheme for aliens on Earth. The scheme takes over the man's whole life. He is paid several times at a bank in some alternate dimension. At the conclusion of the deal, he takes large amounts of US Currency home to his wife. When they open the bag, they find only $10,000 bills, a demonination that had, as yet, never been printed in America.

Think of a rhyme for "orange."
Think of a rhyme for "orange." | Source

Comments - What Will You Do On Absurdity Day?

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    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Never knew there is such a day....I learn new stuff everyday and although it is absurd, it is great to know. :)

      Thank you for the added knowledge. Passing it along.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Never knew that such a day existed. Enjoyed reading.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 4 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      That's pretty interesting!

    • someonewhoknows profile image

      someonewhoknows 4 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      My contribution to national absurdity day involves a haunted elevator!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 4 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      @MT - All that makes sense and I'm sorry you contracted cancer! My parents smoked heavily as well - 5 packs daily each by the end of my junior high school years. Some days, you could not see the opposite wall in any room at home because of the thick smoke.

      @Turtkewoman - That's the best rhyme for it I've heard yet, tho:)

    • Turtlewoman profile image

      Kim Lam 4 years ago from California

      Oh this was a fun one to read! I can't believe they have an Absurd Day lol!

      rhyme for orange: more strange??? Umm, no. :-)

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Patty-I had no idea Andy died of lung cancer. As you know I too never smoked and was diagnosed with lung cancer ten years ago. It's probably the same reason Dana Reeves (Christopher Reeve's wife) died of lung cancer and never smoked. Back in their day, doing stand up and singing lounges were thick with smoke. Dana actually had a smokers tumor because she inhaled so much in her days of entertaining in night clubs. I know part of the reason I probably got it was that my parents were both heavy smokers. I remember liking the smell of their just lit cigarrettes when they woke up in the morning and walked past my bedroom. I also worked as a server in nightclubs and bars to get myself through college. Thanks for filling me in on Andy K.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 4 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      @ RonElFran, drbj, Minnetonka Twin -- Trillion dollar coins at McDonald's would be a disruptive laugh and if I remember correctly, most shops would give the food free if they could not provide change for a $50 or a $100 bill.

      I think it would be a good day for costume parties and maybe some light pranks that would not hurt anyone, although I avoid April Fool's Day. Of course, Retail would benefit from an Absurdly Low Prices sale.

      I remember opening the newspaper the day after Andy Kaufman died and reading that he had lung cancer. Surprising, since he did not smoke and was following a healthy diet, according to the film Man In the Moon. I wish he were stll here.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 4 years ago from Minnesota

      I have never heard of this day but it sounds pretty fun. I remember hearing about the Andy Kaufman not really being dead. By the way, what did he die from? Anyway, hit many buttons and voted up. Thanks for the fun hub.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Absurdity Day? What a great concept, Patty. It's particularly apt these days when almost everything our elected representatives do is absurd! Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Loved the green smart car and the Laurel and Hardy film clip. Their brand of slapstick humor is always funny.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 4 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      Speaking of absurd, I'm thinking of someone carrying one of those trillion dollar coins in his pocket and accidentally putting it in a parking meter. Or buying a meal with it at McDonald's and asking for change. Happy absurdity day!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 4 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      @moonlake - And I wish I'd at least gone to one of his concerts. Absurdity Day could be a lot of fun. Some libraries are celebrating it after school with students.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      I wish Elvis was not dead. I never knew there was a day like this until I read your hub.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 4 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I hope I am able to meet Evis someday, then! - or Andy :)

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 4 years ago from Jamaica

      This hub is so absurd! LOL LOL I have been seeing the stories of Andy's daughter on the It's nice having a day like this, I wish we did here in Jamaica.

      I tell you this and bones about it...Elvis is not dead!