August 27

National Just Because Day (U.S.)


Today was the day you did something “just because.”  Not something you were supposed to do, not something you needed to do logically or to fulfill some social or work-related responsibility.  Not something the law required you to do.

No.  Today was the day you could perform some random silly act, like dancing in the street or wearing purposely mismatched clothes.  Just because.   You were invited to do some small selfish thing, like order two desserts after the main course, or buy an overpriced gadget at the mall.  Just because.

The idea reminds you a little bit of Edgar Allan Poe’s concept of the Imp of the Perverse.  His insane narrators stab a cat in the eye or smother an old man, for the very reason that they know they’re not supposed to.

But National Just Because Day, conceived in the U.S. during the innocent 1950s, was intended as a fun, frivolous holiday — not as an excuse for lawlessness or Poe-style perversity.

Unfortunately, the Apocalypse tended to take the fun and frivolity out of life.  As if the city hadn’t suffered enough damage during the catastrophic firestorms…some idiot broke into the city warehouse and set fire to all the emergency food rations.  Just because.  Another dolt, pretending to be an animal rights activist, opened the cages at a private facility and released infected zombies into the remaining healthy population.  Just because.  A gang of fun-seekers decided to run through town with rocks and baseball bats and metal pipes, smashing every unbroken ground floor window.  Just because.

This behavior is enough to make you hate everyone around you.  These are the few people who were lucky enough to survive, and they’re behaving like animals.

A terrible thought occurs to you.  It forms in your mind like a blueprint, then a recipe, then a list of steps with checkboxes in the margin.  You mark a mental check in the first box, then gather the tools you need for the tasks that follow.  A few hours remain in the day.

It’s time to celebrate.  Just because.