Wednesday, October 25, 2006

St. Crispin's Day, Battle of Agincourt, Punk for a Day Day, World Pasta Day, October 25th

St. Crispin's Day

October 25th is almost the 300th day of the year (it's the 298th), it means there are just two months until Christmas (as if y'all didn't know from what is currently available in department stores, also the FedEx-Kinkos employees have been wishing customers "Happy Holidays" since Columbus Day) and it is also St. Crispin's Day.

Crispin and his twin brother Crispian were cobblers who preached in the streets by day and made shoes for the poor by night before they were beheaded in 286 A.D. They are the patron saints for cobblers, glove-makers, lace-makers, leather workers, saddle-makers, tanners, and weavers. (Patron Saints Index)

Battle of Agincourt

The most famous celebration of St. Crispin's Day was the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. Probably the only reason why St. Crispin's Day is a vaguely familiar holiday to some people is due to William Shakespeare's dramatization of Henry V's speech to his troops before that battle.

By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive. (Henry V, Act 4, Scene 3)
But really,we have much more than an inspirational speech to credit to that battle. According to the BBC Winston Churchill's two finger victory "V" has some, perhaps apocryphal, origins from the Battle of Agincourt. That battle, or some battle around that battle was the first to use English longbows against the French armour. Supposedly, the French decided that any English archers caught would have his bow fingers removed. When the English were winning the battle, they taunted the French soldiers with their two good bow fingers, a sort of "up yours" with a "V" gesture. Nice huh. Winston Churchill began the "V" for "victory" during World War II. Some historians argue that he knew the history of the gesture and was sending a subtle message to the Nazis.

So, about know we must discuss how we should celebrate today. Do we get stressed out about the fact that there are only six days until Halloween and your co-workers have forbidden the same witch costume that has been my staple for the past five years? Do we worry about the quickly approaching Christmas Holiday? Do we buy new shoes to celebrate St. Crispin's cobblerness? Or would it be better to buy new shoes and give them to the poor? Should we take archery lessons to commemorate the English's victory at the Battle of Agincourt? Or should we wear French armour to mourn for their loss.

If you have enough friends, I would recommend a reenactment. Everyone always does Civil War reenactments, but no-one does Battle of Agincourt reenactments. I think that I will ask Edgy to organize a Battle of Agincourt reenactment for my birthday. And the battle, not the Shakespeare play, please. I am sure that he won't mind. His dog has a French name, she can be one of the French horses. Edgy can be Henry V, Dec can be Westmoreland. I'm sure that I am not asking for too much. ;) Just kidding. Please Edgy, I don't want a Battle of Agincourt reenactment for my birthday.

Now we should we talk about other celebrations today. It also is Punk for a Day Day , so we can color our hairs pink and green and purple, and wear black torn and spray painted t-shirts, and thick soled combat boots. We should definitely get some tattoos, and a couple of piercings in very obviously painful places. And thick black eyeliner.

Or, since it's World Pasta Day we can just eat lots of pasta. Miles and miles of pasta. How much happiness that would be to know that everyone was eating pasta today! And in the spirit of St. Crispin, we can make pasta and give it to those less fortunate by volunteering someplace like Community Action Services. If you don't live in Provo, UT, I am sure there is a similar place in your town.

Wow, there are lots of things to do today! I am not sure what I am going to do... (but I think it might include tattoos... probably the rub-on kind. I'm not that daring, or punk to do much else more permanent.)

So what are you going to do?


Edgy said...

I think I'm going to wish you a happy birthday. Which I knew it was your birthday, because my calendar tells me so.

I also think you should have given me more warning about the Battle of Agincourt reenactment. I could throw something together, but that would be contingent on your willingness to come up to Salt Lake. On your birthday.

Absent-minded Secretary said...

Thank you for wishing me happy birthday. And no need for a reenactment.

So, were you planning to come down here for my birthday? I don't mind going up there, especially since my apartment is messier than it has been since I moved in and I still don't feel like cleaning. (But, I will clean if anyone is coming over. You must give me warning if anyone is coming over!)

Yep, I think that I would be willing to come to SLC on my birthday. Last year we found a pretty good restaurant.

We could make it a tradition, to eat at random restaurants that we will never eat at again, on my birthday. (Wait, did I dangle that modifier? It's my birthday, I can dangle modifiers if I want.)

Edgy said...

Let me discuss tonight's plans with Dec and see what he thinks. I had initially thought to go to your place, what with it being your day and all, but if not going to your place would in essence be giving you the gift of not having to clean, I can sacrifice in that way.

We can look for obscure restaurants. How do you feel about raw foods?

Desmama said...

Happy Birthday! I love it when random people whom I didn't think would know wish me happy birthday. I suppose I arrogantly assume that someone else will like it as well.

At any rate, hope you find a good restaurant and have a lovely birthday.

Master Fob said...

Happy Absent Day! And thanks, by the way, for inviting me to go to dinner with you guys. *pout*

Absent-minded Secretary said...

Desmama: Thank-you so much for the birthday well-wishes! I am delighted that you stopped by! We did have a lovely dinner, and I had a wonderful birthday.

Master Fob: You were invited... I thought it was just understood that you didn't want to drive fourteen hours through the snow for sushi. Yep, it's snowing here already. White-out conditions at the point of the mountain... in October.

Tolkien Boy said...

Happy, happy, happy birthday, my dear friend! I told everyone in my Old English class today about it being St. Crispin's day, and strangely enough I got nothing from it but a lot of strange looks.

Ah well. At least my REAL friends understand me.

...when I'm not speaking Olde English...

Absent-minded Secretary said...

I am so happy that you shared an Almanac day with your class! Perhaps Henry V is too Early Modern English for an Olde English class.

And the rest of us will be able to understand you when you speak Olde English... if you provide lots of asterisks. :)

Th. said...


Am I too late to wish you many happy returns, etc?

If not, here they are: many happy returns.

Absent-minded Secretary said...

Thank-you! You're not too late, my baby brother still hasn't remembered yet. :)