What does Leap Day have to do with bad breath?
SUMMARY: They couldn't possibly have anything to do with one another, right? Well, if you look hard enough, you can spot little connections between our halitosis and the extra day we tack onto the calendar.
Posted: February 16, 2012
This year is Leap Year, meaning we get to experience that all-too-fleeting February 29th. Since this month contains Leap Day - and since it is also officially National Bad Breath Awareness Month, we thought we'd draw a few connections between the two.
Remember, these are really just coincidences, lucky occurrences and interesting alignments. Or are they?
- February 29, 1504. To get food from the Native Americans for his starving crew, Christopher Columbus correctly predicts a lunar eclipse. (Starvation often results in a sickly, pungent form of halitosis.)
- February 29, 1812. Future premier of Tasmania James Milne Wilson is born. The Australian would grow up to have a life in politics and would manage Australia's oldest continually operated halitosis manufacturer, er, that is, its oldest brewery.
- February 29, 1840. Irish inventor John Philip Howland is born. He will grow up to invent one of the world's most uncomfortable bad breath containers: the submarine.
- February 29, 1880. Premier of Tasmania (and now Sir) James Milne Wilson dies on his birthday, perhaps the only recorded case of a "leapling" doing so.
- February 29, 1940. For her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind, Hattie McDaniel becomes the first African American actor to win an Academy Award. (And since February is also Black History Month, it's interesting to note how far we've come: The night of the awards ceremony, McDaniel was seated at a segregated table.) Among the many notorious stories to come from the filming of Gone with the Wind, one of the most famous is that Vivien Leigh consistently complained of Clark Gable's bad breath.
- February 29, 1960. The newspaper comic strip Family Circus makes its debut. Characters Billy, Dolly, Jeffy and P.J.'s most common hang-out spot is the real-life ice cream parlor The Sugar Bowl, located in Scottsdale. Imagine how much halitosis kids would get from so many treats! (Speaking of Scottsdale, in one strip, Jeffy gets his tonsils taken out in the city's St. Joseph's Hospital. Tonsillectomies may specifically target tonsil stones, by the way, but they can't remove bad breath.)
- February 29, 1980. The French humorous "newspaper" La Bougie du Sapeur (The Sapper's Candle) is first published. This once-every-four-years publication is named for a comic strip character, the sapper Camember (who in turn is named for a halitosis-inducing cheese).
What surprises with this Leap Day hold?