So you may have noticed there’s a little thing coming up on Saturday where people are going to go out for a fancy dinner, give one another roses, eat some chocolate and get laid. But just because you don’t have a main squeeze, just because you don’t believe in the Christian Saint Valentine, just because you think romance is fundamentally stupid, doesn’t mean you can’t find a bloody great reason to celebrate.
Here’s your definitive list of things worth celebrating this 14 February, none of which involve naked baby angels.
Instead of curling up on the sofa with a romantic comedy and a bottle of plonk, set your station to YouTube and re-watch the glory that was Torvill & Dean winning gold at the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics. The British pair were the first – and remain the only – figure skaters to ever receive a perfect score of 6.0.
Web 2.0 lovers
When you’re done watching the breathtaking beauty of Bolero, take a minute to remember life before YouTube. Can’t do it? I’m not surprised. YouTube is such a massive part of our online life that it kind of feels like it was always around. But YouTube.com was only born on 14 February 2005. That’s the date the domain name was registered. Reports on how the fledging company started vary, but it probably involved Janet Jackson’s boob. Which is also an excellent reason to celebrate.
On 14 February 1966, Australia’s currency was decimalised, bringing to an end the shilling, pound, pence, florin and crown. The new currency was going to be called the ‘Royal’ but met with such wide-spread and deserved derision that the government scrapped the idea and went with the rather less obnoxious ‘dollar’. Which is a shame, because I can only imagine the jokes we’ve missed out on as a result.
Many great films had their premiere on 14 February, so go right ahead and celebrate “A Good Day to Die Hard”, “Daredevil” or “Nude Nuns With Big Guns”. For myself, I’ll be celebrating “Wayne’s World” which premiered in 1992. The first time I watched Wayne’s World, I immediately hit rewind and watched it again (we had to rewind videos in those days; they didn’t just autoplay as you scrolled past them). After that film, it was pretty much impossible to go on a road trip without cranking out Bohemian Rhapsody. It also started a trend of Alice Cooper worship. One time, my dad ran into Alice Cooper in Sydney. He did what legions of Wayne’s World fans did at that time: he got down on his knees, bowed, and said “I’m not worthy!” True story.
Automotive and textiles lovers
If you’re in one of those stereotypical butch/femme relationships, in which one of you loves cars and the other is a keen knitter, have I got good news for you! You’ve definitely got reason to celebrate this 14 February, as that’s the day Sakichi Toyoda, the grand-patriarch of the Toyota dynasty, was born. A prolific inventor, Toyoda basically revolutionised the world of looms (I bet that’s the only time you hear that sentence today). Using his manufacturing principles, his heirs would go on to make the Prius, a car synonymous with middle-class smugness.
And so your final reason for celebrating this 14 February. It’s the anniversary of the day that we realised just how puny and insignificant we are. In 1990, the space probe Voyager turned back for one final look at our solar system and took a series of photos called “The Family Portrait”. In these photos can be found one tiny Pale Blue Dot. Us. Earth.
Just because you don’t have Amanda Hugginkiss this Valentine’s Day, doesn’t mean you don’t have a reason to celebrate. As Alice Cooper told my dad that day in Sydney – always remember, you’re totally worthy dude. You’re totally worthy.