Coleman / A day of mushrooms, hagfish and voting

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THE election is dead. Long live the election!

Yes. The votes have been cast and counted across the wide brown land, and we’ve all just about recovered from a campaign that was far more exciting than we’re willing to admit*. So, take a breath and get ready for the local show.

Chris Coleman
Chris Coleman.

How to prepare for October 15? The website knowndays.com provides a wealth of material. It’s an American website, but I couldn’t find a similar list for Australia, so it’ll have to do.

For starters, when we go to the polls here in Canberra, it will be on National Mushroom Day. Given the oft-quoted line about mushrooms being kept in the dark and fed on something unpalatable, I doubt I need to go further. But feel free to add mushrooms to the menu at your election-day feed.

It doesn’t stop there, October 15 is also Hagfish Day. I am not an angler, but trivia is something I do better at and can tell you that a hagfish is the only species of animal with a skull but no spine. I make this observation with no reference to politicians. None at all.

It’s also Take Your Parents to Lunch Day (might I suggest mushrooms?). But that sort of takes us away from the political, so how about National Grouch Day? After being forced to endure campaigns for Federal and territory governments in quick succession, I’m not sure who’s supposed to be grouchy, but there should be more than enough grouchiness to go round.

On a serious note it is – worldwide – Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, and as the godfather of a very special little girl who was born after her mother had endured seven miscarriages, I will be taking a moment at some stage of October 15 to mark a special day of remembrance.

Finally (for the purposes of this column, at least), October 15 marks Global Handwashing Day, a worldwide campaign to improve handwashing habits to improve health and prevent the spread of many diseases. This one really is important. Just think about what you’ll come into contact with on election day. It’s not just the polling-station pencils; if you’re thinking that voting electronically will save you, how many times have you read about the number of germs on keyboards?

So, if you’re looking to cook at a sausage sizzle – or perhaps create some sort of date-appropriate mushroom thing – on October 15, do so before you vote or wash your hands after voting and before cooking or eating.

And hope that those who wind up in the Assembly afterwards don’t use the coincidence of election day and Global Handwashing Day as their way of treating us afterwards.

*Your humble correspondent was overseas for three weeks during the campaign. He is certain there must have been some excitement while he was away.

Chris Coleman is the drive announcer on 2CC

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