It wasn’t on my radar.
So, I missed it.
“What?” you may be asking.
And why wasn’t it on my radar?
Well, it was Wednesday. This past Wednesday.
It happens once a year, but I can’t say I have ever celebrated it.
Except maybe in high school.
If my memory serves me, this was a big deal when I was in high school.
I’m talking about United Nations Day.
It was Wednesday, as I mentioned, Oct. 24. It commemorated its charter in 1945 or maybe 1947 or maybe even 1948. I found all three dates, so I am not sure. But it’s always on Oct. 24, I’ve come to find out. That’s when the United Nations was founded. I probably should have known that all along, but somehow it slipped being present in my consciousness.
This year is the 67th since the charter for the U.N. started. Apparently, 33 states, the District of Columbia, as well as Puerto Rico, and more than 100 countries will celebrate the day with special activities.
The theme for 2012 U.N. Day is — believe it or not — Solutions for a Prosperous World.
Are you kidding me?
Who came up with that one?
You see, as part of my job I get wire alerts from The Associated Press constantly all day long. Judging just by these worldwide updates, the U.N. isn’t doing such a great job. Geez, I just had a thought. If the U.N. is doing a great job, can you just imagine what state the world would be in if it wasn’t, if these are some of the best situations that could be mustered?
I think I am going to be ill.
In just the relatively short time I was writing this column, wire alerts came in reporting that two prisoners were killed in a blast near Johannesburg; an Italian court convicted seven scientists who failed to warn residents of a deadly 2009 earthquake; a tropical depression was forming south of Jamaica that would become a named storm by nightfall; there was a stabbing attempt on the prime minister of Finland; Lance Armstrong is no longer considered a seven-time Tour de France winner because of his doping scandal; and an explosion rocked the Old City quarter in Damascus. And, this is just in a couple of hours. This doesn’t even deal with any of the major conflicts around the world — Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, Egypt, North Korea, the Sudan, ad infinitum, basically.
Take a map, close your eyes and stick a pin in it and you’re likely to hit a current hot spot or potential one.
Ohhhhh, just in! Another wire alert! France is sending drones to western Africa at the same time it is discussing a Mali strike with the U.S.
Are you kidding me?
Really? A united group of nations? Really?
OK. I am taking a deep breath and trying to return to some composure.
Ah, maybe if I change the subject?
Yes, that’s the ticket.
Now, truth be told, I initially really wanted to mention U.N. Day because I discovered during my research that history had deprived us of another possibly rich and unique experience.
Did you know that The Marx Brothers were actually on the verge of making a movie titled “Marx Bros. A Day at the United Nations” back in the early 60s?
Apparently, the script was written and The Marx Brothers were brought on board when Harpo had a heart attack. He was soon on the mend, but the movie couldn’t get insurance for him because of the heart attack. While trying to solve this dilemma, Chico died. That kinda put the kibosh on the whole thing. Go figure!
So, the movie was never made — and comedic history was lost forever.
But we still have some of the other comedic history by the trio remaining. Here are just a few:
“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.” — Groucho Marx
“A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.” — Groucho Marx
“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” — Groucho Marx
“I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it.” — Groucho Marx
“It isn't necessary to have relatives in Kansas City in order to be unhappy. — Groucho Marx
“Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms.” — Groucho Marx
“I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception.” — Groucho Marx
“I sent the club a wire stating, please accept my resignation. I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” — Groucho Marx
Well, now that I have become more familiar with some of The Marx Brothers’ more famous quotes — actually, these are all from Groucho Marx — I had to ask myself: Why exactly were they funny? Now, I have watched some of their movies and thought they were hysterical — at the time, at least. And a couple of the above quotes are, well, humorous. But now, going over these standalone quotes, I am seriously not sure about their funnyifitity. Yep, funnyifitity. Just made it up. Like it? Their fitness to be funny. Yep. That’s my definition and I’m sticking to it.
Anyway, maybe it’s just as well that The Marx fellas didn’t do a movie about the United Nations.
Why add insult to injury?