To an old colleague, an ardent supporter of Red String, and a very good friend of mine, named, you guessed it, Kevin, I want to send this virtual hug on October 3rd, National Hug-a-Kevin Day, because everybody needs love, including anyone named Kevin. If you have been neglecting your Kevins lately, here is your chance to right a wrong. So on October 3rd, grab a Kevin, with permission and within your local Covid protocols, of course, and give a big hug.
Tracing the history of the holiday is somewhat murky. According to the Oracle-of-all-things, Wikipedia, the first Kevin on record is Saint Kevin in 6th century Ireland. He sounds like quite the fellow, having founded Glendalough Abbey in the Kingdom of Leinster, and canonized in 1903 as one of the patron saints of the Archdiocese of Dublin.
A pretty good start for all future Kevins.
Things got pretty quiet on the Kevin front up until the 20th century, when Kevin became a very popular name, particularly in the 1950s. In Gaelic, Kevin means, "Handsome By Birth", perhaps giving rise to the names popularity. For Kevins in the U.S., things reached a peak in 1963, with it being the 11th most popular name chosen that year. Sadly, it has been on a steady decline ever since and in 2016 it was ranked as the 89th. The name Kevin fell out of the US Top 100 the following year and now ranks at Number 229. Now, for those feeling sorry for the Kevins, don't. The name Stan ranks at 4,330, and it's Wikipedia page doesn't even include an ounce of history, let alone, a great historical patriarch to name of.
In 2017, the ABC network launched a new show called "Kevin Probably Saves the World" and to promote it, the marketing folks at ABC came up with National Hug-a-Kevin Day. Jason Ritter, who played Kevin on the show, vowed to break the Guinness World Record for "Most Hugs in One Minute". Ritter did break the world record but the show got cancelled after one season, which probably meant that "Kevin" really did need a hug (and a job).
So for all of you who may have Kevins in your life or not, here are some simple ways you can celebrate the day:
Be Kevin for a day It's National Kevin Day, so honor Kevins everywhere by trying on their name for just one day. Introduce yourself as Kevin to strangers. Tell your friends you changed your name to Kevin just to see what happens. If you're a woman, tell everybody that Kevin is trending high as a woman's name on Instagram. They'll believe you because who wouldn't believe someone named Kevin or, for that matter, anything that gets posted on social media?
Prove the Kevin (Bacon) Law Grab your clipboard, pen and paper. Stand on the busiest street in your town and ask passersby to name an actor and test the theory that links them to Kevin Bacon in less than six jumps. At the end, be sure to remind your participants that it is National Kevin Day and that they should do something special in a Kevin's name.
Write an ode to Kevin Are you an up and coming poet? Consider penning a poem to or about Kevin. Kevin may be real or your imaginary friend. It's your Kevin, so it's really your choice on how you want to play it.
Lastly, Kevin or not, everybody can always use a hug, real or virtual, because hugging just makes both the hugger and the huggee feel so much better, and after all, isn't that what life should really be all about?
(To be continued)