Grab your noisemakers and party hats, kids, because its time to celebrate.
For the record, we are not celebrating the fact that today marks the start of the May long weekend, the unofficial first day of summer, a time when we diehard Manitobans look forward to long walks on the beach, chugging ice-cold brews at backyard barbecues, slathering our pasty bodies with sunscreen and swatting mosquitoes the size of Yorkshire terriers.
Unless youve been hiding in a drainpipe for the past month and I sincerely hope that you havent you will know that lately it feels more like the start of Monsoon Season than the run-up to another moody Manitoba summer.
But suck it up, buttercup, because the good news and you will be able to hear it if you turn your sump pump off for a moment is that, despite the unrelentingly soggy weather that has turned my house into oceanfront property, we still have something worth celebrating.
What Im trying to say is that today, Saturday, May 21, is (dramatic pause in which you can hear the theme from Star Wars playing softly in the background) International Talk Like Yoda Day! Sorry, what I meant to say was… International Talk Like Yoda Day, today is! May the 21st be with you, yes?
Call me a nerd if you must, but it was 42 years ago today, on May 21, 1980, that The Empire Strikes Back was released, and the world was introduced to a pint-sized, white-robed, green-skinned, backwards-talking, Einstein-looking puppet with terrible grammar named Yoda.
International Talk Like Yoda Day celebrates the release of the film, the second instalment in the original Star Wars trilogy, the epic movie wherein Luke Skywalker meets the ancient Jedi master Yoda in the swamps of the planet Dagobah.
I know what most of you non-nerds are thinking. You are thinking: Um, OK, exactly how are we supposed to celebrate this special day in the Star Wars universe?
Well, duh! As any Star Wars geek can tell you, there is only one way to properly pay our respects: talk like the beloved Jedi master and complain not, you will!
For me, talking like Yoda comes naturally, especially on those mornings when my brains inner voice begins babbling backwards because I have not been able to ingest sufficient amounts of caffeine. Useless without eight cups of coffee, I am, young Skywalker, yes!
Whats more, as I write these words, the green plastic Yoda bobblehead precariously perched on top of my computer screen is jiggling wildly every time I tap on my keyboard with a little too much pressure.
But thats not todays point! Or rather, todays point, that is not! No, the point is that, wherever you are or whatever you are doing, everything that comes out of your mouth today should be inspired by Yodas famously quirky style of speaking.
Love it, your friends and family will. Judge you by your strange syntax, they must not. To help you master Yoda Speak, heres a few tips I culled from geeky sites on the Internet:
● Put the subject and verb at the end of a sentence. Subject and verb at the end of a sentence, you should put.
● Go oddly negative. Its a small world, not, it is?
● Tack on a hmmm for bonus points. Its a small world, not, it is, hmmm?
● Add a yes at the end of a question. Talk Like Yoda Day is a lot like Talk Like a Pirate Day… yes?
The basic rule of thumb is you need to take whatever you were going to say at the start of every sentence and slap it onto the end instead. Piece of cake, it is. Just do it with unbridled enthusiasm, or, as Yoda would have put it: Do. Or do not. There is no try!
The important thing to remember is, no matter how you speak, we need Yodas gentle wisdom more than ever. Like some kind of interstellar Mister Rogers, Yodas messages of kindness and hope are even more relevant amid todays troubled times.
Just imagine how wonderful it would be to eavesdrop on a conversation between the gentle Jedi master and the worlds new emperor of evil, Russian President Vladimir Putin. Hear it all now, I can:
Yoda: Powerful you have become, Mr. Putin, the dark side I sense in you.
Putin: Indeed, the world will come to fear me.
Yoda: Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.
Putin: There will be no stopping me.
Yoda: Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. Consume you, it will.
Putin: I am a great warrior, little green man.
Yoda: Wars not make one great … In the end, cowards are those who follow the dark side.
I think I speak for Yoda and myself in wishing all of you a wonderful Victoria Day long weekend. And dont forget this last nugget of wisdom: Your umbrella, you must remember to take.
Doug has held almost every job at the newspaper — reporter, city editor, night editor, tour guide, hand model — and his colleagues are confident he’ll eventually find something he is good at.