If this seems alarming to you, join the club. The Galactic Tick sounds like a menace that the Starship Enterprise might be ordered to fight. The mind quickly conjures up an image of a parasite the size of Delaware, possibly carrying some kind of planet-devouring interstellar Lyme disease.
Fortunately, that is not it at all. The Galactic Tick is a celebration of our sun’s movement around the core of the Milky Way, which we are a part of, and which we circle around every 220 to 250 million years. Possibly being off by thirty million years or so doesn’t faze the Galactic Tickers, even though it’s an appointment window you wouldn’t even expect out of Cox Cable.
Also, the last time we were at this end of the galaxy it was the dinosaurs who were in charge, who probably celebrated the occasion by eating each other. When the next one rolls around, we will likely all have blissfully gone extinct, or possibly we’ll be drinking anti-gravity margaritas while orbiting around Neptune.
The originators of Galactic Tick Day seemed to realize that a holiday that only comes around every couple hundred million years is going to be tough to keep track of, let alone be much of a boost to the retail sector, so they divided our sun’s orbit around the galaxy into tiny little ticks which are more easily crammed into the human life span, so we can celebrate the Galactic Tick every 633.7 days, if we want to.
It is at this point you realize these guys are hopelessly inept at promoting a holiday. September is crammed full of wannabee holidays as it is. The 15th is already National Cheese Toast Day and the 23rd is Celebrate Bisexuality Day. Not to mention Talk Like a Pirate Day on the 19th. Galactic Tick Day is just going to get lost in the shuffle, especially since the next one isn’t going to be in September at all.
Nonetheless, the Galactic Tickers want to spread their message throughout the world, and that message is that we are all constantly traveling at 514,000 miles an hour around the center of the galaxy even when we are standing still, which is nice. It is what you ought to be thinking about when you are sitting on the Santa Monica Freeway and haven’t moved an inch in thirty minutes and are having threatening, possibly even racist thoughts about all the other drivers blocking your way. Just find inner peace by saying to yourself “Hey, I’m actually going 514,000 miles an hour around the Milky Way even though I’ve been stuck here behind a truck full of frozen turkey necks long enough to watch a full episode of "Too Round for the Gown.” Try it next time you feel like exploding in road rage or reviving our proud California tradition of freeway shootings.
So I’m putting it on my schedule. It’s close enough to the weekend that I was probably going to be having a beer anyway.