Updated: Jul 15, 2019
I have imaginary events on the family calendar I share with my husband. (It delights him as much as it does me, so yes, a match made in heaven.) Sometimes I’ll note a date in fiction, usually books, but occasionally movies, and put it on my calendar. I like the sort of thrill I get from the incongruity of seeing fictional events pop up in the middle of an otherwise ordinary calendar of things to do and places to go. I’m not the only geek to track such things: the internet loses its collective mind when the incept dates for replicants in the movie Blade Runner rolls around, shouting out birthday wishes to fictional androids. When the date for HAL 9000’s “birth” rolled around we threw a birthday party. (January 12th, but I can’t recall now if it was the year given in the film or the book.) So it’s perhaps not surprising that some years later strange things began to creep onto the calendar.
It all began with the giant squid.
Some years back while rereading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea I noted the date given for the giant squid attack on the Nautilus. It’s been on our calendar ever since. More recently I added the wreck of the Elizabeth Dane. Both are coming up next week, Friday, April 20th and Saturday, April 21st, respectively. So next Friday I will likely reread the Jules Verne classic, or perhaps watch the movie. If you love Jules Verne, the Nautilus, or giant squids, consider commemorating this event in some way. If you’re really not into Jules Verne, there are a lot of books and movies, both nonfiction and fiction about the giant squid. (Architeuthis species, because I’m also a nature nerd, and this is that rare bit of taxonomic Latin that I can pronounce correctly thanks to watching way too many giant squid documentaries.)
Now you’re probably wondering about the Elizabeth Dane. Sounds familiar, right? Have you got it yet, or did I distract you too thoroughly with the giant squid? Midnight Saturday night will mark the anniversary of when the Elizabeth Dane was wrecked off the shore of Antonio Bay in John Carpenter’s classic chiller The Fog (the original, released in 1980), starring Jamie Lee Curtis, her mother Janet Leigh, Adrienne Barbeau, Hal Holbrook, and a number of other familiar faces from other Carpenter films. If you haven’t seen it recently or (gasp) at all, there’s no better time than on the anniversary of the wreck of the Elizabeth Dane, April 21st. Text your friends, set up movie night for The Fog. Make it a midnight showing, if you think you can survive the curse…