Back in my college days when I used to wait tables to pay for school, and if I'm being completely honest, beer, I used to daydream about having one day a year I could tell my customers exactly what I thought.
When they told me the food wasn't hot enough (with steam pouring off of it), or that they found a hair in their meal after it was nearly all gone (one that looked suspiciously like their's) , that one glorious day a year, I could say, "You can totally tell that's a toupe you're wearing."
Or when they order one thing, then swear they ordered another in an obnoxiously loud, condescending tone, I could cut their tie in half with a steak knife drop it in their plate and smile. When they ask me why I did that, I could say, I thought that's what you asked me to do, oh did I get your order wrong again?
As a nurse, this would also be a lovely holiday. Patients who rate their pain a twenty-five on a scale of one to ten, while rolling their eyes at me and laughing into their cell phones between bites of McDonald's could be shown what a twenty-five in fact would actually feel like and then be asked to please re-rate accordingly.
Why not such a day in the book world?
Most reviews I read are thoughtful, kind or at least balanced. Some, however, are downright mean. It's one thing to not like someone's book. You don't have to. I don't like all the books I read. Who does? It's entirely another to rip someone to shreds as if there were absolutely no merit to their work.
Recently, I was reading a particulary idiotic criticism of a friend's very fine book, and was tempted to review the reviewer. He had typos all over the stupid thing, used a word completely out of context and had the nerve to say something about my friend's poor word choices. Boring language, he said. You know what was boring? His review. I would have liked to have said so.
So, who's with me on starting a new national holiday of critiquing the critics? We could even petition Amazon, B&N, CBD and other online bookstores to have a five-star system to rate the review.
Obviously, I'm kidding. Unless you don't think I'm a passive-aggressive lunatic with too much time on my hands, in which case, January 14th is the day. ;-)