“Is this a… what day is this?”

The Dude

The Big Lebowski (1999)

Well, Dude, let us help you out a little there… National Goof-Off Day is March 22, 2021. That’s a Monday, Dude, and what better day to goof-off than a day you really don’t want to go back to work anyway?

How America Started Goofing Around

National Goof-Off actually started as a goof. You see, Mr. William D. Chase, who along with his brother, Howard V. Chase, created  Chase’s Calendar of Events – “The World’s Datebook Since 1957” – was being interviewed on a local radio show in Michigan one day in 1976 when his 10-year-old granddaughter, Monica Dufour, heard him encouraging people to call in with ideas for national holidays. As a prank, Monica disguised her voice and called in to the show suggesting a National Goof-Off Day since she was, indeed, goofing off at the time. Her grandfather stated that there was no such day but thought it was a great idea. 

Mr. Chase wasn’t goofing around when he took his granddaughters advice and created National Goof-Off Day.

The next day, feeling a little guilty, Monica confessed that it was her who called in about the National Goof-Off Day.  Her grandfather wasn’t upset at all. In fact, he showed her the morning paper with the headline that stated the need for a national day to just goof-off. Apparently a reporter had been listening to the show.

And that’s how National Goof-Off Day started.

What’s the Perfect National Goof-Off Day Activity?

As the name suggest, National Goof-Off Day is a day you just goof-off. So, do whatever you usually do when you’re usually goofing-off: Be silly. Watch a comedy. Leave that work until tomorrow. It’ll still be there. However, if you really can’t think of anything to do, grabbing some friends and going out to play a round or two of goofy golf seems like the perfect way to goof-off today.

Picture credit: cottonbro at pexels.com

America Gets Goofy

Whether you call “mini golf”, “putt-putt golf”, or “goofy golf”, the mini-sport that was once a staple of thousands of family road trips and cheap dates got its start in North Carolina in 1916. It was that year that James Barber designed a compact course that he called “Thistle Dhu” (This’ll Do) featuring fountains, gardens and walkways in various geometrical shapes.

The first miniature golf franchise was started by Garnet Carter. In 1927, he patented his “Tom Thumb” golf course that he first built for tourists on Lookout Mountain using Thomas McCullough Fairbairn’s artificial green formula – a mixture of cottonseed hulls, sand, oil, and dyes.

Mini-golf at Fairyland atop Lookout Mountain.

The idea quickly caught on throughout the nation and even in New York City, clever designers in New York City started putting miniature golf courses on the rooftops of the city’s skyscrapers in 1926. In fact, there were over 150 mini-golf courses gracing the tops of New York’s buildings by 1930, and by the end of the decade, some 4 million people were playing miniature golf throughout America using obstacles like tires, rain gutters, barrels, and pipes – pretty much scrounging together whatever they could find.

In 1955, Al Lomma of Lomma Enterprises, Inc., improved upon the idea by introducing mechanically animated hazards like rotating windmill blades, twisting statues, and moving ramps, a fad that remained for decades.

Getting Goofy Gets Serious

Some people got so serious about their goofy golf that miniature golf competitions started being held throughout America.  Again it was Lookout Mountain’s Garnet Carter who put together the first competition in 1930. Every state held qualification rounds with the winners competing at Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Over 2,000 players representing 30 states competed for a total purse of $10,000, the winner receiving the grand prize of $2,000 (or a little over $31,000 in 2021 dollars.) Not too shabby for goofing off all day.

Rainey Statum, winner of the 2020 United States Professional Minigolf Association (USPMGA) tournament held in Myrtle Beach, S.C. on October 11.
photo via minigolfnews.com

Whatever you do to goof around, don’t forget a Stuckey’s stop for some snacks and refreshments while you’re doing it.   Pecan treats like our world famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Roll, Pecan Divinity Bars, or Pecan pralines pair perfectly with a lazy afternoon of just hanging around.  Or grab some goofy gifts like our rubber alligators or drinking birds to share with your friend on this special day. You can even use the Southern Fortune-Telling Doohickey otherwise known The Reckon Ball to help you plan your day.

By the way, if March 22 is still a little bit chilly in your next of the woods, you might also want to think about picking up a Stuckey’s branded hoodie while you’re at it. They’re the perfect gear for goofing off outside and comfortable enough for lounging around inside making however you choose to spend the day goofing off up to you!

Oh, and by the way, with Easter just around the corner,  order our “Kids Fun” Easter Gift Basket and celebrate your Easter Morning with Stuckeys!  Each Stuckey’s “Kids Fun” Easter Basket is packed with something fun for everyone:  one 2 oz. pecan log roll,  one wooden train whistle,  one Magic Ink Fun Book, one bag of jelly beans, one bag of lemon drops , one bag of flavored popcorn and one Stuckey’s Gift Tin.

Too busy goofing off to stop at a Stuckey’s location near you? Then stop goofing around now and head over to our website to order all of your Stuckey’s merchandise and we’ll send it to your door just in time for you to start goofing around. Go to stuckeys.com for more info.

Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again