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Dearest Matthew:

I remember seeing a sign somewhere that said it was National Letter Writing Week. How would I go about designating a week of my own? Could I just as easily make National PMS Week?

-- Kay, San Diego

I can't imagine why you would want to, but then that's not my job. Before you proceed with your plans, please consider the celebratory possibilities in, say, National Matthew Alice Appreciation Week. Now there's a festival that's long overdue, sure to set off partying on a grand scale. Mardi Gras for the uninformed.

There are actually two ways to get this particular ball rolling. First the boring, official way. Write your U.S. congressman a letter explaining why the third week in August should be Matthew Alice Veneration Week. He or she, of course, will think it's a nifty idea, draft a formal resolution for National Matthew Alice Adoration Week, and get 220 fellow representatives to sign it. Piece of cake. Your representative then presents the resolution for National Elevate Matthew Alice to Sainthood Week to the House for a voice vote (undoubtedly unchallenged), then it goes to the Senate for the same. Before you know it, the third week of August becomes National Send Matthew Alice a Large Check or Money Order This Week Week.

The second method is simpler, if a bit more competitive. Every laff jock and gab-show host has a copy of a book called Chase's Calendar of Events. It lists every likely and unlikely reason to celebrate every day of the year, from the sublime to the ridiculous. How about Be Late for Something Today day? Aside from being sure-fire laff getters, the events are good publicity for the under appreciated. Anyway, log on to www.chases.com (which shifts you over to the publisher's web site), click on the "submit" box, and send in your description for a day, week, month you'd like to see in the book. The publisher selects the best for inclusion in the next year's edition.

Most of these events are solicited by organizations hoping to raise public awareness of some issue or cause, and by extension, they become public relations and marketing tools. And by the way, if you need any help with that letter to your representative, don't hesitate to ask. That's what I'm here for.

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