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National Griper's Day

National Griper's Day was created in 1984 by Jack Gilbert, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio, in an effort "to give the disgruntled, disappointed and depressed a new audience." He thought the creation of the day would help encourage and bring back "old-time personal communication" and "get people to feeling like people again and not afraid of high technology and computers and all that stuff."

Gilbert published his name, phone number, and address so that people could call him up to gripe. "If I am right that it's becoming more and more difficult to have people listen to you, the whole idea of having people call is good," he said. During the first year, people called Gilbert to complain about topics such as consumer costs, space garbage, weather damage, unemployment, and chemicals in food.

Gilbert also said that in the first year some schools, taverns, and communities brought people together to create "griper's corners," bulletin boards where complaints were aired. Gilbert got the inspiration for these after stopping at a Speakers' Corner in London, a spot where soap-box orators are listened to. It was also Gilbert's hope that small communities would designate the day and have people gather together in their parks.

How to Observe National Griper's Day

Mark the day by calling up family members and friends and griping to them about whatever is bothering you. Maybe you are fed up with litter in your neighborhood, with pollution, with the high price of gasoline, or with certain politicians. Perhaps you are sick of junk mail, robocalls, or your upstairs neighbor. No matter whatever is irking you, you are free to talk about it today. But National Griper's Day doesn't have to be completely negative. Part of the reason for the day is to get people talking in general and to listen to each other. Besides calling people on the phone to gripe, you could set up a griper's corner in a place you often frequent, and you and others could air your grievances there.

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