IT’S the Grand Final Eve public holiday (because apparently that’s a thing), which means it’s a slow news days. No one is at work to answer their phones – except journalists.
So someone suggested we do one of those “listicle” things people either really love or totally hate (like the one about things only Warrnamboolians understand). “That’s a great idea,” said some people. “What about we do ‘10 things about the 10th month’?” I suggested. Everyone laughed.
Now I’m stuck having to come up with 10 things about October.
It turns out October is probably one of the most boring months.
Oh well. Here goes.
And before you jump into the comments to berate us with a “how is this news?!?!?” type of comment, just relax. Not everything has to be car crashes and court stories.
Ok, this is legitimately interesting – October is one of the most popular months for having a baby. A spokesperson from South West Healthcare confirmed it was one of the busiest months in the Warrnambool Base Hospital maternity ward. The Australian Institute of Health & Welfare also backed it up – figures in 2012 showed there were 27,145 babies born in October, which is over 400 more babies than in second-placed May. The reason for this could be linked to the fact October starts 40 weeks from New Year’s Eve. Keep this in mind when you’re heading out to party on December 31 this year.
Sidenote: It should be noted though that October isn’t always the number one month for giving birth, but it’s almost always in the top four. Happy New Year!
According to a few local *experts (*note: not actual experts), October is the most popular month for gym memberships. The theory is that people discover they’ve fattened up over winter and want to lose some weight before they try to squeeze into their togs when the weather turns good. We decided to test this theory by ringing a couple of gyms in Warrnambool and sure enough, it’s true. We’re yet to discover which month has the most gym membership cancellations – April maybe?
I take back what I said about October being one of the most boring months – in Warrnambool it’s the month of Celebrage, which is part of the Victorian Seniors Festival. There are roughly two weeks worth of events happening ranging from a croquet day to a screening of Oddball. Visit www.warrnambool.com.au for a full program of events. Celebrage is all about showing that age is just a state of mind.
Now back to how boring October is – did you know October is one of the worst months for movie releases? In the US, only September is worse at the box office. For some reason, mostly to do with American holidays, studios usually don’t release their big blockbusters or top award chances in October. The biggest movie ever to open in October is Gravity, which took $US55m in its first weekend. That’s the second lowest monthly record – again September is the worst (Hotel Transylvania 2 is the September record-holder with $US48m). There are no October openings in the top 150 best opening weekends of all time. Most of the successful movies in October are horror movies because of Halloween. Of the 25 best October openings in the US, 12 are horror movies. And four of those are Saw movies. I’ll just let that sink in for a moment.
For the sports haters, October contains that blissful week or so between the end of the local footy season and the start of the local cricket season. Or, as our sports reporters call it, “holidays”. But for sport lovers, October is awesome, especially when the AFL and NRL grand finals fall in there. Then there’s the Bathurst 1000, the start of the domestic cricket season, the NFL is underway, and the NBA tip-off is at the end of the month. Makes up for all the crap movies I have to review this month.
One great thing about October in the south-west is the weather finally starts to come good. And everyone loves weather statistics (or is that just me?), so here we go: so far this century (ie. since they set up the really good weather station out at the Warrnambool airport in 1999), the hottest October temperature for Warrnambool is 32.5 degrees. The lowest maximum is 10.6 (because Warrnambool doesn’t know how to do the middle of spring properly apparently). The highest minimum temperature is 18.0 and the lowest minimum is -1.4.
Sidenote: that maximum of 32.5 and the minimum of -1.4 happened just 10 days apart in 2006.
MUSIC FESTIVAL SEASON
There are music festivals all year round in Australia, but because of the weather in Victoria, it’s a brave soul that dares to hold one in winter. So for us southerners, the music festival season unofficially begins in October and runs until May. For south-west Victoria, that means it starts with Kennedys Creek Music Festival and ends with Groovin’ The Moo in Bendigo.
Sidenote: Kennedys Creek Music Festival has sold out for the first time ever. Congratulations to the KC community.
Someone suggested I should put Ocsober on this list. One of my co-workers then launched into a rant about how ridiculous it was to stop drinking alcohol for a month (they may or may not really love drinking wine). It was pointed out that Ocsober raises money to help educate kids about making healthy choices, but this did not placate my colleague (possibly because they love drinking wine). Going one month without alcohol is difficult for some people, but if you can’t make it through Ocsober, you can always try again in Dry July, Febfast, or the other nine months of the year.
If you think Ocsober gets some people wound up, you should hear them rant about Halloween. Typically they’ll start banging on about how it’s yet another piece of American culture invading our Aussie way of life. First of all, it actually descends from the Celts. You know, like a lot of people in the south-west. And I wonder if those same people rail against other holidays and traditions that have come from foreign locales, such as Christmas (the Romans) and Easter (the Middle East).
Sidenote: If you ever hear an old person start ranting about the un-Australian nature of Halloween, ask them if they used to enjoy Guy Fawkes Night as a kid and see if they pick up on the irony.
Really struggling to get a 10th entry on this list. Did you know U2 have an album called October? They released it in October, 35 years ago.
Can I go home now?