Have you ever heard of Sadie Hawkins Day? Sadie Hawkins Day is THE day that hillbilly women run amok! It is supposed to be a hillbilly thing, but it actually originated in 13th century Scotland. To be more accurate Sadie Hawkins Day is a fictional day that was created by Al Capp for the syndicated comic strip Li’l Abner.
Some of you may recall an old Li’l Abner movie in which they celebrated Sadie Hawkins Day. In the movie all of the single men were running for the hills trying to escape the ugliest women. Any man who was caught was doomed to marry the woman who cornered him and let me tell you, the uglier and more desperate the woman was the harder she tried!
The first appearance of Sadie Hawkins Day was in the Li’l Abner strip on November of 1937 and for 40 years after that the citizens of Dog Patch endured Sadie Hawkins Day. Capp named the day in honor of Sadie Hawkins, the ugliest woman known, and it was her who worked the hardest to catch a man on this special day. Li’l Abner was actually chased by the best looking hillbilly girl around those parts on Sadie Hawkins Day. Why did he run away from that?
The real Sadie Hawkins Day actually originated from a law that was passed in Scotland in the year 1288. While no one is sure of the date it is most often assumed that it was February 29, or Leap Year Day. On this day a woman was allowed to propose to any man she chose (as long as he was unmarried of course). If the man refused her offer he had to pay a penalty of one pound to the woman! I suppose a really ugly woman could have made a lot of money back then!
The tradition of Leap Year Day spread throughout much of Europe and immigrants brought it with them when they came to America. Fortunately, Sadie Hawkins Day isn’t observed by the millions of people it once was. Just remember, if you travel to any rural areas especially in the Appalachians on February 29 do not get out of your car! And just to be on the safe side I would do the same in November. Ugly women could be lurking anywhere, ready to pounce out and make you into a husband and plow boy. Unlike Scotland in the early days the women of Appalachia cannot be refused by simply paying them a fine, they’re going to take all your money anyway. Refuse a hillbilly woman and you’ll be facing her pappy’s shotgun!
Note: I apologize for the ugly women references, I do realize that men are uglier than women, but the margin is mighty slim in many cases. The sad truth is that there are some ugly people out there.
Written by David Slone, Copyright 2008 all rights reserved and may not be copied or republished in any way without express permission.