Today, May 9, 2007, is "Jack Bauer Appreciation Day" or "JBAD" for all you cool kids. Like other holidays ("Talk Like Jack Bauer Day", "Break Up With Your Girlfriend Like Jack Bauer Day"), there are some core traditions attached to JBAD, and they are as follows:
1) Give somebody your word. When Jack gives you his word, he's forging an iron-clad bond with you. When you live up to your obligations, you're inching closer to being like Jack.
2) Commandeer a vehicle. This one is always a good time. Let's say you're walking out of Dunkin' Donuts and you realize your car is on the other side of the parking lot. "DAMMIT!" you say to yourself. But right in front of you is some insurance salesman in his brand-spanking new Jeep Liberty. Perfect. Approach the man, announce yourself briefly and inform him that you are commandeering his vehicle. To help sell the urgency of this moment, mutter "I don't have time for this" to yourself, but loud enough for the person to hear. And if you have your hands free at the moment, push the person down to the ground in a firm yet gentle manner. This shows that you're all business, but you're not a sadist.
3) Whisper. Man, I gotta tell ya, when I'm sitting in my office and I hear Emily over the cubicle partition yapping away about some sort of silliness, I feel the Bauer inside me start to rage. Most people do not know how to use their voice effectively. But not Jack. Oh no, he is the master. When Jack is emphatic, he starts to express himself in an urgent yet dignified whisper. So, when you're on the phone with Jill from accounting and she's telling you there is no time in the day to get a budget estimate out on that last-minute project, you better start that whispering, pal. "Jill, if I don't get that estimate before the end of the day people are going to die, do you understand me?" Also, inform Jill that you are a federal agent, and give her your word for good measure (see #1 above).
4) Scream. So, now you've gotten the whispering in and you've drawn people into your sphere of influence. But wait, they're not moving fast enough in following your instructions. Well, that's the moment when you put aside the whispering and start screaming like your pants are on fire. Obviously, you need to start it off with "DAMMIT!" as that is what cuts through all the bullshit of the moment. From there you have to reiterate your instructions with gusto-- "DAMMIT JILL, I NEED THOSE BUDGET ESTIMATES NOW!" Sure, she'll be a little flustered, she may even cry a little, but the only thing poor Jill wants more than a Valium is to get those budget estimates done so you'll stop yelling at her.
5) Don't eat Chinese food today. This one is tough for me personally, because I could eat Chinese food everyday if... ya know, what am I saying? This one isn't that tough at all. Well, anyway, the Chinese government tortured Jack for 18 months (boo!) and they broke Audrey 's brain (yay!) but they stole a vital computer chip that has the Russians crapping their pants (boo!) but they drive American vehicles (yay!). I go back and forth on the Chinese. But because of the whole 18 months of hell that Jack had to endure, I think it makes sense to skip the spare ribs and egg rolls for at least today. Well, if you really wanted to honor Jack, you'd skip ALL food for the day, as he never gets a chance to eat. But that's for the more orthodox followers of Jack Bauer. For the rest of you people, have a taco instead.
Okay, that's JBAD in a nutshell. Sure, it's similar to those other Bauer holidays, but that's just more fun for the rest of us, right? Now go forth and spread the goodness. With these five easy steps, Bauer will be honored properly.