Convenience store day?!

Thanks to Chemgal for sending this in, and identifying two areas of doubt: 1) Though not a public designated observance, the 7-Eleven company, at least in Canada, has traditionally marked the 7/11 date with promotional giveaways. Is Mallett just unaware of this? 2) Wot th’heck do the last two panels mean? A mystery, in themselves and in their relationship to the first nine panellettes.

P.S. A Geezer identification question — Do you remember when 7 AM to 11 PM were in actual fact the hours for 7-Eleven stores?


  1. Great research, Pete, but I still don’t see the purpose of the last two panels. Especially the guy riding in a snowbank. But Mallett is very much into bicycling, isn’t he?

  2. The 7-11 team, which was the best we had pre-Armstrong, did mostly come from Colorado as I recall. But that’s all I got.

  3. Great research, Pete and Teller.

    And EditorM, nice job running this comic on European pi day (22/7)!

  4. Thanks for the comments, CaroZ – but in the case of the dates, it’s mere fortuity.

    The picture in Michael Teller’s linked article definitely does match the drawing in the … second? … tenth? … penultimate panel of the cartoon! As CaroZ says, great research from you, and Pete.

    And I think this resolves the final panel as well? They are cheering for the historical 7-11 team.

  5. “P.S. A Geezer identification question — Do you remember when 7 AM to 11 PM were in actual fact the hours for 7-Eleven stores?”

    I’m not THAT old! I remember learning, back in the ’80s, that was the origin of the name but they were 24-hour operations back then, at least where I lived.

    Cycling non-sequitur: I listened to a BBC radio documentary on the radio back in the early 2000s about cycling. It was well-known how rife with drugs the sport was. They spoke with a professional cyclist who said that if his son told him he wanted to become a professional cyclist, “I’d kill him myself.” Wow!

  6. I just wanted to say that both 7/11 and 11/7 (July 11th and November 7th) fall on the same day of the week every year. Which also falls on the same day of the week as as Pi Day (March 14th).

    And if you happen to work the standard 9-to-5 job hours (or just like to listen to that upbeat Dolly Parton song), it’s fun to know that both 9/5 and 5/9 (September 5th and May 9th) also fall on that same day of the week.

    Which is also falls on the same day of the week as 4/4, 6/6, 8/8, 10/10, 12/12, Halloween (October 31), American Independence Day (July 4th), and Leap Day (February 29th).

    …and Valentine’s Day (February 14)! (But only on non-leap years.)

    Meaning that in this year (2021), they all happen to fall on Sunday.

    (If your nerdy side wants to “geek out” with what my nerdy side knows about this, you can check out “Doomsday Rule” on Wikipedia: )

  7. I think I’m no older than you, SingBill, but I remember 7-Eleven stores, with that name, from at least 1969 and probably a bit earlier. This was in Miami. And I think they were still on the named hours.

  8. “…and Valentine’s Day (February 14)! (But only on non-leap years.)” If you treat your 12-month year as starting on March 1 that disclaimer is unnecessary. It also makes calculating the day of the week from a given date easier, a fact I discovered while fixing a Y2K-triggered problem in some open-source software back in the day.

  9. Random calendrical question:

    When you say Fiscal Year (or Academic Year, or School Year) along with just one year designation, which of the two overlapping years is named, the first or the second?
    That is, supposing our business counts our Fiscal Years from March 1 in the Mark Jackson spirit, are we in FY 21 or FY 22 right now? When school starts up in September, will that be SY 2021 or SY 2022?

  10. Mitch4: I grew up in Canada, in the city of Toronto proper. We didn’t have convenience stores. We had corner stores, usually independent, sometimes part of a local chain, like Becker’s or Mac’s. I saw TV ads for 7-Eleven on the stations from Buffalo but I don’t think I ever actually saw one until we moved to Edmonton in 1978.

  11. DBLD: It depends.

    US federal fiscal years begin October 1 and are named for the following year: FY2021 began in October 2020.

    At least some states have fiscal years starting July 1 with the same convention.

    Japanese fiscal years begin April 1, but are named for the current year (officially, in the Japanese calendar). So fiscal Reiwa 3 (2021) began on April 1, 2021.

    Academic years I have always seen with both dates (“2021-22”) so no ambiguity.

    No idea how businesses name their fiscal years, though.

  12. “Great research, Pete, but I still don’t see the purpose of the last two panels. ”

    The joke is that people do celebrate 7-11 day but they just don’t care about the convience stores… they care about the bicycling team.

    ““…and Valentine’s Day (February 14)! (But only on non-leap years.)” If you treat your 12-month year as starting on March 1 that disclaimer is unnecessary. ”

    …except then the claim is simply untrue. Valentines Day falls on the day after all those days.

  13. A sad note: John Conway, originator of the Doomsday Rule, died of COVID-19 last year. I only met him once, and I was too flummoxed to be able to say anything even remotely intelligent. le sigh

  14. I also heard a lot about Conway’s work over the years, mostly in Martin Gardner’s columns (and collected in his books), and not just The Game of Life. Later I was able to get something out of some of Conway’s own writing pitched to a not too advanced level. Some of the analysis of games (this is not von Neumann / Morgenstern / Nash kind of Game Theory) is close to accessible 🙂 . “Surreal numbers” starts off from ways of setting a value for those games, but soon gets too hard for me.

  15. As far as I know, businesses can name their fiscal years whatever they want. Sort of like magazines. Some magazines have their August or even September issue on sale now. Some magazines are behind and just now putting out their May issue.

  16. I’ve never known a business to go “backward” with the fiscal year, always forward. I even previously worked for a company that the FY started on Feb1. So most of the time we were “ahead” of the calendar year.

    Feb1, 2021 => start of FY 2022.

  17. ” Some magazines have their August or even September issue on sale now. ”

    My understanding is that the usual practice in the industry for many decades (at least for monthlies and such) is to date the issue for when the store should be taking it off the racks (or expecting to do so) — so an “August” issue in late July has only a couple more weeks or so before it’s removed and replaced.

  18. “No idea how businesses name their fiscal years, though.”

    Pretty sure the way the iRS tells them to label them for tax purposes.

  19. Pretty sure the way the iRS tells them to label them for tax purposes.

    Probably quite right!

    One related area where I know there is an official standard is for pay periods. There is a list of defined designations, like “biweekly” and “semi-annually”. Actually, though those are explicitly listed, most are also covered by a general principle. The name should indicate the frequency, usually with an implicit “once per x” and the length of the interval given explicitly. Thus, there is no provision in most cases for a “twice per x” or “three times per x” term, when a standard once-per term is available. Thus there is no official recognition for “bimonthly” intended to mean “twice per month” — that should instead be thought of as once per half-month, and thus designated “semimonthly”. (Though yes, there is “bimonthly”, to mean once every two months.)

    When I worked in the Bursar’s Office, we had a monthly payroll and a biweekly payroll. We would have people looking for their paychecks come in and say “I’m on bimonthly payroll” and we were supposed to not frame it as a correction exactly, but use a corrected form in the response, such as “Did you receive your last biweekly paycheck?”

    I believe the same list and general principle apply to periodicals registering with the post office. (As it used to be.) Not about the matter previously discussed, of when the “August issue” would be mailed or displayed, but just that the stated frequency of publication should be a frequency, just as understood in the payroll case. Though I have seen “monthly except April and October” or the like. (In those little forms printed annually in magazines disclosing ownership etc — there was a space for “frequency of publication”.) now, I don’t think that means they just took those months off, but rather had 10 issues a year spaced roughly 36.5 days apart…

    Triquarterly magazine was published three times a year — or in three out of the four quarters. You can’t call that tri-annually or triennially, as those would mean once every third year. But i don’t know if the term “triquarterly” made it onto the list of accepted terms that don’t fit the system.

  20. “Pretty sure the way the IRS tells them to label them for tax purposes.”

    Tax accounting may differ from GAAP. For example, a business may use one depreciation schedule such as straight-line for the books, and a different one such as MACRS for tax computation.

    The IRS allows C corporations to file using a calendar year or a fiscal year, but any fiscal year must end on the last day of a calendar month. A fiscal year is designated, for instance, “From March 1, 2020 through February 28, 2021.” Calling it “Fiscal Year 2021” isn’t enough information. For its own purposes, the company may call it “Fiscal Year 2020” or “Fiscal Year 2021” or even “Fiscal Year 3”.

    Cisco Systems uses a fiscal year that ends on the last Saturday of July. Most fiscal years are 52 weeks long but Fiscal Year 2016 was 53 weeks long. I don’t know whether the IRS allows Cisco to have a special fiscal year ending on a day other than the last day of a calendar month. Probably not, so some adjustments have to be made for events that occur after the last Saturday of July and before August 1.

  21. Danny Boy – London Derriere – I was taught in accounting that is FYE – “for year ending” so right now we would now we would be in 2021 for any year ending date after today or today and in year 2022 for any year ending date before today.

  22. Should have added – as it was asked – in terms of tax returns for businesses all year ends from (say) December 31, 2020 through December 30, 2021 are filed on the 2020 forms. The 2021 forms will be not be out until 2022, so the most recent forms are used. (I use December 30 as, as far as I know there is rule to only use the end of the month (EOM) as the end of year date, but it is the most common to use a calendar month end as the end of the business’s years. A business started mid July, would use the following June 30th as the end of its first year for tax purposes.

  23. I remember when the first 7- Eleven opened in the community in which I grew up. My dad took me to see it and explained the name to me – and it was open from seven am to 11 pm then.

  24. I also recall 7-11 being a new thing in my Canadian city in the 80’s, and it was open from 7 to 11. Which was a longer than the nearer “corner store” to our house. Not sure when it changed to 24-hours, but it would have been after that.

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