Creators: When Was the Last Time You Took a ‘No Bones Day?’


In European journalism circles, August is colloquially known as “Cucumber Season.” This, according to Passionfruit’s publisher James Del, is because traditionally, very little happens during the month to move the news media needle forward other than the ripening of certain long, green fruit. (Hey! Cucumbers are fruit! Take that, tomatoes!)

Now, does this quaint wisdom about the summer month’s lack of newsworthy items still hold true in a world where the former president and front-runner of the G.O.P. primary is currently awaiting news on a possible fourth criminal indictment; when seemingly in a matter of minutes, we lost a large portion of the island of Maui to horrific wildfires; where an underrage social media star could rise from the dead after news of her passing passed around all the reputable news outlets?

Is it still Cucumber Season if Europeans can no longer grow cucumbers

There was a necessity to Cucumber Season for those of us who experienced the Before Times working in the media. It wasn’t a chance to blow off work, exactly, but it allowed us the ability to rationalize taking off early weekday evenings to join coworkers for gossip and drinks on a hot summer roof. 

The dumb truth of it — post-COVID, post-WFH, post-inflation, post-being able to deny climate change — is that we needed Cucumber Season to keep ourselves healthy. 

Look no further than the East Coast, which has been sanctifying various days this week as Bones Day, a memorial for Noodle the Pug, a much-beloved Internet good boy. Every day, rain or snow, bones or no, Noodle’s owner Jon Graz would hold Noodle in by his trunk in front of a camera that beamed out his visage to over 4.4 million fans and drop him down gently: if Noodle stood up on his own accord, it was a Bones Day. If Noodle crumpled to the ground like a limp, well, Noodle, it was a No Bones Day. Pretty simple. A new media Punxsutawney Phil, Noodle was the subject of a New York Times-selling children’s book and stood, briefly, as an easy way to share a vibe on social media. Hashtag NoBonesDay. Hashtag Me.

Noodle passed last December at the age of 14, but Philadelphia, Boston and New York have carved out various days this week to claim as their city’s own Bones Day.

Because we ALL need No Bones Days, especially in the dog days of summer, in what’s shaping up to be the hottest month in recorded history, after the historic scorcher of last month. I know I needed one on Monday, barfing up chicken soup onto the bed, sick with a 100 degree fever and no idea why I still shouldn’t be attending my weekly Zoom calls.

If you don’t take the No Bones Days, the No Bones Days will come for you. And they will level you flat. Take it from someone just now crawling their way out of a weeklong forced hiatus, trying to play catch-up: I should have taken the vacation days when offered.

But that’s where the real sick twist of being in the creator mentality comes in: while on paper it may say you work for yourself, you really work for the Internet. And on the Internet, you’re allowed no sick days, no vacation, no PTO. The content maw still needs to be fed, 24/7, no holidays, and if you’re not producing new material on schedule, you’re gambling with your entire livelihood. 

As Robert Montano and Vanessa Fitzsimmons from Late to the Party recount in harrowing detail in this week’s episode of The Reactorverse Podcast, being hospitalized with a life-threatening condition for several weeks does not absolve creators from their content obligations.


It’s a vicious cycle: health insurance premiums for self-employed creators can be astronomical, only matched by the high co-pays. One hospital visit can cost over a month’s worth of income, income that you didn’t actually make this month because you were busy fighting for your life in the hospital. 

It’s beyond Dickensian. It’s…YouTubian? (Forgive me for my feverish portmanteaus.) There’s currently no system in place to protect the 79% of creators who suffer from burnout with a buffer should they need to take a No Bones Day — or Month — hiatus. Instead, creators will continue to work themselves sick, and we will continue to allow it, because it’s easier than trying to reform a whole broken healthcare system.

I wish August was still Cucumber Season. Instead, it’s the season of Bones.


Marvel VFX Artists Join Hot Labor Summer

Should everyone just go on strike? Let’s discuss.

actor wearing vfx suit (inset) Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, vfx union

Filming yourself has never been easier

Meet SwitchPod: the minimal, versatile handheld tripod. SwitchPod works with any camera, from a phone to a DSLR, and simplifies video making for creators. Lightweight and nearly indestructible, the mini tripod makes it easy to travel to awesome locations for the ultimate photo or video shoots.



As Spotify Courts Creators, the Audio Giant Turns to Patreon for Content

Patreon creators will now be able to share their subscriber-only podcasts on the streaming service. But is this Spotify’s way of getting easy access to creators?

By J.Clara Chan, Passionfruit Contributor

spotify patreon


How Justin Choquette Spends $1,000 Every Month Building His Following

How $1000 each month helps one creator grow his business.

By Jen Glantz, Passionfruit Contributor


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