Situations take place that demand a strong, brave soul to step up, grab the mic/bullhorn/conveniently-located breast, and lead the masses with powerful words and inspirational language that comforts, soothes and placates the people across the land.
This is one of those times.
I am that person.
This summer sucked dead, yeasty, rotted hobo balls.
It’s true that things happened across this tiny blue marble in the past three months to give us pause and make us send our hearts and thoughts* out to others in times of despair. There have been storms and hurricanes, floods and fires. Wars in several countries, landscapes littered with the dead husbands, wives, parents and children of the unenviable survivors of these violent acts committed by man against man. There is Malaysia Airlines, which can’t catch a goddamn break. The death of celebrities, either by natural causes or their own hands. The use of deadly force by those we entrust with public safety against an innocent man. The really, really shitty movies released in theaters for our “pleasure” at seizure-inducing prices. People randomly posting videos of themselves dumping buckets of water on their heads for reasons that are now lost to time, forgotten and meaningless. The lime shortage that effected my enjoyment of summer cocktails. Sharknado 2.
But most importantly, the summer did not live up to its contractual obligation of being oppressively hot and sweaty in the DMV. I don’t know about things where you live,** but here in the Nation’s Capital, this summer has been a big old moist let down. August alone was just a month-long cloudfest. The temperatures were warm and comfortable, the humidity wasn’t a problem and we had plenty of rain to make sure plants grew and lawns were watered. And I say boo to all of this.
Where were the mosquitoes? What happened to the requisite weight-loss through sweating? Or the hours spent in icky bliss, peeling off sunburnt skin? And the Ice Cream Man, dammit! Where was he?!
All of the things that make summer simultaneously the most fun and most frustrating time of year were not evident in 2014. I mean, for the love of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, school started in August! That offends me to my core. Do children no longer have a voice to speak out for themselves? Let the kids be kids. Don’t force them into classes so soon. And don’t give me that crap about how kids need to be in school more to stop their brains from atrophying during the summer (both the purpose of summer in the first place, and the name of my next album: Atrophying Brains) and make us more competitive in the global arena. Americans lost that battle years ago, as exemplified by the fact that there’s a television reality show about Amish criminals.
Sure we can blame any number of things. It’s the fault of Climate Change. God is punishing us for worshiping the Kardashinans. Maybe we need to all get our shit together and throw a couple virgins into a volcano. Perhaps evil aliens are slowly transforming our planet into an environment more suitable for them (I call credit if that ends up being the real reason). But it doesn’t matter. The summer is over now, and with it, joy. Now we get on with our lives, spend the rest of the year plodding through our pointless and wasted existences. Doing our best to pretend that it’s all for the best. That we enjoy waking up and it’s dark out. Getting off of work and it’s dark out. Bundling up in layers of clothes. Dealing with increased traffic and gridlock.
But still, somewhere deep in our minds, always there, always waiting, like a beacon of purpose and fulfillment: the image of a palm tree on an empty beach at gloaming.
And those damn mosquitoes.
*Absolutely no idea what this phrase means and you don’t either. Don’t even pretend like you do. It’s a mindless thing that people repeat because others say it. Like “please” and “thank you”.