The Dark Side of Summer
Summer is a season of joy, energy and pleasure. It’s the time when people take vacations from their workaday lives, setting out for the beaches or some exotic locale to experience true relaxation and well-deserved enjoyment. There is fellowship with friends over great barbecues of burgers, hot dogs and ribs. And long, cool evenings filled with chirping crickets and buzzing cicadas.
But below the surface lies a dark underbelly that most recognize, yet few dare to mention… until now. Join me, dear readers, as we seek to uncover the dark side of summer.
A hot sweat
The obvious reason for many of summer’s woes is the sweltering, sometimes unbearable heat that descends on many parts of the world. Some might say it gets “hotter than a camel’s nuts,” but I would have no reason to mention that here…. whoops. Sorry about that.
It has also been established that crime increases during the hot, summer months, most likely when someone’s air conditioning breaks and they go ballistic. Of course, there are lots of folks who work outside and simply have to live with it. And I am certain some of them eventually snap since exposure to such high temperatures—especially when people aren’t hydrated properly—can do crazy things to human behavior.
A consequence of summer’s heat that is often overlooked and underestimated is sweat. When you stay outside for any period of time in 100-degree weather, you’re going to sweat your ass off, as well as your feet, your back and every other eligible body part. I even think my hair was sweating one time. And when your hands sweat, you suddenly develop what has been called “butterfinger-itis”: the inability to hold anything in your hand for more than a few seconds without dropping it. Drop something you really care about—like your tune-loaded iPod—and your summer could take a very dark turn.
Lust is a four-letter word
As the temperatures rise each summer, the layers of clothing people wear—especially women—diminish. And nothing says summer better than its ultimate apparel: the bikini. In terms of the Seven Deadly Sins, lust is a big deal. But whoever came up with the “big seven” likely never faced a beach full of bikini-clad women. This is arguably a male issue, but seeing so many beautiful and unashamed ladies running down the beach with next-to-nothing on does something to you. Further research might even discover its value as a mind-control technique, perhaps one that could be militarized and unleashed on enemy soldiers. The “bikini battalion” has a nice ring to it.
How would you like that cooked?
Of all the species on Earth and all the living things that inhabit our beautiful planet, human beings are the only ones who consciously choose to cook themselves. Every summer, Homo sapiens of all shapes and sizes head outside to soak up some ultraviolet rays from our glorious sun. They slather themselves up in all sorts of lotions and sprays designed to protect their skin, but most likely useless or only mildly effective at best. For hours they bask in the light, occasionally turning to evenly distribute their tans. As their skin tightens and browns like a cooking turkey, they lie for hours, thumbing through their Nooks and e-readers or sipping pina coladas. At sunset, it is back home to rub on the aloe and tenderize the hide for the next day’s cooking session. I say stick a fork in them; they are definitely done.
Perhaps the most horrible and disturbing thing about the summer is this: the rerun. You simply cannot find anything original on television during the summer months—at least not under normal circumstances. This summer, we have the 2012 Summer Olympics to keep us busy, but television programming is normally a barren wasteland of reruns, reality shows and seasonal news nonsense. “Want to know how to make your own suntan lotion from common household products? Join us at eight.” Give me a break. About the best thing on is ABC’s obstacle-course challenge “Wipeout.” Everything else basically blows.
The Sandman cometh
Although I appreciate the beach as much as the next guy, I will never understand how sand can infiltrate nooks and crannies all over my body that I wasn’t even aware I had. Days after returning home, it comes pouring out of clothes that have been washed and I even see a trail of it on the floor of my shower. If the CIA could develop recording equipment that appeared as sand, they could monitor almost anyone for a pretty substantial period of time. I should probably patent that idea…
Being outside is nice, isn’t it? Of course it is, at least until all the bugs come out. Suddenly there are ants invading your kitchen, palmetto bugs the size of small children and blood-sucking mosquitoes everywhere. The fall and winter will provide a brief respite. But for now, it’s the summer of the insects and we are what’s for dinner.
Be warned: the summer season is the travel season. Even when gas prices are sky-high, people still venture out and descend upon tourist attractions and vacation destinations from coast to coast. They cut you off on the highway, steal your reservations at restaurants, and help guarantee at least some of your time won’t be relaxing. And people like you and me, who want our journeys to be safe and painless, are often at their mercy. Just never forget that road rage can kill. Happy motoring!
The darkest side of all
I saved this for last since it is clearly the darkest side of the summer: the movie theater. Film companies flood the market with blockbusters of all shapes and sizes, and the trailers entice us as we sit home on our sofas and easy chairs. Unfortunately, you actually have to go to the theater to see these movies, and that’s where everything drifts into true, immeasurable horror.
For whatever reason, some people seem to go to the theater just to watch the pretty pictures and eat some noisy-as-hell snacks. They keep their cell phones on, invade the darkness with light from their text messages and talk amongst themselves with no regard for those seated around them. And if you’re really lucky, there will be some young children who shouldn’t be in an R-rated movie, yet remain to drive you crazy with their antics and disturbing lack of parental guidance. Nothing is worth this trauma, so now I just wait for the DVD.
The summer of 2012 is winding down and the fall is upon is. For this final month or two, please be aware of the warning signs so you never succumb to… the dark side of summer!
Posted on August 5, 2012, in Life, Perspectives, Writing and tagged 2012 Summer Olympics, funny, health, humor, IPod, life, musings, personal, perspectives, Recreation, Seven Deadly Sins, Shopping, Summer, travel, vacation, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.