Friday, August 12, 2011

Summer and Smoke and Coke

Everyone talks about how wonderful the summer is, although the grousing about summer being almost over starts on the first day of June. There’s the sand, the surf, the sun and the riptides, which everyone sagely tells you not to fight (try telling a control freak to just relax and let themselves be swept out to sea). If you grew up in the ’60s, summer was transistor radios playing girl groups like the Ronettes, the Chiffons, the Shangri-Las and the Shirelles, and the melanomic smell of Coppertone #1. Now people wear SPF 80 and listen to Amy Winehouse’s protestations about going to rehab as a memorial dirge. There are conversations about how Jay-Z and Beyoncé make the most money in the music biz. Meanwhile, London Bridge is literally falling down. The fact is, summer is an anxiety-producing season that basically sucks. It’s a Goodbye, Columbus style bar mitzvah buffet, the enjoyment of which is bound to exact a price. Put your back out riding waves, burst your eyeballs ogling half-naked girls in bikinis. Enjoy the beauty of blue skies and sunlight leading to second and third degree burns while futilely trying to read your aging copy of Middlemarch, whose yellowed pages have now become covered with grease and cola stains. And then there’s the parking lot, where the heavyset mother threatens her toddler with “you wanna get smacked?” only to suffer the silent rebukes of her svelte trophy wife nemesis, imperviously wobbling in sunglasses and platform high heels towards a waiting Mercedes. Roll back those lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer. Who wants them?

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