Summer Requiem

The heat waves linger low along the pavement in the distance like a dark swamp spreading its tentacles from one side of the road to the other, welling up on the sidewalk and swallowing up the cracked paint on the lanes. The smell of hot tar and asphalt mix and the sweltering heat of the sun radiates from the sweltering greenhouse of your shoes all the way through your body. Sweat pours downward and your whole being longs for even a moment of relief. Yes friends, its Summer in the south. Wet, smelly, suffocating heat is the order of the day. Oh, and a chance of thunderstorms. I’m sorry, when was Spring? Did I miss something?

One minute I was scraping ice off the windshield and the next I’m woefully overdressed and wishing I had some sun screen. Eh, apparently some people were waiting with eager anticipation for Winter to lose its grasp on the land and at the first sign of heat advisories they burst out of their homes and apartments with unparalleled enthusiasm, fanny packs, sun visor hats, and shorts so short that they seem almost comical. Ah, it’s Summer in the south. Cars are riding around with the top down and music too loud, as if I really want to hear what they’re listening to. Kids are out of school and in every store I go to I’m stuck behind some family brood with fifteen children of varying ages who all want something very badly and they aren’t afraid to let their wishes be known at an incredibly undignified volume and if they don’t get their way they roam around the isles acting like hoodlums on parade, picking things up, throwing them, playing with things that don’t belong to them and ignoring the personal space of others… Take a deep breath… It’s just another sign of Summertime.

But, there’s something much more sinister about Summer, the crime rates skyrocket! Beggars and thieves take up post along street corners and alleys, the caravan of pedestrians pass by blindly as the thugs carefully single their victims out of the crowd. Car jackings escalate since the cavalcade mess of unwashed masses clog the streets with their freshly washed sedans, slowing traffic down to a limping crawl. Tourists stop to take pictures and drive around lost as they try to find their way to the next attraction. Road rage abounds and the cursing is only punctuated by the spewing sounds of someone asking for spare change. Gas prices are high, muggings are up, everything is crowded and all the worst aspects of the metro area are hung out in the open for everyone to see like sweat stained laundry hanging on a line to dry. Yes, again, ’tis the season… Or as I like to call it, Summergeddon!

As you can probably tell, Summer is probably my least favorite season. Bah Humbug! Things seemed so much better when the fresh snow fell silently upon the ground, sparkling in the cold moonlight like tiny stars and covering all the blemishes of the world in a wonderous blanket of natural beauty… Now the trash lays in the open, thrown along the roadside, bare in the bright daylight and the smell of body odor, tanning lotion and grass clippings cohabitate in an unholy motherload of funk.

I tried to retreat to the wilderness for some relief from the rat race as I have done for more than a decade, but even nature has turned into a thorn laden grindhouse. As soon as I opened the door of my Silverado, the heat struck me like a solar wind. I sprinted for the shade of the trees but to no avail. The forest was strewn with spider webs, I ran headlong into one, turned around to flail my arms about in a futile attempt to free myself from the invisible foe, jumped backward to avoid stepping on a copperhead snake and a cicada punched me in the face… Defeated, I slumped back to the truck. “Screw this”, I said to myself as I picked several ticks off my jeans and swatted at a mosquito. “I know where there’s an indoor pistol range I can have some fun at”. Anything to get away from this horrid season!

I once heard someone say that “cool heads prevail”. I’m inclined to believe that more and more with each passing day that brings nothing but record setting triple digit temperatures. The apocalypse is measured in degrees fahrenheit.

Alas! The worst is still yet to come. August looms ahead, ushering in the dog days of the season. Drink lots of water and remember the bug spray. Woe to those who do not heed my warning of excessive heat and perspiration! The end is nigh, be warned! Summergeddon is upon thee!

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About raywiggington
I've made a lifetime of uniformed service. From being an eagle scout to a US Airman to being a correctional officer. Never so much because I wanted such things as rank or title, because those are useless in the end, but because I believe that there is good in helping others. I enjoy hunting, camping, archery, non-electric blacksmithing, and other primitive and traditional lore.

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