Summer: It's What's Wrong with America

Many people ask me, “Why is summer such a problem this time of year?” To them I say: “Because summer is guilty, and it knows it is guilty. Which is the worst, because summer knows precisely what it's up to and refuses to change.” If you’re not outraged about beachy times and ample produce, you’re not paying attention. Let's take a cold, hard, refreshing look at the most loathsome of seasons.

1. IT IS HOT. DEAR HEAVENS. AND HUMID. Did you know that one of the No. 1 contributors to global warming are actually fun vacations? Summer is brutal in this regard because June, July, and August, the Three Stooges of the calendar, practically insist that you enjoy them somewhere else other than your home, and since this is the United States, going somewhere generally involves going in a car. I’m about ready to call it what it is: a conspiracy. Summer is making itself longer by convincing you that you need to leave the house to have fun, just go, get outside why don’t you, and don’t forget to drive yourself there with gallons and gallons of gasoline. Next time you are trapped, baking and idling in traffic on your way to some quaint place or other, remember that summer is becoming hotter and longer every year and laughing about it all the way to September.

2. BEACHES ARE GROSS. Giant litterboxes on the edge of the world’s largest toilet. Beaches want to murder you, and with good reason. You are destroying the planet. Next time you drive to a beach and wonder why the water is higher than last year, the dunes are eroding, and the jellyfish have become sentient and are stinging you while you are in line at the concession stand waiting for onion rings, remember: It's your fault. Yes, you personally. Nothing destroys majestic wild spaces as much as people actually going to enjoy them.

3. OH, NOW IT'S OK TO EAT ICE CREAM? I come from Massachusetts, a land of robust and idiotic people inclined to consume creamed ices on the cone at all times of the year, sometimes even biting at the piled scoops like a shark. Eating ice cream in the summer is unfair. Warm, humid breezes create ideal conditions for ice cream headaches, forcing otherwise casual dessert appreciators to suck down the whole darn thing too fast, hurry, before it melts and gets all over your shirt and child or whatnot. Ice cream vendors are generally closed in ideal ice cream eating weather, which is, of course, winter. Incidentally, winter is the time of year for the best ice cream flavor of all time, Peppermint Stick, a flavor so refreshing it should be a criminal offense not to offer it in the summer months. I nod deeply toward Hampden’s The Charmery in this regard, as their Lemon Stick does a fine job of approximating a candy cane jabbed into a lemon half and helps simmer me down quite a bit.

4. YES IT TASTES GOOD I GET IT. One of summertime’s favorite things to brag about is how its fruits and vegetables are simply wonderful and you must try them. Bees everywhere are working overtime, waging an endless war against disease and urbanization all so some of us can spend $8 on a tomato that weighs more than a human brain. “Wait, stupid, have you ever tried one of those tomatoes?” I have indeed. I would french kiss a thousand bees to thank them for making heirloom tomatoes possible on Earth. Heirloom tomatoes are mercilessly tasty and make other tomatoes seem like the criminal abominations they are. I will say, however, that an heirloom tomato is a very affordable vacation that you can take with your mouth. Just know that it will change you, possibly forever.

5. THE FASHION’S EDGE. My issue with summer fashion is that we’re just not trying hard enough. Why wear a shirt when you can wear a discarded fishing net, or better yet, those wine bottle protector-doodads on your upper arms as if they were water wings? Why are we not tanning under giant sheets of lace so we look like Appaloosas on the prowl? Why is it considered uncool to wear garbage when there’s so much of it? Why is there not a life jacket that doubles as a CamelBak water bladder? Why is water so scarce, becoming scarcer by the minute? Why does the sun want to kill us?

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I am somehow backed by the nefarious and well-funded Spring Lobby, or Big Autumn. But no, I am merely one citizen, doing what I think is right and good in the world, letting you know the cool, delicious truth about summer.

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