Thursday, May 24, 2001

Ignore calendar

Let's start summer right now

        It's summer.

        Not officially, of course. June 21 is officially the First Day of Summer, which is entirely bogus. Artificial. By June 21, we already have our first sunburn, our first dire warning about sunscreen and our first Cinergy bill for cooling instead of heating.

        By then, the city swimming pools are already open. Kings Island has been serving funnel cakes for more than a month.

        On the first official day of summer, the Northern Hemisphere receives its maximum amount of solar radiation for the entire year. That can't be cause for celebration, can it? That sounds more like Suspicious Mole Day.

        The way you feel when you get up for work and it's already light and it's still light when you come home at night — now that's worth celebrating.

        This comes our way before June 21. And so do ice cream trucks, by the way.

The school's out rule
        The summer solstice occurs when the sun reaches its northernmost point, directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer.

        Blah. Blah. Blah.

        Summer really begins, as any current or former kid knows, when the school year ends. Kids in Grant County were dismissed Wednesday, so I prefer to believe that summer has begun. Today.

        You can't start this particular season a moment too soon because it's the best one of the year.

        No contest.

        Bare feet. Convertibles. Cold adult beverages in long-neck bottles. Fourth of July. Shorts. Drive-in movies. Water. Bikes. Water bikes. Outdoor concerts. In fact, everything outdoor. Newly mown grass. Sunrise. No homework. Canada geese. Flip-flops. County fairs. Frisbees. Frisbee dogs. Seersucker. Roller coasters. Church socials. Trashy beach novels.

        I don't care how much somebody drones on about the fabulous fall foliage and the exhilarating change of seasons and the pristine loveliness of new snow, summer is where it's at.

        First of all, hot is better than cold. If I am not right about this, then why doesn't everybody fly to the beaches of Newfoundland instead of Bermuda?

Lawn Olympics
        Summer is the season when man's true spirit of competition is allowed to flourish. I'm speaking here not of baseball, but of the Summer Suburban Lawn Olympics when more toxic chemicals are laved on subdivision grass than on the pastures surrounding Fernald. And every evening, sprinklers whisper.

        Summer is when all your friends go on reasonable vacations, such as Cumberland or Michigan, leaving you with your dignity and the tacit understanding that you could do the same if you wanted. Fall and winter is when you watch them head for more exotic places where they pay $11 for a Big Mac and send you hatefully cheery postcards.

        Summer is baseball. And tennis and golf and miniature golf and swimming and fishing. Tomatoes taste like tomatoes again.

        It's when the organized fun stops and the real fun begins. It's porches and decks and swings and parks and fountains and soft ice cream. Summer also is nearly perfect politically. Which is to say that most of our elected officials elect to take a summer recess and can do no further harm until fall.

        Summer is when we reacquaint ourselves with our neighbors.

        And it can't start too soon.

        E-mail Laura at or call 768-8393.


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