The good and bad of the summer season

Published 9:31 am Wednesday, June 24, 2015

We have two seasons — shovel and swat.

Summer sets the pot to boil.

Summer days. Summer better than others, but no matter what the season, it could be worse.

Email newsletter signup

Summer is when we are reminded of the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

Biting insects make each of us the center of attention. Mosquitoes are so big that they have white and dark meat. Gnats and skeeters are so annoying that people wear earrings made from flypaper. Summer is tough on the owls. The mosquitoes eat them.

Summer is when it gets too hot to talk about the heat. Hotter than a dollar store frying pan. So hot it feels as if the ground were on fire. So hot and muggy that the days are scratch-and-sniff. It can be so humid that the air feels like gravy. If success is 90 percent perspiration, I’m successful because I can break a sweat just by licking my lips. Hell hath no fury like a broken air conditioner.

Summer is when the mower becomes lost in the tall grass. I mow. My wife said that I don’t mow far enough. Lawn distance relationships are difficult. If I ever win the lottery, I’m going to send my lawn out to be mowed. I shovel snow in the summer because there is less competition then.

We sing, “Take me out to the ball game,” even when we are already there. We attend large festivals featuring at least one porta-potty. A hot day and heavy uniforms are a combination that allows us to smell a marching band before we hear it.

“The crops look good” becomes the standard greeting. Knee-high by the Fourth of July isn’t much of a challenge for most corn.

Summer is too hot, too wet, too stormy, too cold, too buggy, too dry and too short.

Summer is a time of reunions. We take part in endurance eating contests. We enjoy summer, one ear of sweet corn at a time. We play good cob, bad cob. Watermelon and pie rule. We relish hot dogs and feed mosquitoes. We see people again. We notice who is missing.

We were driving home from a reunion and incredibly, my wife and I became hungry. We were positive that was something we’d never experience again. Sparrows find hot lunches in the grillwork of automobiles. I suggested we try that. We moved on to practiced conversations.

Are you hungry?

I could eat.

Where do you want to eat?

I don’t care. Where do you want to eat?

It doesn’t matter to me.

How about Curt’s Curds Cafe?

No, we ate there last month and ingested our annual recommended intake of cheese.

Well, what are you hungry for?

Anything would be fine.

Horrid Hotdishes and Hurled Insults?

I don’t think they depend upon or expect repeat business.

How about A Place Not for People like Us?

It’s too expensive.

We could go in on a steak with another couple.

May I remind you that you have rubber bands holding your wallet together.

Good point. How about The House that Butter Built?

I remember not eating there.

They have bibs to fit every body size.

Are the menus covered in butter?

Yes, and so are the servers.

Let’s keep looking. Even a drive-thru would be better than that.

A hush fell over us. It was a small hush. There were no serious injuries.

QSR and Insula Research estimated that about 50 to 70 percent of fast food sales arrive courtesy of drive-thru windows. I prefer eating in quiet corners. More specifically, I prefer eating meat and taters in quiet corners with good company — family, friends, a book or a newspaper.

I looked for a cloud shaped like a food item to serve as a guide.

I found a remote eatery almost named “Cafe.” The letter “a” had burned out on its lighted sign.

It was the right place at the right time.

By the time I’d signaled a left turn into the mashed potatoes, we’d nearly starved to death.


Hartland resident Al Batt’s columns appear every Wednesday and Sunday.