Hump Day: Making the most of summer and pining for Christmas

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

For all of you folks sweltering in the heat with no air conditioning, take heed! Christmas is only five months away!

According to online reports, the snowsuits are already out at Costco and the Christmas ornaments are on sale at Hallmark. Yup! Those Christmas goblins are lurking right around the corner ready to pounce when you’re least expecting it.

I promised myself I wouldn’t write about Christmas so early this year, but I had to break that promise when I discovered that today’s column would land on “Christmas in July” – July 25. To those dying in the heat, just thinking about the snow could bring some welcome relief, while those who love the balmy temperatures we’ve been having are already searching online for my address to find out where to send the letter bomb.

Every time I write about Christmas so early, especially on Facebook, I get people reacting angrily, some in jest, some not in jest. Those who love the heat, sun and beach spend the next hour wiping down their walls after reading my updates because their heads have literally exploded in rage.

A minority, meanwhile, chime in and add their voices for a return to weather that is not so extreme. If it were up to me, it would between Oct. 1 and 15 all year round. That just seems to be the most perfect time of year for weather. Not too warm. Not too cold. Everything is right in the middle. The leaves are just turning. Things are good.

It’s these extremes that I can’t handle. Who in their right mind enjoys a humidex of nearly 40? I know I don’t! But some do, I know.

I don’t know how firefighters, paramedics, police officers or others who have to wear uniforms handle it. The heat must just get unbearable at times, especially for firefighters. They’re dressed in heavy uniforms for safety and in the middle of fire at the same time. I wouldn’t last long as a firefighter in the middle of a July heat wave.

“Mommy, what’s that big white whale doing with the fire hose?” “Dear, that’s actually a firefighter who stood in the sun for too long and who’s about to get fired for being naked on the job. Stop looking or you’ll lose your lunch.”

I’ve had central air conditioning in my home for the past 10 years thanks to a heat pump. It’s the best decision I ever made. It certainly changed my life for the better during summer months. Previous to that, I would spend all day in an air conditioned office, then drive home in an air conditioned car, then arrive in a house you cook a turkey in without using the oven!

How can anyone relax in that?

Oh, I’d try. I’d have fans galore pointed at me, of course. Half the time, I’d be doing my impression of that white whale I mentioned earlier, but my biggest secret: soaking my bare feet in cold water.

I’m telling you, if you’re suffering from the heat right now, get a basin or some other container and fill it up with water as cold as you can stand it.

Soak your feet in there for a bit and I can guarantee you that you’ll be as fresh as a daisy on a spring day in May afterwards. Butterflies will land on your forehead to kiss you. Rainbows will shoot out of your ears. A baby deer will curl up at your feet and fall asleep purring.

I don’t even know if they even purr, but this one would.

You’d feel all nice and refreshed, that is until you take your feet out, realize you forgot a towel and then slip on the floor and crack your head open on the corner of the coffee table as you try to get to the linen closet. Oh well, at least you have a basin of water handy to clean the blood off the floor.

My dislike for summer is well known among friends and family. They would often give helpful tips, such as sleeping with the bedroom window open. Oh sure! And that’s relaxing? Hearing people walking down the street and yelling at night? How about the skunks, racoons and stray cats lurking around outside?

I once heard two stray cats mating outside my window years ago. It was one of the most horrific sounds ever. For something they’re pretty good at (if you remember all those kittens being given up to animal shelters), it sure as heck sounds like they’re having a horrible time.

Who needs the sounds of ghosts and goblins at Halloween? Just play back the sounds of two cats mating and you’ll make those ghosts and goblins sound like a babbling brook on one of those relaxation CDs filled with nature sounds.

There isn’t much use of me wishing summer away. It will be over soon enough. As one of the few people in the world who dislike summer, I just have to count the days that are already getting shorter.

But there are good things about summer, too, like flowers, fresh local produce such as string beans and berries, and no real need to check every weather forecast to make sure you won’t get stranded if you have to travel somewhere for business or pleasure. Planning events is easy, too, unless you’re hell bent on having them outside. The chances of the weather cancelling an entire function is pretty slim unless a hurricane rolls through the area. In the winter, lots of hard work can go to waste because of a storm.

Whether you’re a summer lover, summer hater or are just happy to be alive, it’s important to never forget to make the most it, regardless.

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