Summer’s end - it’s not a mirage anymore!

August 31, 2014

The fat lady is about to sing. The end of the summer looms large. You can feel it now. You are like a technician carrying precious cargo, like transporting an organ donor cooler in your car. Your mind is racing with thoughts of don’t come too close, watch where you are going. You don’t dare breathe in case by some act of God, or even more frightening, Congress, a decree is issued that summer doesn’t come to an end. Ever!

The difference in this last week or so is that you are in a weakened condition, maybe from all those green arrows on left-hand turn lanes that allow two cars through, or the woman behind you honking her horn because you are not pulling out in traffic that is going at the speed of light. She is in a hurry; you can tell by the curlers in her hair and the black-pencil eyebrows. You hesitate just for a second and you are history, especially since the car just in front of you had a bumper sticker that read, “Keep honking, I’m reloading.”

And your immune system is worthless from circling like a 747 in a holding pattern at O’Hare Airport looking for a parking space. Eventually you find one, but it’s at least two ZIP codes away. You no longer produce white blood cells; they’ve been left on the road, spilling out of your body after a near miss when someone pulling a boat trailer the size of an aircraft carrier shot from three lanes over and inserted himself in front of you; it goes without saying that there is no signaling.

In fact you’ve been ready for the end of summer since July, but never really told anyone, just kept it inside where it ate away at you until it blew up one day like an enormous boil and you took it out on a goldfish. Out of remorse, eventually you had that goldfish stuffed and mounted, but it doesn’t make up for the rage. It’s the little things that have driven you over the edge this summer.

Seriously? There isn’t enough Advil on the shelves after dodging bikes, scooters, pedestrians and cars on a busy afternoon driving down Rehoboth Avenue. That’s why I always check my grille and under the car when I get home.

Labor Day technically is defined as the federal holiday to celebrate the contribution of the workers. Unfortunately, most of us have come to the point where we get down on our knees and pay homage to that empty line in the drugstore, especially if you are a hemorrhoid sufferer.

Still, to get back to the everyday worker, it’s difficult to own, run or be employed by a business today with all the rules, regulations and paperwork the government insists you fill out so it can be filed in a room under the Capitol only to be unearthed by aliens studying primitive past cultures years later. This is why ants form colonies and bees have hives. They are the most successful in filling out forms, being on hold and negotiating with clerks.

The only success you’ve had this summer is staying up late at night in your single-bulb basement, poring over traffic maps, peak times and patterns just so you can get to the store to buy a quart of milk and get back within the same week.

Still, Labor Day is a time to celebrate with barbecues, picnics, reunions and great cook-outs with family and friends. Sure, there are some trips to the emergency room after your aunt’s potato salad has formed its own cult, and someone always forgets metal on the grill heats up to the temperature of Mars. But hey, that’s nothing since Obamacare has reduced your coverage to a self-help book on human anatomy.

In any case, we love and appreciate our tourists and visitors, but I hear music and there is a song in my heart for the month of September.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.

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