Summer Time, and the Livin is Nerdy [Fierce Anticipation]

Forgive me, dear readers. It has been five months since my last blogumn. There has been much speculation as to where I have been, and I will simply say NONE OF IT is true (unless you assumed I am right where you left me, in which case, yes it’s all true). I was approached to write a Fierce Anticipation this week, and despite a sinus infection of biblical proportions (did they have matzo ball soup in biblical times?), I bring it to you.

File Photo: Me recovering my sinus infection (note the snot from which I make my escape)

I rise from the NyQuil ashes like a mythical phoenix with a stuffy beak. So kick of your shoes, throw on some Foghat, and pour yourself a mojito/margarita/Arnold Palmer/water(?). This Fierce Anticipation is all about summer time, and the living is nerdy.

Fiercely Anticipating 

Previously, I spoke about how here in South Florida, our changing of the seasons is about as noticeable as a mouse fart (read: not very). The one season we do notice quite well is Summer. You can best notice summer ANY TIME YOU WALK OUTSIDE when you are hit with one of two things: 1) a crushingly severe heat and humidity like being wrapped in a blanket that is both on fire and damp at the same time, or 2) a thunderstorm that rivals The Tempest, which we affectionately call “3 pm.”

Despite it being hotter than the devil’s taint, summer in South Florida is something I do, oddly, enjoy. Now, I say “oddly” because, genetically speaking, I am well insulated (hairy and chubby) which does not bode well for the tropical, near equatorial summers of South Florida. I’d be bet suited for a colder, more Northern climate. Like a viking, or a bear.

My summers, however, are amazing for me for several reasons (if you’ll indulge me while I gloat about how awesome I am). For one, I work at a summer camp. My job, aside from being a counselor, is Director of Fun. I am not making that up. My actual title is Director of Fun. I ensure the fun of every camper and staff member, rain or shine, sun up to sun down. If you aren’t smiling, tough shit! Get smiling! I see this as an opportunity for walking around in graphic tees and sandals, rocking a boom box, doing impressions and cracking jokes, all while collecting a paycheck. The camp would rather see me run activities, ensure safety, and otherwise maintain order, but hey, you get what you pay for. But it’s a great gig. I get a tan (finally), as much juice and cookies as I can eat (which is a lot), and it’s a fun way to beat the heat (except for when it’s not).

This gig takes its toll on you

For the amount of time I spend sweating outside, I make up for it with air-conditioned movies, as the the season is ripe for the blockbuster movie. By that, I don’t mean the long forgotten video store chain, but rather the time honored tradition of blowing things up for two hours. Whatever little money I make from my summer job goes right back into my cinema fund. Thank goodness I don’t have a crippling drug habit, or I’d NEVER get to see Prometheus!

On the Fence About

Going to Disney World. Living in South Florida means that at any time, you can pick up, hit the highway for 3 hours, and be in Disney World (unlike LA where it’s an hour or so to Anaheim, except when there is traffic, then you might as well be driving to Orlando).

Disney is great. It is. I always forget how magical it really is until I step foot in the park. I go on a few awesome rides, marvel at the clinically insane attention to detail, and just sit back with childlike wonde—GOOD LORD IT’S HOT! Do you pave this place with lava?!

Disney World is magical for a few hours, then the heat, crowds, smells, chafing, screams, foreigners, unattended children, chafing (it bears repeating), and cheerfulness all starts to wear on you. By the end of every trip into Disney, I find myself saying the same thing: “I am NOT coming back here until I have to; when I have kids of my own!” And then one of my friends coerces me into going back.

"This is worse than our trip to Neverland Ranch!" (too soon? too bad)

It’s a fun nightmare. And I am sure I will go back this summer to drink around the world at Epcot. That’s when magic meets mayhem. Usually around Germany for this Jew.

I’m Really Not Looking Forward to

All these friggin kids out of school. “Where the hell are your parents?!” is what I find myself yelling, like Carl from Aqua Teen, daily during the summer… when not at camp, of course. During the summer months, parents just dump their kids at public locales (movies, starbucks, malls, even supermarkets), expecting that whatever authoritative figures on-site will take responsibility for them for a few hours.

I get it. They need a break. But these kids wander around, talk loudly, cause scenes, break stuff, and are otherwise just disruptive tools. I am not sure if this problem is localized to South Florida, but I have a feeling it’s a pandemic. Kids, of all ages, go completely unsupervised. This wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for the mere fact that kids are assholes when unsupervised. They are just self-absorbed, mannerless jerks when not in the company of their parents (and a lot, around here, could care less if their parents were there).

Then sent to Neverland Ranch... nah that's an empty threat, now. (I got a million of'em)

Look, I am not a cranky old man. Far from it. I wouldn’t care except that during the summer I am in camp-mode, and the rest of the year, I am in teacher-mode. I can’t switch it off. If a parent lets their child run around unattended at a restaurant, I wait until said kid makes eye contact with me, and then I give it the “Hey…Not again” face. My friends say I am an asshole. But I say back to them (in my best Alec Guinness) “Who is the bigger asshole. The asshole, or the one who lets their child run amok?” I was a kid once, and I was probably a bit unruly. But if my parents ever found out, you could rest assured I was going to pay for it. Once at the mall with some pals, I tried to act cool and curse loudly. Sure enough, my mother’s friend was present and she ratted me out. I pumped the hand soap into my own mouth that night, while my family stood by and watched. And now I am awesome. It’s science.

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featured image credit: zisk0