Thursday, July 21, 2011

Days of Summer Past

- - Forgive me, but some people get awfully wimpy when it gets hot. If you've walked on this earth for a few decades, probably you can remember when not every place was air conditioned; go back a bit further, and the majority of places were not air conditioned. I've attended non-air conditioned schools and shopped in non-air conditioned stores and markets; I've lived in non-air conditioned houses, resided in non-air conditioned dorms, and ridden in plenty of non-air conditioned cars on the hottest of summer days. I didn't die...sure, it was hot and it was uncomfortable, but everyone else was likewise suffering. It's just the way that it was in the not horribly distant past. To state the obvious, most of human existence occurred prior to the widespread use of air conditioning. People tend too often these days to confuse inconveniences with real problems.

There was a time when only ritzy stores and movie theaters boasted air conditioning; theaters would post signs outside to lure you in that said, "Come on's COOL inside!" It was a real treat to go inside a movie theater for a few hours back then to escape the summer heat. Home treatments for hot days included cold drinks, popsickles, and maybe an electric fan. You'd sit outside at night because it was often cooler out after dark than inside within your house.

The vast majority of cars were of course not air conditioned, and you hoped that you could drive fast enough to get some cooling from open windows as you traveled; forget about keeping your hair neatly styled! Car upholstery in those days tended to be vinyl, which could get hot enough to burn skin when the vehicle sat out in the sun. Vinyl upholstery also doesn't breathe or allow much air circulation, so you sweated when you sat upon it and stuck to it.

All of this is submitted as a reminder that many today don't realize how good they really have it...and that the "good old days" weren't really that great!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fun With Language!

- - I often amuse myself by imagining how alternative meanings of language might play out if implemented in reality. At a restaurant for breakfast, for example, I was told that Janice would be my server. Then my mind is off to the races...

Janice: (in tennis togs) "Hi, I'm Janice! I'll be your server today."
Myself: "Great!--Burn one in here, Janice!"
Janice: "Alright then!--Service! (tossing ball up)--* THWACK!*
Myself: "Good shot, Janice! Took out my water glass AND my coffee mug!"
Janice: "Thank you, Sir! Can I bring you anything else?"
Myself: "A bandage, perhaps? And maybe a hard-boiled egg?"
Janice: "I'll see what sociopathic eggs I can find in the kitchen, Sir."

In this manner, you can brighten up many dull events, and your companions will wonder why you are often smiling to yourself!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rushing the Seasons...

- - Hitting a craft store the other day for art supplies, I was taken by the fact that all summer seasonal items were out on the curb for clearance. Walking into the store, I felt like I had entered a time warp and exited sometime in late October...there were garlands of colored leaves for sale, as well as other items that I normally associate with later fall.

Now given the fact that we have just passed the 4th of July and that summer is a season I like to have around, I'm none too eager to rush into fall. But have you tried to buy summer merchandise recently?--Good luck, it's probably on the clearance rack, which can pose a problem if you're looking for a specific clothing item or size.

What this means for the consumer is that you've got to buy at least certain items several months in advance of anticipated need, which is no small trick if you're the kind of person who usually can't see with certainty beyond the coming week. To me, next month is the future. I don't have a handle on the fall yet, nor do I want to deal with it during the month of July. Always living several clicks ahead of the present is a good way to screw yourself up plus lose out on the advantages of the present moment, which many philosophers assure us is of the highest importance.

Rushing the seasons has contributed mightily to the expansion of Xmas into a several-month holiday observance...and mark my words, you'll see the beginnings of advance Xmas promotions shortly after Labor Day!