It is hard for a New Englander to look into the Summer whilst perched on the very end of the Spring and not see literally anything but a mountain of promise. So much hope. Plans to be made and goals to tackle. Vacations and days at the beach. Cold beer and hot dogs. Ice cream. Not worrying about sweating because every time you mention the heat someone reminds you of what awaits a mere few months down the line. The smell of spent black powder in the air after fireworks displays. It’s all good stuff. However, all that good stuff requires money. Maybe not so much the goals. I mean, that is unless your goal is to make more money so you can spend more money. This year, I am facing another two weeks of school on top of the regular year as I am teaching Summer school. Meaning; I have a bit more time to think about what I want to do and a bit less time to accomplish all of it. Therefore; I am going to compile a short list of the so-called, must do’s to refer back to frequently over the next couple of months. I will give you a few choice samples now and then as I have done for the past three years of this blog’s existence, I will shut it down until the school year begins anew in September. Here we go.
- Celebrate the 4th of July – seems like a no-brainer, right? Wrong. As a proud American I have been celebrating this holiday my entire life. I was born in July. As my mother tell’s the story; I was born in the afternoon a couple of weeks past the 4th. When the nurses had cleaned the goo off of me, they wrapped me in an American flag and laid me in my mother’s arms. As mother and baby shared a moment, I gently asked her, “pray tell, mother… am I too late for the 4th of July celebrations”? I then slowly pulled a small already lit sparkler out and began to gently hum “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”. “Yes, I am afraid you are”, she replied. At this point, I apparently became inconsolable and when the nurse called for the doctor to come in to see the abnormally large and ugly baby that could somehow not only speak, but speak in such a perfect, Richard Burtonesque way, I lashed out. I accused the doctor and nurses of witchcraft, knocked over the IV and sprinted towards the door only to come into contact with the business end of the good doctor’s riding crop, which he always carried. I woke up ten years later in a home for wayward patriots. But I got out! So as you can see, I like the holiday. This year I want to have a big cookout. But I want to cook something essentially American. I was thinking an eagle but I am pretty sure that is a felony. The next best thing? The animal that is most commonly associated with the United States, the majestic and delicious coyote. It shouldn’t be hard as the place where we live now is ripe with them. The only issue is that I am having a hell of a hard time finding really good quality ‘yote meat. And I am not much of a hunter. This is a problem. I figure if I can’t get any we can always just do burgers. I also want to light off some fireworks. Which are illegal in this state. But what kind of American would I be if I didn’t routinely break the laws that I thought were dumb. Bring on the 4th.
- Write The Great American Novel – I have a few Ideas. Admittedly, none are all that good. But considering what passes for movies, television and pop music these days I’ve realized that they don’t need to be. People like inspirational, feel-good, against the odds sorta bullshit these days. I figure if I write a book about some lousy kid who comes from a home where the parents are constantly fighting and the siblings are in a romantic relationship with each other and the dog is always trying to commit suicide and some bum keeps giving him really pithy advice which ends up shaping his life some asshole will read it. I’ll have a lot of veiled political references in it. I will decry the evils of whatever it is we are supposed to be pissed off at on the day I happen to write whatever chapter I am on at the time. The protagonist will overcome all hardships and I will make sure that the villain is really, really evil. Someone that the entire culture can all viscerally loathe equally. Someone like; the guy who killed John Wick’s dog. Or if I can’t come up with someone that awful on my own I will just attribute all the evil stuff in the book to a successful company that gives its employees time off for religious holidays. Ya know, real Nazi types. It will be one hell of a book and by the end of it you will have learned nothing but will have had all preexisting notions confirmed. Spoiler alert: if you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything!
- Piracy – this one may take a little more effort than I am anticipating but as my friend’s uncle used to say; if it’s difficult or even impossible but you think it’s worth doing, don’t plan or prepare, just go for it! He died very young. Anyway, I can see you rolling your eyes wondering to yourselves why someone would want to get involved in that whole piracy malarkey. I have no answer for you other than chicks dig pirates. I have a wife but I want her to dig me more. And if she digs me more than she already does or says that she does and then decides to make me all sorts of cool desserts to keep me home and off the rolling main, then I am all for it. Also, I need to make some extra cash and let’s face it, no one out there on Long Island Sound is even remotely prepared for being attacked by a pirate. I wouldn’t even need a cannon or gun or cutlass or anything like that. All I would need is a broken beer bottle and maybe a small, pointy stick. The swells out there on the swells would give up the booty tout suite the minute they saw anything even remotely threatening. How do I know this? I met plenty of boat-people growing up where I did. Trust me when I say that aside from actual working fishermen, there’s really no one out there to worry about. The only problem is… and I will say, it is a sail flattening reality: I don’t have a boat. So I will have to leave this one on the back burner until I can get my hands on something down the line. But this one is not coming off the list because a man can dream.
- Make My Own Fireworks – when I was a lad, my father let me purchase a Hawken rifle. Along with the gun, I also purchased caps, powder, patches and shot. I think I fired it once. Anywho, with all of that black powder hanging about I thought it wise to be careful with it. So I did what any careful boy would do. I filled the wings of my model airplanes with it, took them down to the beach and my friend and I shot roman candles at them until they went kaboomies. It was great fun. Incredibly dangerous and stupid but great fun. Later, we graduated to taping firecrackers together and twisting their fuses. So as you can see, I am pretty much an expert on fireworks. I want to make some. I don’t know how. But I want to make some. I’ll probably just end up buying them and then feel guilty when I fire them off. “You could have at least tried to make your own” will be rattling around my head while the rest of the family oohs and ahs at the multicolored explosions going off dangerously close to the neighbor’s roof and trees. Not today, brain. You won’t be pissing on my parade today, brain. I hate you, brain. Shutup, brain. Sorry, brain. Friends again, brain? No? Well fuck you too, brain. Anyway, that’s how I see that plan playing out.
- Fly A Kite – I’m running out of things.
Ok, that’s it. Have a nice Summer.