Monday, June 19, 2006

Roll out those...
Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer...

That 1963 tune by Nat King Cole glorifies all of the things that make summer what it is..."those days of soda...and pretzels...and beer" (well, no beer in Coeur d'Alene City Park, but you get the idea). And it seems each year Summer arrives with a bang, a thud, a boom and a crash. No time to "ease" into summer. The weather gets hot, the throngs multiply, and activities around town instantly assume a frantic, frenetic pace. I have long said that my favorite seasons here are Spring and Fall. I don't like temperatures above 80 degrees, thank you. And for the most part, Summer is something I have to endure.

My favorite time on a summers' day is in the evening after 5pm, when the breeze turns around and blows off the lake; you can smell the lake water as it cools the air, and the feeling is just "aaaaaahhhhhh." But I don't really understand people in the summertime. They trade the confusion and pandemonium of the workplace for the confusion and pandemonium of a filled-to-the-gills summer weekend by going where everyone else is going. They run around in packs, in hoardes, kids screaming and running all over the place, frisbees and volleyballs zipping through the air, clogging up virtually every square inch of the park with nary a vacant picnic table in sight.

Also, around 5pm is when people start GOING HOME, and that's when I reassume my partial summer residency in City Park. The sun begins to set, the air begins to cool off, and activity starts to slow down. You can walk on the City Park sidewalk without fear of being chopped off at the ankles by some out-of-control skateboarder. You can sit at a picnic table with little or no fear of a frisbee flying by, decapitating you in the process. You can sit on a park bench and play guitar without fear of a volleyball striking you, making you drop your guitar on the cement!

The same goes for downtown. Tourists just kinda gawk and lollygag around, in packs, in hoardes, just kinda plugging things up all over the place. Lines at the Java Place; lines at the restaurants, lines at the shops, lines for this, lines for that as out-of-staters spend so much time marvelling at our city's various attractions that they make it virtually unbearable for the rest of us. I'm sorry, I just don't have patience to deal with that kind of stuff. "Buy your stuff, sit down and SHUT UP!!!", is what I want to SCREAM at the top of my lungs, but then I'd probably get arrested by a bicycle cop or a downtown cop for causing a scene.

All of the so-called summertime Chamber-of-Commerce, tourist-brochure "events" in our area drive me NUTS!...the downtown gets plugged up with Car d'Lane. The downtown gets plugged up with the Triathalon. The downtown (and the entire town, for that matter) gets plugged up as tourists invade our city for the yearly fireworks celebration. And, the downtown gets plugged up, as Sherman Avenue is closed up because of Art On The Green's spinoff art-show full of pointless, overpriced art and trinkets and junk you'll never need, sold by retailers who use these occasions to line their wallets and then get back on the road and set up somewhere else, in another town that is also undergoing summer pandemonium.

I remember one hot summers' day, when I didn't go to City Park because I knew it would be filled to the gills with people who don't live here. So instead I went to the Rutledge Trailhead on CDA Lake Drive, where there are a couple of picnic tables and a view of the lake from high above. And when I got there, I saw a pup tent, several families on the little patch of grass there having picnics, and screaming kids running around and making all kinds of noise. So I went back to my hot little house, and sat there, on a hot summers' day, finally going to the park in the evening, when people were starting to clear outta there.

I have always tried to be observant, not obnoxious, not wanting to get in the way, not wanting to be any trouble to anyone. I get the feeling that most people are just kinda unaware, or they don't care, or both. I don't know what's happened to me over the years; I guess something has, because I used to need to be where things were happening; I needed to go to parades and entertainment events; I needed to be one of the crowd, and I just don't give a damn anymore. I just like to go out, envelop myself in nature and not be disturbed. And it seems that in the evening, things just kinda slow down and get a bit more comfortable.

I guess I ask myself, "why do people endure all of these events and galas and episodes, and what do they get out of it?" Other than killing themselves to have a good time? I don't even go to parades anymore. They do NOTHING for me. I don't go to concerts; I've seen every kind of band there is, play every kind of music imaginable; what else is there to see? I've been to sales, exhibitions, performances, gatherings, happenings, you name it...I just don't have the desire to do that stuff anymore. It's POINTLESS. Me, I'll just kinda "dodge" the pandemonium. I just want comfortability.

Whew! I needed to vent. I'm already feeling "hemmed in" by summer events which, to me, are just clogging up the area I usually move about so freely in. So thanks for putting up with me, even if you come away from all of this thinking I am some kind of "hermit-Nazi". So, for your enjoyment, I've included a little photo-satire for y'all. This one was just TOO EASY; it had "obvious" written all over it...

This photo, stolen from, will probably end up putting me on the government's "watch" list. Oh well, I'd be in good company...I heard the FBI once had a dossier on John Lennon!


Blogger Jinx said...

I remember how we used to watch the traffic on the day after Labor day when all the summer people left the
and without sounding to cynical..if you've seen one parade you've seen them

2:34 PM  
Blogger little ol' me said...

Hi, Jinx...I think you were gonna end that comment with the word, "...all." And you're right. Suffering through two hours of that parade drives me bananas. The only thing I watch anymore is the fireworks; I endure the crowds for that. It's a ceremony. Our family used to do that when I was growing up.

4:26 AM  
Blogger Pickles said...

yep. forgot the all.. lol.. so I am losing it. what else is new.

10:35 AM  
Blogger little ol' me said...

Pickles, don't feel bad. I lost "it" (whatever 'it' is) LONG ago.

11:21 PM  

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