Calcium Anthropologists Warn of Effects of Summer Acceleration
Unconfirmed fiction by: Tige R. Schmittendorf
Originally posted: September 6, 2009
Editor’s Note: I know it’s Labor Day. I should have warned you sooner…
One day while taking a requisite course towards my doctorate in calcium anthropology — the study of milkmen and their connection to mad cow disease — I had cause to stop, doze, and ponder the season ahead.
In the midst of my heavy R.E.M. sleep, I drooled upon an undiscovered hypothesis that ventures well beyond the natural borders of E=MC². It goes something like this:
“I have a theory about how summer comes and goes each year and leaves us with a feeling that we didn’t accomplish much more than burning our bodies on the beach and a few hot dogs on the grille.
Spring comes to us each year starting with that first mild 55 degree day in March or April and provides us with that sudden itch for fun and sunlight.
As the days finally become longer, without even knowing it, we start to speed the process of the work day in hopes of catching a glimpse of waning sunshine at the end of yet another eight hours of occupational challenge.
Consciously, we begin to make plans for our spring and summer projects, work around the house, opening the pool, and finally letting the dog out after a long wet winter.
Sub-consciously, we make promises to ourselves that we know we may never keep.
We pray that we won’t rush this summer along, only to be left on Labor Day with a hollow sinking feeling in our stomach, and a headache like the one you get when you eat ice cream too fast.
As May flows like a spring flood into June, and June races towards the Fourth of July, we watch openings on our social calendars begin to evaporate like the sweat off your brow from mowing the lawn in late August.
We try to fight off the urge to speed through each workday, turning Mondays into Wednesdays and Thursday mornings into Friday afternoons, feverishly in search of that weekly chronological climax known as the weekend.
We work so hard and fast to get through the work week, just to spend a few moments of peace and quiet over that period between the start of happy hour on Friday and your 6a.m. wake-up call on Monday morning.
Keep in mind that all of this Rest & Relaxation entails compressing lawn mowing, two hang-overs, painting the house, going to the beach, one barbecue, a picnic, and two and a half hours of take-home work starting at 11p.m. on Sunday night, into your allotted 62 hours.
Before we have a chance to recover, history has repeated itself for another year. You’ve transformed Mondays into Fridays, and May into August. You’ve rushed so much activity into such a short span of time that the steak you’re eating at your friend’s Labor Day celebration in September, tastes frighteningly like the “smores” you toasted over a campfire on the Fourth of July.”
I call this my summer acceleration theory.
No scientists have proven it yet, or come up with a formula to calculate it, and I probably won’t win a Nobel Prize for it.
But, if I can just prove to my lunar friend Dave that it actually affects global warming, yet it has a positive impact on repairing the ozone, I bet I can get the Pentagon to finance a grant that lets me work in one of their brightly lit high-tech labs and give me a nice sterile white coat to wear … probably even one of those neat ones that you put on backwards and the sleeves tie together in the back.
Every man has a dream.
Reprinted from The Fire Fighter Newspaper — ©1996