Thursday, June 01, 2006

Welcome to the month of June! Unless you are living in the completely wrong hemisphere of the world, June is the bringer of summer, stirring up images of Pop-ice, fireworks, and dirty beaches with crabs. I realize that summer comes early in other places, such as Tallahassee, but it doesn't really count when the average temperature rises from 87 to 94. When you're living in the humid armpit of the Southern giant, the only surefire way to tell that it's summertime is when Chompy hides in the bathtub to get away from the fireworks. Here are some pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that form my summers:

  • The ice cream truck has been making the rounds in the neighbourhood again, although I rarely ever see anyone buy anything. The ice cream man must have met his quota for Klondike Bars last year because he upgraded the sound system on his van. Before, it was only capable of playing two notes simultaneously, and continuously played a duet of Home on the Range over and over again. Now it has flashy 16-voice polphony, much like a state-of-the-art Soundblaster 16 Pro LB Duplex 9200 sound card from 1992. In reedy tones that try to emulate clarinets but just sound like the backup to any 80s rock opera, the ice cream van now plays 8 bars of every public domain song known to man. There aren't even any segues -- just pure unadulterated melodic goodness. It reminds me of being in concert band playing those idiotic medley songs that high school band directors everywhere love to program.

  • My "song of the summer" is not by the Beach Boys, it's Pleasant Valley Sunday by the Monkees. This is somewhat peculiar because my dad doesn't like the Monkees and never played this song in my youth or on beach road trips. My "memory of the summer" is waking up in the morning with the windows having been open all night long. It's warm enough that you don't need blankets and outside you can hear the gentle murmur of early morning lawn mowers mixed with the echoed roar of the Interstate. My "food of the summer" is, of course, Pop-Ice. Pop-Ice sucked because all it did was slice your mouth open. I used to drink them raw without freezing them first.

  • During some summers, our family would be illegal and purchase fireworks in neighbouring Fairfax County for the Fourth of July, then light them off in the backyard after liberally drenching the surrounding trees with sprinklers all day long. The best fireworks were the ones that did more with lights than sounds. The coolest were the flash bombs that made a strobe effect for several seconds so you could pretend to be in a stop motion clay video. The worst were those stupid black snakes that grew out of the sidewalk and then left blotchy black marks on the concrete and your hands. Black snake!
  • Share some of your own summer memories in the comments section!

    Woman shoots fireworks at helicopter
    He also recently skipped his first wedding anniversary to attend a fight.
    Rochdale man fails to prevent neighbour's erection

    tagged as memories | permalink | 7 comments


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