A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, September 23, 2011

Adios, Summer

Today, autumn begins, and many of us are welcoming the change this year. We are looking forward to cooler temperatures, hopefully drier conditions, and colorful displays of foliage that could dazzle our senses. We are looking forward also because we don’t want to look back at a largely disappointing summer season.

To put it bluntly: summer, you were a bitch this year. First, you gave us long stretches of hot weather that was too dry for our crops. Then you ended with several intense periods of very wet weather that caused untold damage in monetary terms, put our crops out of their misery, and threatened a fragile bipartisan mood in our national politics. Okay, that bipartisan mood is largely a figment of my imagination, but it was great while it lasted, which I estimate was until the end of Obama’s speech to the joint session of Congress earlier this month.

Aw, summer! Our memory of you brings visions of long, lazy days in the country, relaxing on a porch with older relatives and sipping on powdered lemonade mix as they recounted the days of their youth when life seemed simpler. Or it conjures up other memories of camping in the great outdoors with mom and dad while the kids frolicked in the woods, discovering the wonders of Mother Nature. Okay, so the old folks would gloss over the hardships of national traumas like the Great Depression and World War II, and your nature expedition could have ended badly with you suffering the withdrawal effects from the steroids which passed for acceptable medical treatment of poison ivy in the 1970s, but hey it was summer, and you were determined to have fun even if it killed you.

Personally, I am more than happy to see the summer of 2011 leave. I lost my oldest friend this summer, and I’m left with the feeling of lost opportunities which my friend never realized in his lifetime and the opportunities I missed in devoting more time to our friendship. So, I can only dwell on such thoughts only momentarily before they consume my entire day, shrug my shoulders, and console myself with the philosophy that this was the way life was meant to be (to paraphrase an old ELO song) and move on. Farewell, Nick.

On the brighter side, my tomato crop this year was an utter failure. I tried a new variety of tomato this season and the results were disappointing. In past years, I would harvest well over 100 tomatoes; this year I’ve had twenty, with maybe a dozen more still on the already withered vines. They grew to a certain size – a little larger than a pea — stopped growing and refused to ripen.

I suppose I should consider a number of other factors that affected them. There were the previous hot spells, which would have been nice if there had been an occasional rainstorm, but no such luck this growing season. All the rain came at the end of the season, resulting in a nice crop of mushrooms in my backyard. It pains me to admit that my mushrooms did better than my tomatoes this year.

All this was Mother Nature’s way of falling down laughing at my puny farming efforts. The backyard wildlife was another factor. My tomato plants were tortured by deer nibbling on the tops and one too-fat groundhog stealing the low hanging fruit from below. I must also consider that perhaps my remedy of spreading used cat litter at the plant base to discourage the groundhog may have backfired. Next year will be different, I vow somewhat unconvincingly...

The first day of fall this year will have uncharacteristic weather for the season: more rain. The forecast predicts that 1-3 inches of rain will fall today, with a 1-in-3200-percent chance of falling NASA satellite. Yes, another of our interplanetary vehicles is due to fall back to Earth today, a six ton school bus size chunk of scientific technology which will break apart into harmless bits of three ton or so pieces as it plummets out of orbit. So, if we hear the soft tick-ticking of hail on our roofs today, we might want to consider that it isn’t hail we are hearing. I can only hope that the combination of rainfall and satellite debris will destroy my mushroom crop, but this might be wishful thinking.

The new season will bring with it the promise of a baseball post-season to Philadelphia. Now this is something to look forward to! This week has not been good for our Phillies, who are enduring a season high six game losing streak as they go into a weekend series with the Mets. The team is noticeably tired, not having a day off this month since before a combination of hurricanes and tropical storms battered the Northeast, and Presidential calls for bipartisanship were heard in the halls of Congress. Admittedly, these events have nothing to do with our baseball woes, but it has been that long since the Fightin's have had a day of rest. I hope they get to rest at least one day before their post season begins.

And so, considering all this, we bid a not-so-fond farewell to a kidney-stone of a season. Adios, summer! Don’t let the autumnal equinox hit you in the ass on your way out!

(Thank you for reading! Summer, are you still here?)


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