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Monday, September 1, 2014

3 Reasons To Be Glad Summer is (almost) OVER

Look, there’s not a much more reliable indicator of middle age than beginning to grumble about the seasons, but part of the reason I love Autumn so much is how much I hate (and have always hated Summer).  I may live in the place with the worst summer in the country, but the other three seasons (along with the absence of any other adverse weather condition) are nice enough to make it worthwhile.  Would you expect any less of me than to only like three seasons?  But this notwithstanding, the end of the Las Vegas summer is the sort of thing which deserves a celebration, which is why I take of my holiday-Grinch hat for Labor Day – and celebrate alongside with everyone (albeit privately) and give thanks for the not-a-day-too-soon end of the hot season.  And while there are many, many reasons to cheer the end of this hottest season, as you have come to expect, I have labored long and hard to distill this list to the most important three reasons to be glad Summer is ending:

1.         Really, Freaking HOT.  Las Vegas is hot in the summer in much the same way as Twitter is kindof a waste of time, Fox News is a little biased and the Kardashians may be slightly self-absorbed.  With the highest summer temperatures of any major domestic urban area, summer is more than a season here – it’s a beast all its own.  Locally referred to as 100 days of 100, we spend the overwhelming majority of the season with 3-digit temperatures, and nearly a month (collectively) over 110.  When the temperature gets to 110, I begin to treat it like a personal insult – as though I’m the only person who can feel it.  I begin talking to no one, complaining and sulking around in a general rage – like a heat-induced low-level psychosis.  You lose your manners in short order and treat air conditioning like it’s oxygen itself.  It’s the kind of weather that makes you treat sub-90-degree weather like its Armistice Day, running outside and dancing in the streets, hoping for a young nurse to stroll by looking for a historic kiss.  And at long, long last… it’s here. 

2.         Pool Parting.  The economics of nightclubs have always been baffling enough to me (i.e. why would I pay $1,000 to drink a bottle of vodka on a stranger’s couch?), but the even more successful economics of “dayclubs” (i.e. pools) are that much more of a paradox.  It’s not like a haven’t tried these destinations – they market successfully enough to pique my interest – but after dozens of visits, I’m finally ready to admit that I hate the Vegas pool scene.  I love the scene for the friends of mine that work there – there’s not an easier legal way to make that kind of money, but as a patron, I’m done hiding my hate.  The scene advertised (i.e. endless seas of bikini models, free-flowing liquor and a great concert poolside) versus reality is much like the difference between the Big Mac in the commercials and the one you get in the Drive Thru.  (Not counting the staff – who are always the best looking folks in the room) the overwhelming majority of patrons are people you do not want to see partially dressed.  The few that are, are getting the kind of attention that makes you keep you phone handy in case you need videotape the pending sexual assault.  The prices are nearly identical to their night-time counterparts and the concerts are shorter, quieter and more unintelligible than you’d get on a local open mike night.  I’m convinced that most people in attendance don’t really like it, but are mostly there to avoid having to say they weren’t.  No thanks. 

3.         Kids in the Hall.  I am well aware of the “get off my lawn” stereotype that seems to explain my utter lack of patience with anyone under the age of 18, but there are few sweeter sounds than school bells and school buses.  For the record, I would love for local teenagers to spend their time outside and doing active things – I would just prefer it to be nowhere near me.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and interact with some extraordinary young people – but those are not the ones I’m talking about.  No, I mean the mindless majority of them who are trying to figure out new and exciting ways to do nothing and still expect regular income -- as well as stumbling through life with the communication skills of your average slab of cheese.  I’ve made my peace with the fact that this generation isn’t capable of taking care of themselves in adulthood – let alone my generation as it ages, but I’d rather not face this fact every day.  The closing of summer means the opening of school doors, and the only chance this generation has to not be completely useless (as well as some welcome peace and quiet in most public establishments).  In other words, the end of summer means that our finest young minds will get back to the business of getting smarter, and the rest of them are at least locked up for most of the day.

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There are plenty of moments from my summer that I would love to last forever – after all, it was my fortieth birthday, my first vacation, the beginning of some exceptional new opportunities and a great new place to live.  But as a Colorado kid, I’ve come to love the Fall in a way that most people can’t appreciate.  Sure, I don’t have the changing leaves, the snow-capped western peaks or the crisp wind – but I’ve got weather that doesn’t make me instantly sweaty, televised football almost every day of the week and blessedly few interactions with school kids.  And that’s something to run out and celebrate - as soon as the temperature gets below 100 degrees. 


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