Long-time reader/provocateur Vince suggested the other day that I was falling prey to the dog days of summer and lashing out accordingly. This, of course, is nonsense because I lash out all the time, but he is right about the dog days stuff. August just flat-out sucks.
First off, on a personal note, I sweat like a horse. (I used to say that I sweat like a pig, but one of my players, Meredith, shows pigs at the Pima County Fair every year and she told me that pigs don't sweat. Wow, they don't sweat and they're responsible for bacon? They've got to be God's favorite creature.) I sweat so much that I wear two T-shirts at a time to keep from becoming a public nuisance.
Coaching and working out every day prompts several changes of clothing, so I end up having to do my laundry on a very regular basis. I have always eschewed the dryer, opting instead to hang my clothes out on the line so that they will remain spring-time fresh.
But you can't hang clothes out on the line in August because it rains all the freakin time. It rains in the morning, it rains in the afternoon, it rains at night, but never on any schedule. And you can't leave clothes on the line when it rains because, for some unknown reason, if clothes get rained on and then dry, they get all stiff and they smell like what you imagine Nicki Minaj smells like after a concert.
The other day, after three straight days of rain, I was running short of T-shirts, so I washed a batch and used hangers to hang them from the rafters in the garage. A couple hours later—at mid-day—I went into the garage to do my Stair-Climber thing and the entire garage smelled like Bikram Yoga. Now, I loves me some Bikram Yoga, but when you first walk into that 110-degree temperature/70 percent humidity yoga room, the funk of a thousand nasty feet rushes up to slap you.
A big part of my problem with August is self-made. It involves the tying of the passage of time in one's life to sports seasons. As soon as we have the first weekend of college football, life is great. I don't care if it's 115 degrees outside; it's football season. I love high-school and college football, and I put up with the NFL. From that first September weekend until the end of the year, it's wonderful. There's that time when football and basketball overlap, then there's the bowl-games season, then the NFL playoffs (which are better than nothing).
Then it's the end of the college basketball season, then March Madness (the best sports event of the year). Next we have the end of the NBA season and the NBA playoffs. Then comes the thud. In the middle of June, all of a sudden, there's nothing but baseball and European soccer highlights. So, nothing.
We're now nearing the end of that 10-week-or-so dead period when nothing productive gets done, ESPN insults us by reporting from NFL training camps, and it rains.
Another problem is that the aforementioned Time Wheel of Life is Nautilus-shaped. It drags through the long part of the shell (July and August), then, when it turns to the end, it speeds up ridiculously. It's like we have Labor Day, then, the following week, it's Halloween. Two days later, it's Thanksgiving in the morning, Christmas in the afternoon, and New Year's Eve that night.
It's like July and August are that long, slow climb to the top of the big hill on the roller coaster, then the rest of the year flies by with ever-increasing speed.
Oh yeah, another thing that drives me nuts about August is the obsession that local TV newscasts have with the weather. I was watching a 10 a.m. newscast the other night and I used a stopwatch to time the amount of coverage given to the weather. It was just under nine minutes!
Now you figure that there are probably 22 minutes available for real stuff (with eight minutes of the half-hour being used for commercials, intros, outros and useless banter by useless banterers). So you're the program director and you're going to decide to use 41 percent of your show on the weather?! It's hot in the daytime and then it rains and there's some wind and sometimes there's lightning. That's worth a minute-and-a-half, max!
Finally, something that makes me mad all the time and in August, especially. Whoever designed Orange Grove between La Cholla Boulevard and Oracle Road needs to be slapped...repeatedly. Heading east, past the Northwest Hospital, it goes down from two eastbound lanes to one. Every single grouping of cars becomes a stupid-ass game of chicken. The people in the (right) butthole lane can see blocks ahead that their lane is disappearing, but they plow ahead and invariably cut in front of somebody, causing hard feelings and near-accidents.
About a half-mile down the road, approaching La Cañada Boulevard, it opens to two lanes again FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER! (It goes right back down to one lane after the intersection.) And to the surprise of no one, the same buttholes pull out into the butthole lane and repeat the process. I seriously hate every single one of those drivers. And not just in August.