Summer Complaints (Again)

It’s not even midsummer and I’m grouchy already.  One more 50 calibre motorcycle screaming through my tranquil afternoon and I swear I’m going to ….  Actually, I’m probably not going to do anything except grumble about it in the privacy of my own head.  That’s the problem with summer: ya can’t do anything about it.  And now that I’m on the subject, here are a few other things — ya just can’t do anything about.

The price of airline tickets is never the same as the one they advertise. — According to some recent TV ads, I can go from Vancouver to London and back for $799.00 — except I can’t.  I guarantee you, if I show up at the airline ticket counter with $800.00, I will NOT — I repeat, NOT — get a return ticket to London and a dollar change.  Why?  ‘Cause there’s the fuel surcharge, the airport fee, the sales tax. the departure gouge, the baggage scam, the seat selection swindle, the in-flight menu con job and, I’m sure, the You’re-A-Dumbass-Tourist tax is hiding in there somewhere.  The truth is, by the time the airlines get finished with all their extra charges, the price of your $799.00 ticket is so outrageous that the only thing you’ll be able to afford to do, once you get to London, is beg in the streets!

Fast food never looks like the picture. — Take a look at a photograph of the Burrito Supremo, and it’s huge: fat and round and bursting with meat, peppers and melting cheese.  You can practically smell the fried onions.  Buy it and what you get is this sorry, deflated tube of hamburger and diced veggie surprise, wrapped in an dingy grey tortilla.  Pick it up and it sags in the middle and starts oozing orange out the bottom.  (Cheese sweat?)

Nobody but Stephen Hawking can understand a contemporary telephone plan. — Like everybody on this planet, I have a mobile phone and like everybody on this planet, the person who sold it to me gave me 20 minutes of gibberish and 30 seconds to make up my mind about “Which plan is right” for me.  King Solomon had more time to make a decision, and he had information he could understand.

And there’s more:

Emails that keep on giving, even though you’ve unsubscribed — daily — for the last two weeks.
The parent in front of you at the ATM who’s trying to teach their 4-year-old how to electronically renegotiate a mortgage.
The pedestrian who’s halfway across the street and can’t figure out whether to walk, run or hide from oncoming traffic.
Coffee drinkers who abandon their empty cups wherever and whenever the whim takes them.
Joggers and cyclists who insist on traveling side-by-side and driving anyone coming the other way into the weeds to get around them.  “Yeah, you’re healthier than I am.  Big wow!”
Wine snobs.
Trump haters who refuse to change the subject — even though you’ve told them 12 times that you’ve already heard what an idiot the guy is.

And finally:

There’s going to be somebody out there who’s more than willing to point out that these are all First World Problems. — Yeah, I know, and I’m sure you’re a better person than I am — but I’m hot and sweaty and I’m not hurting anybody.  Besides, admit it or not, sometimes, it just feels good to bitch.

5 Reasons I Hate Summer

summer heatI woke up this morning and, for the first time, I could see autumn from here.  What a relief!  It’s not that I hate summer; it’s just that summer is so-o-o-o-o long and sweaty and inconvenient and bug-infested and sticky and annoying and … I think I’ve made my point.

Here are five reasons I’m happy to finally see autumn coming.

Summer is noisy — Everybody and his sister thinks they have a moral obligation to share their taste in music with the universe.  From the middle of May to Labour Day, Earth’s atmosphere is wall-to-wall stereos, blasting away like the Seven Trumpets of the Apocalypse.  It’s a wonder other planets don’t get pissed off and call the cops.

Summers are underdressed — It’s as if the entire world went to the beach and never came home.  I’m no prude, but men, shirts (even t-shirts) should have sleeves, not gaping holes; dirty feet are not fetish material, especially in a bank or a restaurant; and ladies, boobs and bum cheeks should go on the inside of whatever you’re wearing — that’s why you’re wearing it.

It’s hot — Mother Nature goes nuts every the summer — that’s her job — but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

The food sucks — I like BBQ as well as the next man, but I don’t believe 30,000 years of human development should be thrown away every time the sun shines.  We’re not Neanderthals, and contemporary life should feature better cuisine than a glob of potato salad, a lukewarm beer and a slab of overcooked meat snatched from a backyard crematorium by somebody wearing a “Kiss the Cook” apron.

And finally:

Nobody’s around — Every time you want to do something important, the person you need to sign the form, stamp the approval or initial the receipt is always on vacation.  There is nothing more frustrating than standing there, up to your elbows in some bureaucrat’s idea of paperwork Nirvana, while the one person you simply have to have to complete the process is at the beach, dancing half-naked around the fire while her drunken secretary is busy flipping the burgers — all to the tune of “In The Summertime” by Mungo Jerry.