August 31, 2012
Oh my blessed peeps! (Or is that peops when it refers to one’s special people?) I don’t know, but already I’m being distracted from this month’s urgent Doodle theme, which is the gnarly month of August. Is there a gnarlier month than this one? I don’t think so. And there is no gnarlier word than gnarly. This word reeks of unending nasty stinkiness emanating from a hot, molten core, unless it comes from the mouth of someone younger than I am, in which case it might mean something just the opposite. Ugh. Only a dead language can be properly understood by every generation, but the deadness pretty much takes the fun out of it, so let us be grateful for our vibrant language!
Anyway, every year this revelation about August sneaks up on me from wherever it hides in the caverns of my brain and screams “Boo!” about mid-month. That’s about the time I run out of money and patience with the whole hot tamaleness of August, and deja vu knocks me over like a galloping bloodhound. “Oh yeah,” I remember, “this is the month that goes on and on and drives me mad!” Is there a month anywhere on the calendar that is longer? Of course not, unless you are looking at some odd calendar I haven’t heard of as yet. But really, isn’t August just way too long? The heat, the impoverishing back-to-school shopping, the humidity, the agonizing anticipation of the post-Labor Day switch into the full throttle school routine including all the extra-curricular activities, the foggy mornings that look kind of cool until you run off the road or smack into a deer, the hotness that exudes from every pore even if you aren’t an old lady, but if you are, well, believe me those pores multiply and exude way, way more heat than medical science could possibly conquer–all these contribute to producing a month that would never end if it weren’t for glorious September coming along just in the nick of time.
I realized the other day that July/August and December/January are the only back to back 31 day months. (Yes, I am slow.) Maybe that’s part of the problem with the interminableness of January and August. Payday is later, bills are piled up, there’s not a whole lot to do when it’s miserably cold or miserably hot. But personally, I like January. It’s fun to sit around in flannel pajamas drinking hot chocolate and hoping for snow. And if the snow comes, yippee! It’s extremely fun to watch and play in! Plus it’s fun to get presents, but that only happens to certain special people. (Keep that in mind when January rolls around in four months, just in case you get nostalgic for gift giving after all the excitement of Christmas has left a deep void in your philanthropic soul.) August heat, on the other hand, just sucks the life out of everything. It brings to mind pre-air-conditioned Southern belles who used to strip down to their corsets and pantaloons to fan themselves, sip iced tea and swoon in the humid afternoons. Let’s just take a moment to envision that. Does that say “majestic dignity” or “grandeur” to you? I don’t think so! And yet that is what the word “august” means! So this is what I am proposing. I think we need to change the name of this month to something more in line with reality. Maybe “Swelterust”. Or “Swoonember”. Or “Lifesuckary”. Or my personal favorite, “Awfulgust”. Let me know if you want to sign the name changing petition. And let me know where exactly I should send that petition. Maybe Congress is in charge of that, as well as deciding when Daylight Savings time should commence and finish. If that’s the case, perhaps we should wait awhile to bring this before their august body. They have more important issues to consider at the moment. In the meantime let’s praise the Lord that August is almost over and we will soon be back in our swoonless pantaloons enjoying fall!