I know…not everyone can be a slacker…or a writer, which some
say are one and the same.
But that’s just Z…and my Mom…and some if not all of my
Summer is like a sweet desert after a
heavy meal of double, double toil and trouble; fire burn, and caldron
bubble…of the previous less temperate seasons.
I’m not quite sure what that means, exactly, but hey…it’s
the season for slacking. What do you expect?
In my mind…along with all the snakes…summer is a big heaping
helping of Apple Pie, with an even larger scoop of ice cream—your choice—slowly
melting down and into the sides.
The more it melts, the tastier the pie.
And that’s how we should all feel about summer as we sit
back and allow ourselves to melt down and into the sides of July.
Mon…toes in the water, a—uh, butt in the sand….”
Because if you can’t dissolve into July…when can you?
Not January…nothing melts in January.
Certainly not February, when you can barely feel your toes, and
your a—uh, butt is just plain frozen.
No…July, right into August…the melting season.
But not everyone is on board with this passive approach to
summer…let alone slacking.
Some would rather take a different approach—a more aggressive
The idea of simply melting away, into anything makes them feel much too helpless…much too carefree, which is the key to slacking…especially,
They would rather absorb the summer into them, instead of
them into it.
And I suppose that might work for some.
problems Mon, whatever tickles your ta ta’s…it’s summer. There is no right or wrong
in summer, Mon.”
But it doesn’t work for me…not the summer slacker.
Because to absorb summer means to absorb all of the
"requirements" of summer, as well.
have to go to the beach this weekend, in order to meet my 10.6 hr. tanning quota
for the month.”
need just seven more hot dogs to beat my nitrate levels for last summer!”
“Holy Cow, it’s nearly August and I haven’t once rolled down the window and let
the wind blow back my hair…not once!”
Or even worse….
need to book the same motel at the same vacation spot on the same beach at the
And that’s far from summer slacking…as far as you can possibly
That’s summer obligation…even if it’s self-imposed.
And granted, anything...obligation or no...with summer at its
head is better than anything starting or ending with winter...but
wouldn’t you rather have as much of the limited time you can muster—a month, a week or even a day—facing that day with an unscheduled agenda, an obligation of only guilt free
non-obligation, a free spirit and an empty mind…you know…just like a writer?
So in the summer weeks ahead, instead of making lists and scheduling
events and plans for all the “fun” things you need to do this summer…take a
walk down to the beach—any beach—plop your a—uh, butt on the water’s edge and let the
morning tide slide over your toes.
Melt into summer, and follow the flow wherever it goes.
Z and I will soon be off on our annual trip to the Jersey Shore...so while we're busy making lists to decide what other lists to make, I thought I would share something from a few years ago that pretty much explains what I'm talking about...which, while I think about it, might actually be a first....
So if a bee buzzes my head while I’m sitting on the back
porch, sipping coffee, typing out some nonsense or another, you can pretty well
rest assured that I won’t start whirling my arms around like an out of control
windmill, making sounds that resemble a person who has just discovered his
in-laws are, in fact, a nest of blood sucking vampires…even though he might
have suspected for some time.
No, the bees just flitter by…zip here, zip there…and
sometimes take a gander at my Choc full O’ Nuts before zipping off on their merry
I mean unless they see what I’m working on and then, well,
you know…everybody’s got an opinion.
“Bees…you’re writing about us today?”
“Well, yeah…you know, whatever pops into my head on any
“And we popped into your head, today…interesting.”
“Well, you kind of buzzed by my head, and that’s what gave
me the idea…more or less?
“More or less?”
“Uhm…yeah…more or less.”
Again, like I said, I don’t have a problem with bees...for the
most part...but now there were about four of them hovering around my face, gawking
at my laptop, and, to be honest, I
wasn’t quite sure what the reaction was gonna be, because, you know…everyone
thinks it’s funny until it’s about them.
“So, what exactly are you saying about us...I hope it’s not
that whole cross pollination thing again?”
“What…no…not at all…that’s none of my business.I mean who am I to judge, who or what or even
how you choose to pollinate.”
“You’re darn right, that’s none of your business…you don’t
see any of us going around making comments about—“
“Okay, okay, okay...I get it…nothing personal…relax.”
The lead bee, the chatty one, had now positioned himself
directly on top of my display and was staring me down, eye to eye…or eye to eye
to eye to eye …or whatever all those things they have on their heads are. And
if I didn’t know better, I would have thought he was crossing his legs…all six
“So…what are you writing about then?”
“Nothing really, just how I don’t find you guys threatening
at all, like most people do.”
“Yeahhh…ain’t that the truth….”
I don’t know why, but for some reason the bee suddenly
started sounding and taking on the characteristics of Bugs Bunny, rather than a
bee…but I assumed that was just me, being me.
“You know you sound a lot like—“
“Yeah yeah yeah…I get that a lot…got a carrot, Doc?”
“Please…I’m just messing wit ya! See, that’s another
thing…nobody ever thinks of bees as having
any sense of humor.”
“Well, that might be because of that whole stinging thing…”
“Another unfair misconception! How many times you ever been stung by a
bee...a bee…not a wasp or a yellow jacket or a hornet, those hoodlums…but a
bee…an innocent little bumble bee?
“Uhm…can’t say that I have…not really”
“No…of course not…because you don’t get all bent out of
shape every time we zip through on our way to a little rose buffet.”
The idea of lunch seemed to get the bee excited. His wings
began to flap a bit…and I admit, I wasn’t really sure how to take that since
it’s very hard to interpret social cues with bees…but again, that could just be
“Well, that’s true, you guys don’t really bother me since
I’ve never been stung…except by that baby wasp, that time.”
With that, the bee, lifted his little thorax up off the
screen and hovered right up to my nose. “Hoodlums…like I said…giving us all a
“I suppose…but are you telling me you guys never get the old
stingers in gear?”
And no sooner were the words out of my mouth that I regretted
them.But the bee didn’t flinch, or show
any signs of offense.In fact, it just
seemed to make him a bit sad.
Still, again, who knows what a bee is thinking?
“I’m not saying, never. I can’t say never.Sure, sometimes some hysterical ninny, will
see us hovering about, innocently, checking out today’s soup selection, and they suddenly
start flailing and wailing, screaming something about poison bees or some other
such nonsense.Then they start swatting
at us with magazines, napkins, whatever’s handy and one of us will have to go
in and put an end to it…which never ends well...for either the ninny or the
“Wow…I guess I never thought of it that way before…wow.”
“No…nobody ever does…they can’t see past the stingers…and to
them, one stinger is the same as another.”
“And they’re not…are they?” I said, trying to show a little
“Nah…they pretty much are …and if you mess with us, you’re
going to find out just how much alike they really are!”
I sensed a little tension as the bee spun around and pointed
his little stinger directly at my nose, so I thought I’d better try to diffuse it
‘Well, people do appreciate the whole honey thing.”
“And you are on a lot of cereal boxes…even lovable on TV and
“And everyone‘s concerned that you’re hives are diminishing,
again…and nobody want’s that!”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah…but that’s all talk because everyone
thinks that’s gonna mess with their dinner or something…believe me, if they
could find a work around, they would care less about us.”
“That’s not true… they’ve made documentaries about it, and the President has even financed a study
to find out why you’re fading away.”
The bee seemed to take this information to heart, and
settled back down onto the keyboard.
“Really…you wouldn’t kid a kidder would ya…even if he is is
a bee, would ya?”
“Hey do I look stupid, to you….?”
This time I picked
up my napkin and waved it directly at him.
“Okay, okay, okay, I’m just messing wit ya again. So I guess
we both have a lot to learn when it comes to co-existence, don’t we.”
“Kind of like marriage,” I said, and we both had a big
Well, I did, I’m not sure what you’d call what he was doing.
Again…hard to read social cues off an insect.
And with that, the bee and his bee pals, swooped away, off
to pollinate another day.
A lesson we should all take to heart…with one eye open, looking
out for the swatter….
Well, another 4th of July is in the books, as
soggy as it wasaround these parts—hopefully not yours—and we finally got see our fireworks on the 5th since they were cancelled on the 4th
when the rain doused the only match they had to light them…apparently.
Which we all took in stride…well, maybe not all…but most.
But once desert was served, everyone was happy again.
So now we set sail into July, the fullest of summer months,
when things really start to percolate.
It’s that time of year when families load up the car and head
off to all kinds of exotic locations to rest and unwind. Places like Albany,
NY, where my family spent many a Wednesday afternoon sitting by the pool at the
Hey, Disney World was just a gleam in Walt’s eye back then.
You take what you can get….
I’m not sure if two qualifies as a “collection”, but in this
case, it’s all I have.
The 4th of July is one of my favorite, if not
favorite of American holiday’s…one,
because who doesn’t like independence…and two…who
doesn’t like hot dogs…and three…who
doesn’t like fireworks, especially on the 4th of July….?
And to all my British friends, across the sea, or wherever
you may be…it’s not that we’re gloating about that whole 1776 thing….but
yeah…maybe we are…A LOT!
I mean why else the fireworks?
So deal with it….or you know, I mean…bygones….
And you still have the Beatles…although most of them did
move here too, at one point or another….
Anyway, since the 4th is one of my favorite days
of the year, I like to look back and reminisce about the past, especially since
reminiscing about the future is odd, at best, and tends to encourage those
funny looks people give me sometimes…okay, most times.
And since I have a couple of what I think are pretty
interesting Independence Day look back pieces from the past…plus I’ve been too
busy screwing around the last couple of weeks to write a new one for today…I
thought I’d share the “vintage” ones with you.
The first, some of you who’ve been hanging around for a
while may have seen…or maybe even seen twice…so don’t give away the ending—but
And for all the new eyes, who’ve come late to the FLR party—which
is actually kind of rude, by the way…more bygones—I
hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did writing them…you know, in the
past…because I definitely did not write them in the future and come back in
time to post them…then…and then again, later…and again now.
Because that would be weird…and we try to avoid that…as much
as we can…sometimes…as much we do talking in the third person…especially since
the third person likes to talk for themselves….
Nah…don’t’ even try….
Just enjoy the stories, and enjoy your 4th of July…..