Notes From The Swamp

Imagine, if you will, that giants exist. I’m not talking 8 or 9 footers either. I mean giants so big that compared to them, we are teeny tiny ants.

Now imagine that these humongous creatures have a gym. Yeah, I know. Four or five bigguns like that running on treadmills would cause earthquakes that would destroy the world and this would all be a moot point. Just roll with me here for a moment. These giants have a gym, and one of them is working up a major sweat doing his morning treadmill run.

Somehow – I won’t even try to imagine the how part – your little ant-self has managed to get trapped on his body. Right between his treadmill-bouncing butt cheeks, to be exact.

Apologies for the graphic and possibly barf-inducing imagery, but now you truly know how it feels to be trapped inside the worst part of a Maryland summer.

I am a fan of summer when it comes to long lazy days in the 80-90 degree range, especially when those days are spent lounging by the pool or, as the Zac Brown band would say, with my toes in the water, ass in the sand.

But when we dive headlong into endless stretches of days in the mid-90s and above, coupled with off-the-charts humidity, me and summer are no longer BFFs. The heat fries my brain, and I am reduced to a 5th-grade name-calling mentality. I turn to my ex-friend summer and tell her she’s Swampass.

And oh, yeah, the Season of Swampass is on us full force this week in Baltimore. All across the nation, to be fair. But Baltimore is the corner of the world where this particular little piggy is roasting on a spit.

Over the years, I’ve noticed a funny thing about weather. If you tell people you hate winter, that you dislike snow and ice and always being cold and having high heat bills, they nod in sympathetic agreement. But when you tell them the Season of Swampass has cooked your last nerve to a crisp and your air conditioner has blown the last penny from your wallet, they look at you like there’s something wrong with you.

Well, there is. Your brain is boiling.

I think that’s because in childhood, it is ingrained in our minds that summer is the season of swimming pools and sprinklers, family trips to campgrounds and beaches, ice cream trucks and getting to stay up late because there’s no school in the morning. So even when summer goes rabid and turns into a steaming, stinking bitch, a lot of us can’t turn on her the way we do winter.

Sorry, summer. I’m not with the majority on this one. I love your pool days and your long nights. But since I’m a day-jobbing drone, those are few and far between for me, at least as compared to the number of days I have to drag my fully-clothed ass out in your swampy shitstorm to go to work. So when you get bitchy, I exile myself from the in-club and call you names. And this week, you are definitely a Swampass ho-bag.  I am breaking our BFF status, telling Fall I’m sorry I dissed her, and asking her to take me back … quickly.

Just so you understand, Summer, here’s why I wanna break up:

– You keep me up all night. See, I should have been a ferret. I don’t sleep well unless I can bundle up under my blankets like some critter building a burrow. When you turns the thermostat outside up to 100 degrees, I can’t get my house cool enough to do that. Therefore, I wake up all night, because burrowing critters just feel overexposed when they can’t dive under the blankies.

– There are many who love your lightening and thunder shows. Me, I find them the weather equivalent of the Jerry Springer show. Chaos and destruction and loud noises for no other purpose than to remind us that you rule the hood. And you always send them in at rush hour, as if Maryland drivers needed an extra drink of stupid juice at that time of day.

– When you turn up the heat that much, you screw up the rhythm of my life. I can suddenly only do laundry at the buttcrack of dawn or very late at night, because the dryer heats up the house. If I’m up at the buttcrack of dawn, I should be in the gym. If I’m up that late at night, I should be at the bar. You seriously disrupt my flow.

– In the winter time, there’s no dress-code enforced limit to how many layers of clothing I can put on to stay warm. But people frown on going to work naked just because it is a hundred degrees. I need a tank-top, flip-flop life to deal with your bitchiest temperatures, and unfortunately I don’t have that luxury.

– Others don’t abide by the “you can only get so naked” rule. When I walk out into your blinding, baking light, my eyes are first scorched by your searing glare. As they begin to adjust, some dude with a beach-ball sized fishbelly or some chick in a half-shirt with more back-fat than a rump roast walks into my line of vision. Summer, you are full of retina-scorching horrors.

– You smell like a dumpster. Or at the very least, you make my neighborhood stink on trash day. Quit re-heating everyone’s rank-ass leftovers and litter-box leavins’, please?

– People get moody in the heat. Drivers flip each other the bird more, and the morning rush coffee crowd cusses while waiting for their turn to use the creamer. We’re all agitated because we want to be home where we can be as close to naked as possible without burning other’s retinas with our own fishbellies and back fat. We want to be floating in our pools or curled up in our air-conditioned man-or-girl-caves. Instead, we are out working and shopping and sitting in traffic jams, trying to act as if functioning normally while living on a stove burner is no big frickin’ deal.

– Hot beverages lose their appeal when Swampass reigns. This includes coffee. This makes me like a car running on empty. I try substituting iced coffee or iced tea or some other happy caffeine cold choice, but it just isn’t the same.

So there you have it, Swampass part of summer. This is why we can’t be friends anymore. Tossing me the occasional day to float in the pool just doesn’t compensate for all the brutal pokes and prods. It makes you like the teenage mean girl who insults the geeky chick in the high school hallways but then wants to hang out with her and copy her homework when no one is looking.

I’m sincerely hoping fall will take me back soon. She’s a much less fickle friend. And like it or not, she’s prettier than you. I’ve set her picture as my office computer background image so that I can sit all moony-eyed and dream of our reunion:

Escape From SwampAss

Escape From Swampass

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About hawleywood40

Writer, Steelers Fan in Baltimore, Frequent Visitor to the Shot Fairy
This entry was posted in Baltimore, humor, Rants, Slices O' Life and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Notes From The Swamp

  1. Sharkey says:

    I am right there with ya on this one, girlfriend ! I would like to add ONE more reason that this “Swampa$$ ” has made my summer miserable. My air-conditioner in my car has died and I do not have the time or the extra spare cash to fix it. Talk about twisting the knife !! So I, like you, are not feeling the “Joy of Summer”. Oh, and by the way, even the Shot Fairy herself can’t seem to make her any more bearable ! I think I will part ways with this friend we call “Summer” and maybe next year she will grow up and become a little more likeable ! I am sooo looking forward to seeing my old friend “Fall”. Great story, by the way!

    • hawleywood40 says:

      You know its bad when the Shot Fairy can’t make it all better! And ugh, as far as you have to drive for work, that’s just cruel and unusual punishment. Wish we could push Swampass on out the door and get on with football, my Fly Sista!

  2. The Hook says:

    Fantastic summer post!

  3. akamonsoon says:

    Another Swampass summer. I love that word. LOL. Its been like that here too and it never used to be. Then we’ve had these crazy sand storms too. The good news is that Fall is just around the corner for you. Just a few more weeks. 🙂

    • hawleywood40 says:

      I saw your post about the sand storms, – that would freak me out! Sorry that Swampass is stretching her wings (or would that be her butt) and coming to visit you too!

  4. Shelly says:

    This Florida girl totally agrees with you.

  5. Catie Rhodes says:

    I’m totally with you. In Texas, it’s 100 degrees every day from mid-June to late-September. The heat just sucks the will to move out of you.

    • hawleywood40 says:

      I would totally need to quit working and spend summer in a girl-cave if I had to deal with that – last summer we had about 6 weeks of ridiculous heat altogether, and I was useless lol!

  6. I’m going to tell you one of my most precious secrets: I have always hated heat, summer, the sun, and ice cream. I must have been a bat in a former life or may now be a vampire (although I’m vegan, so I’d be a very thirsty vampire unless they have soy blood). I NEVER complain about cold weather, I am fading fast in this heat wave, and I LOVE your post! There…that feels better.

    • hawleywood40 says:

      I could so be a vampire this time of year. I daydream about living nocturnally when it is over 90 degrees – get up around 8 pm as the sun is giving up its hold on things, and curl back up in bed before 10 am or so the next day when it starts getting hot again … ahhhh. I’m so with you – I do love ice cream though. Wish I didn’t sometimes. I am powerless against mint chocolate chip when dieting : ).

  7. l'empress says:

    You know it’s way too hot when even ice cream doesn’t make it any better. And there’s no relief in sight. I was sprawled out in a T-shirt in front of a fan when my daughter got home the other night. I told her, I was nly wearing the shirt because, if the heat killed me, I didn’t want to be found naked. Gad, I am no longer a teenager!

    • hawleywood40 says:

      I’m addicted to cold showers and running around in the shortest shorts and skimpiest tops I can find without being one of those people I make fun of : ). And today, I wore the flip flops to work, because even sandals get on my nerves in this heat. I feel so sorry for dudes in this weather – they just don’t have as many “hot weather” clothing options! Stay as cool as you can and lets daydream of fall!

  8. Rosie says:

    I love my part of AZ, because the shriveling, withering dry spell only lasts about 3-4 weeks, and then it’s the monsoon season until sometime in September. Blessedly, the daily cloud cover keeps the temps in the 80’s-90’s, with a humidity of under 50%. There is also much to be said for living at 4500 ft elevation.
    I remember some summers spent back east when I was a kid…and I never could figure out how people could live in that weather. It’s why I have always lived in the western states, and actually broke up with my daughter’s father because I refused to move to anywhere east of New Mexico.

    • hawleywood40 says:

      Having lived here all my life, I don’t know any better, I guess. But your description makes me drool just a little! I think if I ever got out of here in the summertime, I might refuse to ever come back!

  9. Aurora says:

    Howling all the way, Hawley, will probably be laughing my own swampa$$ off for some time now. That was scorchingly good funny writing!!! Thanks for sharing. But I am hoping you get some relief because it does suck when there is none in sight… yet… cold shower, perhaps? I dunno.

    • hawleywood40 says:

      Cold showers and nights swims and locking myself in the coolest room of my house (the bedroom) are the order of the weekend. Oh, and going to see the shot fairy too. There’s air conditioning in the bar : )!

  10. Pingback: The Lady Moves to Oxford, Part I | theladyinredink

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