Searching For Summer
by Jim Shahin
What I thought we'd do this issue is go on a hunt. The prize we're
looking for is summer.
There is only one rule: The summer we are searching for cannot be
By fun, I mean it cannot involve:
College girls riding in convertibles with their bare feet propped
up on the dashboard and their hair blowing across their sunglasses.
College girls in bikinis sunning themselves on the beach.
College girls, period. Okay?
What we're looking for is the languid summer. The summer when fish
were jumpin', cotton was high, and the livin' was easy.
Remember that summer?
Lazy? Hazy? Crazy?
Any of this ringing a bell?
It was a slow-moving time, if memory serves.
Nobody did anything. Kids, especially. The main thing they did was
get bored. When they got tired of being bored, they called a friend
and the two of them got bored.
"Nothin'. Whatta you doin'?"
"Wanna do somethin'?"
"Whattaya wanna do?"
"I dunno. Whatta you wanna do?"
"You want something to do?" an exasperated parent overhearing the
conversation would call out. "You can mow the lawn."
Those afternoons were the very definition of misspent. Doing
something was as close as you could get to doing nothing. Like
getting ice cream. Or listening to the baseball game on the radio.
Or just hanging out, arguing about who made the town's best
Boredom and indolence and sloth were found in the very marrow of
summer. And it was, if I am remembering right, the best time of our
That is the summer for which we're searching.
To find it, you have to sift through clues.
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