Like many people these days, I have multiple jobs, but Numero Uno is the educational field. Those who have seasonal jobs appreciate all that those have to offer, but mainly that it has a beginning and an end. It’s the “in between” that makes it so great.
(Basically) having a summer off is more than just a chance to recharge the battery. It’s the beach or the mountains or wiffle ball in the back yard or summer camp. It’s teeing off first thing in the morning when the dew is still on the ground or spending the evening listening to the cicadas in the trees.
For me, it’s a chance to do the things I would never get an opportunity to do any other time of the year. Try to play golf in as many states as possible. See two major league games in two different time zones within a week. Drop in on an old friend. Be part of a guys’ trip, perhaps with questionable maturity level.
Or just drive. Somewhere. Anywhere.
It’s summer. Life slows down. You pay attention to the baseball standings. You think about how great it would be if the sun went down at 8:45 every night. The NBA won’t go away. You walk outside and that wall of humidity smacks you in the face. There’s nothing like it.
I’ve been calling it the Summer Of John – a take-off from Seinfeld’s Summer Of George – except I didn’t get fired from the Yankees, nor do I want to eat a block of cheese the size of a car battery. But those things listed in a paragraph above? That’s been me for the last 10 years.
The great thing about it is that no matter how much planning you do, the unexpected always seems to creep in (like running into Bruce Willis last year).
Soon, I’ll embark on the longest road trip of my life, but there are a couple of things I’ve already encountered on the road that have left me scratching my head.
One is in hotel rooms. Twice already, I’ve noticed something I’ve never seen before. One was in Mississippi and the other in Alabama. You know those little stickers that have a red circle with a slash through it, indicating “No (fill in the blank)?” Right by the sprinkler system in my room, there has been that sticker with a picture of a coat hanger with the red circle and slash.
Is that really a sticker-worthy issue? Are there legions of traveling salesmen out there who feel the need to hang up their starched white shirt from the sprinkler system? Besides, at $189/night (before taxes and fees) you oughta be able to hang stuff wherever you like.
Next thing: Four of us on a golf trip went into an Alabama restaurant at 7:30 p.m. and were told that the establishment closed at 8 o’clock. (I’ve long had major issues with this concept, so don’t get me started.) But rather than tell us to go away, we were told that they could only seat tables of two so close to closing.
(I’m going to let you allow this to sink in before I continue.)
So, two tables of two was OK, but one table of four was not!? What difference does that make to the kitchen? It’s still four orders, no matter how it’s divided.
And how far do the tables have to be apart for it to be considered a table for four? If we got a pair of two-tops and slid them together, what happens?
This defined the word flummoxed. But rather than try to tell the hostess how ridiculously idiotic her employer’s policy was, we turned tail and declined the seating option.
It’s summer. And you just can’t get too upset about anything.
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