The Observer likes making resolutions at New Year's. We don't manage to keep any of them other than the one we always start with — "Stay Above Ground" — but we do like making them. Gives us something to aspire to, and at this point in our life, we need all the aspiration we can get. Summer is coming on quickly, the cool nights bleeding into 85-degree days. Before you know it, it'll be so gatdamn hot that wienerdogs will warp in the noonday sun, the skyscapers downtown will wilt perceptibly toward the shadiest horizon, and President Trump will be asking Russkie prostitutes to pee on him not out of any sort of fetishy weirdness, but simply for the cooling effect. The winter was too mild to kill off the hordes of ticks, so our weather elbow and the Farmer's Almanac we keep by the john is telling us it's gonna be a hot one.
This summer, we're gonna get to the lake more, to drink in both nature's beauty and the incalculable glory of a drunk dude in American flag swim trunks saying, "Welp, time to go to the bathroom!" before wading into the water up to his waist and then standing there for 30 seconds while he returns his Pabst to whence it came, the look on his face like he had a stroke while simultaneously discovering fire. We Observed that one on the beach at DeGray Lake last year, friends and neighbors. We gave it a few weeks before venturing back into the water, but still think of him every time another swimming area is closed due to E. coli.
This summer, we're gonna sell a kidney to get one of those Yeti coolers, the cooler that already weighs a ton before you put the ice and beer and hot dogs in it, and which costs so much that it would literally be cheaper to buy a refrigerator and a generator to power it, then lash the whole thing to the mast of your party barge with ratchet straps. Yeah, the fridge route might look weird, but it's no muss, no fuss, and no questions from your friends about why you're dumb enough to pay $1,299 (no, that's not a typo, that's what the top-of-the-line Yeti costs) for a space-age super-cooler when ice is like, two bucks a bag. Our advice: Just admit that wanting a Yeti is the bro-quivalent of women lusting after a Hermes Birkin bag. In both cases, there's no possible way the thing could actually be worth what it's selling for, which means what you're actually buying is the opportunity to conspicuously display how much you can afford to spend on something utterly pointless.
This summer, we're gonna hit up the Cajun Sno place in Hillcrest more, if the asshats who recently vandalized the place and forced it to shutter for a few days can secure gainful employment and quit making life demonstrably worse for the rest of us. Frozen water doused with sticky syrup can't be good for The Observer, but damned if it ain't fine on a summer night, us spooning it up in the heat with Spouse nearby, joggers and bikers zipping past sugary temptation, folks out walking their dogs in the dusk, kids dancing from foot to foot on the plank stoop of the sno-cone trailer while they wait for their Ninja Turtle or Rainbow or Wedding Cake to emerge from the window. We need more of that this summer.
Most of all this summer, we're just going to remember to remember more, to breathe more and to smell more: the yellow waft of the August heat in high grass; happy dogs emerging from ponds and lakes and kiddie pools out on the lawn; the smell of hot asphalt; the smell of fresh-cut watermelon on a picnic table; the smell of the rare rainstorm on warm ground, a smell so distinct and beautiful that it actually has a name: petrichor.
May you find your share of petrichor this summer, my friend. It's gonna be hot. But it's gonna be a good one. We can feel it in our winter-weary bones.