The Norman Transcript

May 24, 2013

Harbingers of summer

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — In case you failed to notice, every season is preceded by certain indications of the season to follow.

In the southern parts of the country, particularly in Texas and Oklahoma, people are deluded into believing cool weather is just around the corner just because Labor Day has arrived. Seriously? You must have been dropped on your soft little noggin to believe such rubbish. However, given the high temperatures you have endured the past several months, it may simply be wishful thinking on your part.

As the days of the month move on to become part of history, the hellish heat slowly loosens its clutches and the people enjoy those splendid split seconds of “cooler” weather sent as teasers by Mother Nature. On the plus side, the somewhat cooler temperatures are accompanied by the glorious autumnal colors of the leaves as the last gasps of autumn delight the world with a color show before preparing for winter.

Winter is the season created for the manufacturers of warm clothing. It is unfortunate that no matter how many layers we pile on, it never seems to be enough to cut the inner chill.

Eventually, the signs of spring appear and the world is dressed in bright fresh colors which bring joy to our hearts and a smile to our lips. It took them long enough, but robins, crocus, daffodils and other signs of the season pop up around us, including violent weather.

In the olden days, the people recited and beseeched Heaven with various litanies, requesting that they be spared from the Norsemen, the Plague and other purveyors of unhappiness, pain and death. With that in mind, perhaps there ought be a new line in those litanies to include: “From the ravages of violent and destructive weather, Lord deliver us.”

But even as the more pleasant signs of the season make their appearance, those pesky harbingers of summer sneak in during May. It is unfortunate that they are not subtle in making their presence known.

First, the temperatures careen like inebriated carbon units — cold one day, hot the next, and humid and hot in between with a smattering of pleasant weather to throw us off balance.

It is so wrong to walk out of a building and feel the urgent need for a machete in order to cut a path through the humid air from the air conditioned building to your soon to be air conditioned car.

Tangible air!

How are we supposed to breathe that stuff? Solid chunks of air are difficult to inhale without discomfort. It feels a bit like swallowing extra lumpy cream of wheat, except it clings to the bronchial tubes in your lungs.

As if the foregoing were not enough, along with the chunky air be prepared for the visually unaesthetic and disturbing harbingers of summer.

The moment the temperature is a couple of notches above cold and/or freezing, the bold, brave and brainless scurry to their closets and unearth their warm weather attire.

After these folks (male and female alike) make their appearance in public and after you put your eyeballs back in their sockets, you may wish said eyeballs were still rolling around on the floor, out of reach.

1.If your thighs match the girth of your prominent posterior, do not wear short shorts.

2.If your underarms resemble the mud flaps on a semi truck, avoid muscles shirts and sleeveless blouses. Also, tube tops do not pair well with spare tires.

3.Whether you’re a hard-bodied athlete or thin, leathery and closing the distance between double digits and triple digits, please avoid Speedos.

4.Both top and bottom pieces of a bikini should be visible on the wearer.

The last two bring to mind an old magazine photograph of varying sized folks relaxing on a Black Sea beach in Speedos and bikinis, thereby scarring my young psyche for life.

Keeping ocular etiquette in mind, if you do not own a mirror, please buy one and use it.

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and author. Her novel The Dionysus Connection is on Visit her website: