I don’t know how long it’s been since I mentioned this fact, but I hate summer with all my heart; I have two perfectly excellent reasons for despising this godawful season that everyone else apparently loves so dearly.
First of all, I am not a small man — not by a long shot. To be quite honest, I’m fat, large, obese, and several other words of varying denotation and connotation all pointing to the fact that I was born 10 pounds and 5 ounces and I haven’t looked backed or missed a meal since.
Summertime was not meant for fat people. We sweat. Now some of you more proper individuals may “perspire” and some ladies may even develop a “delicate sheen.” Well, honey, I sweat buckets and right now, I’ve got the Zambezi River flowing from my hairline down my back to eventually puddle in and around my nether regions. That’s with the A/C “givin’ ye all she can Cap’n”. Any more strain on the venerable Trane and the dilithium crystals will probably blow and we’ll have to eject the warp core. If I go outside for long in this 100+ heat, you could render lard off my backside.
I hate to sweat. The only time I’ve ever CHOSEN to sweat is when I wrestled four years in high school. Then, sweating seemed to serve a purpose. Any other time, it just makes me miserable. Fat people were built for Arctic conditions. If you don’t believe me, when’s the last time you saw a skinny Inuit? (Nota Bene: Eskimo is a derogatory term, which I didn’t know until an exceptionally large Inuit man told me) Inuits live in the Arctic. Ever seen a svelte whale? Know why? It’s freaking cold in the ocean depths where they swim! Nature has selected against fat mixing with heat. Fat goes with cold; skinny goes with heat.
My second reason to despise summer is I am known as “The Man The Sun Forgot.” I don’t want to say I’m pale or anything, but people afflicted with albinism stand next to me to feel good about their tan. The few times I’ve gone cave exploring, my glowing body was the third emergency light source. Folks are always asking me why don’t I take off my shirt when I’m outside. The simple answer is when I did that last summer, I got a call from Houston Space Center asking me to please cover myself because I was blinding the crew of the International Space Station and they couldn’t conduct their experiments.
You think I’m joking, but I’m not. I am WHITE and I am FAT. I went to the beach several years and pants sizes ago and when I took off my shirt just for kicks, a big guy in a frock coat started chasing me down the beach waving a harpoon and screaming, “I’ve found ye at last! Thar she blows! A hump like a snow hill!” If the beach patrol hadn’t grabbed him I hate to think what might have happened.
So, lay out a little and tan, right? Um, did you even read the first section about heat? An ex of mine once asked me to lay out in the sun with her. I told her if she wanted to break up with me, just say so. Even if I didn’t mind roasting myself like a suckling pig with pineapple rings and a Macintosh in my mouth, there’s the little matter of blistering sunburn. When I was a child and into my early teens, the strongest SPF sunscreen was 15. I would get COOKED right through 15. If I want a decent chance at remaining non-boiled-lobster color, I have to wear Bullfrog 55 SPF and, no lie, I get pinkish through that after a couple of hours. Oh, and when I do burn, it doesn’t turn tan. Nope, most people are burn, tan, burn, tan darker. I am burn, peel, burn worse, get sun poisoning, peel some more, risk drowning in an oatmeal bath.
I’ve got a ton of sunburn stories, but I’ll tell one and let it go at that. When I was six, we had the first above ground pool I’d ever seen. Of course, Daddy didn’t bother to hook up the filter, so we had to drain it once a month to get the slime molds out of the bottom and refill it . . . but I digress. Two friend of mine and I happily splashed around in said pool from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. I hadn’t put ANY sunscreen on, but that was okay because I had my FAVORITE shirt of the moment on just like Mama had told me to do. (Well, she did tell me to wear a shirt.)
This shirt was a real, live reproduction football JERSEY complete with HOLES all in it! Now, I have a genius IQ, but as one of my best friends used to point out, I lack the common sense to get out of a shower of rain. I figured that moving around would cover my whole body with the fabric at some point in time and it would keep me safe from the ravages of the sun.
When Mama came home from shopping, she called us in the house (trailer, whatever). She took one look at me and burst into tears. I couldn’t see my back so I had no idea what was wrong. This was one time ignorance was not bliss. I had developed a water blister through each one of the hundreds of holes in the shirt. The shirt was literally fastened to my back and shoulders by water blisters poking through the holes. I went and stood in the shower under straight cold water for thirty minutes trying to get the blisters to go down.
They didn’t. Mama finally had to take off that shirt and every one of those blisters broke open. If you’re wondering, yes, I cried. I cried like a baby. My back looked like steak tartare.
And THAT, gentle readers, is why I don’t go outside OR get into a pool unless it is DARK O’CLOCK!
Keep cool and wash those feet!
Love y’all! 🙂