things i hate about summer

sour; india inks on paper (page from an old math text book), 7 x 4.5 inches.

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Things I Hate About Summer

{x} Rain. On its own, rain is lovely and heartening -- a grey-infused melancholy, yet million-seeded with life-affirming blue. But summer rain arrives only when you least want it, during your walk home from work, or at the drive-in, or on Saturday mornings, when a certain seventeen-month old desperately needs to release some dark energy at the park. Summer rain is that friend who won't shut up, and only calls when you don't feel like talking.

{x} Skeevies. The kind of person who mostly lives inside during the winter -- criminal, half-dead, shiftless or deranged -- now lives outside, on the sidewalk, every warm night. During the day he rests so he can come by my house -- and my open window -- at around 3 a.m., screaming profanities at astral attackers.

{x} The expectation of fun. Why aren't you having fun? Summer is wonderful! I *must* try harder to have more fun. This isn't fun at all! You never want to have fun! You're worse than Hitler!

{x} The fucking garden. Look, I love the time I spend in my studio, and in many ways I consider it a magical, even transcendental place (I know, big words). But I experience genuine white moments there, I really do, where I am completely consumed -- on an intuitive, unselfconscious level -- by my work. But I also know, on another level, that it's just a messy room with an easel in it, and when I go to the art store I don't pretend that I'm visiting Mecca. So when I hear people talk about gardening like its some kind of Zen mysticism, with a veneer of environmental awareness and Victorian preciousness lacquered in, I throw up in my mouth a little. Planting your own rhubarb does not make you a cross between Jeremiah Johnson and Mary Wollstonecraft.

{x} The cottage. I like the cottage. It's nice. On those days that aren't under siege by errands and childcare and rain, it's even grand. But is it grand forever? Do I have to consider it grand for every vacation for the rest of my life? Why does it own me?

{x} The heat. Is there anything more ridiculous than the pale, hairy legs of a middle-aged man in shorts? There is a point every summer where we all start looking like children or inmates.

{x} Insects. The other morning there were a thousand black ants under my kitchen sink, precipitating an ant holocaust. At the cottage, horseflies will stalk me half a mile out into the ocean. Don't even talk to me about mosquitoes -- that's one of the reasons I moved away from Winnipeg. And have you ever had the pleasure being stung by the entire population of a wasp nest? Well, I have.

{x} The impossibility of cooking. There comes a point where I can't turn on the oven anymore, and all the meals I've been making all year round -- we all fall into our patterns, don't deny it -- become suddenly bankrupt. And what next -- salads? My repertoire of things tuna or egg-inspired is somewhat limited, so then it's all down to the barbecue, and standing there burning under the sun.

{x} Tilly hats. Please: you look like Sneezy if he attended an Afrikaaner finishing school.

{x} Cats. Not a summer problem, exactly, but on a list of things I hate, including them just feels right.

{x} Professional baseball. Do you like statistics, steroids and staring contests? Then professional baseball might be for you.

{x} Soccer. Much like baseball, only with Euro trash, who will *instantly* remind you that it's properly called football.

{x} The necessity of sun screen. When did the sun become my personal enemy? Why is the source of all life trying to kill me?

{x} The cult of nature. Even round-the-clock, mass screenings of Into the Wild wouldn't kill this idea. Look -- it's a park. It's pretty. There might be deers. And rabbits. There might also be bears, and they might treat you like chicken bones.

{x} Spiders. About a thousand years ago, all the spiders held a convention and resolved to build their webs exactly six feet, two inches from the ground, just so I would always catch them across the eyes and forehead, everywhere I go, every morning and dusk. The only break I get from spiders is when it rains.

Of course, keep in mind that I hate winter as well, so I might be a bit sour-minded in general.


  1. Red, so hot when you're bitter ... and loving the top picture too

  2. Loving the I hate summer list, more so your reasons than the items although I can relate to some of them too well! I have a pic of my Dad, my husband and my brother all wearing Tilly hats (yes all in the same photo) - LMAO at that one!! Speaking of pics - loving 'sour' too.

  3. Love this post Darryl...too funny...I love your new banner and the new work on paper.

  4. i like the heat reason the most.

  5. Lulu: thanks, but I feel bad for not including something about the Attack of the Lawn Chairs.

    Elle: Tilly hats is the crack cocaine of middle-aged men.

    Sheri: thanks, you're a star.

    Laura: if I could only get rid of the buzzing year-round heat at the back of my head.

  6. I agree with you about all of this(except the cats, of course). I can't take the "so fun the summer!". Finding a dark cave to hide in-for the summer and winter too.

    Love the "Sour" piece!

  7. Haha..I laughed and I disagreed and I bit on the ankles 2 summers ago..took a year to quit hurting!!!! I don't know what a Tilly hat can't comment. Opened a cake dish lid one day at Mom's house and thousands of black carpenter ants dispersed all over the cake that day!In Utah rain in summer is more than welcome..but rainy winter and spring is just crap. My skeevies are the children freed from their shackles at the junior high. Brats..I will have fun when I want to have fun...Garden? I have weeds and grass and nothing planted. I think it would be reverie if someone else planted it and weeded it...Cat shit....heat? Here it is a dry that makes it all better!!! I have no cottage, I never use sunscreen..I love the sun and let it kill me with its what is that? soccer/futbol baseball on the other hand is my game..sorry love it. The cult of nature is trying to be destroyed..I love nature but I know there are things out there with claws and teeth..Absolutely love your header drawing!!! Now try a little harder to have a nice day ;)

  8. spoken like a true canadian eh!we grumble all winter and then bitch all summer.i'm truly only content in the fall-unless that turns into an 'indian summer' as some would have it & call it!sunscreen!the stuff is evil!esp.the coconut crap-i dont go in the sun so i dont use it so either my hands then need to be showered or my face cuz no doubt a wind blew the other kind in my eyes when i took my sunglasses off!! tall of a fence does one need to keep them & their chicken bones out!?
    off to buy a new summer hat!

  9. I get much in your theme really wedding gowns thank your very much i will come every day


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