When you can think of nothing else to write about, it’s time to talk about the weather.
Canadians love to talk about the weather. Now that it’s June, it is officially summer, even though summer doesn’t officially start for another couple of weeks. The short summer offers up countless things to do outside, and it’s important to take advantage of what little opportunity we have.
One thing I always love to do on a warm summer afternoon is read outside in the backyard. It’s warm and quiet and peaceful. It’s one of the most relaxing things I can do as golf is only relaxing about half the time.
There is only one thing that can destroy the peace of the good backyard-reading powwow: the air conditioner.
I’ve really grown to dislike AC. Maybe it’s because I live in a basement and it never gets that warm anyway. There is just no escaping the incessant groaning of the AC unit when I’m outside.
I recall we had a jeer a few weeks ago, that made note of many of the things in our lives that make noise and ruin the peaceful moments when we’re outside. I don’t have a real problem with most of those things.
I can put up with the neighbour cutting his lawn, especially when it’s followed by the glorious smell of dewy, fresh-cut grass. I really like listening to music outside, at a reasonable volume, I believe, so I wouldn’t begrudge anybody else in the neighbourhood turning on a few tunes on a sunny Sunday.
The air conditioner, though, that is one thing I just cannot put up with. It’s a monster attached to the back of our house that just never stops growling.
I’ve got a summer reading list of Chuck Palahnuik, David Wong and Gene Wolfe. It wouldn’t be ideal to be stuck inside all summer reading these guys, particularly Palahnuik and Wong. I haven’t read Wong before, but understand his books are funny, while Palahnuik is just way too much fun to read inside.
There must be something done about the air conditioner. Maybe this problem can simply be solved by informing my roommate I expect the AC to be turned off for two hours each day during the hottest periods. Maybe he will just read this column and accept my demands without question, thereby foregoing any sort of confrontation.
I also made a pledge earlier this year, one of two pledges I’ve made for 2012, that I would read Charles Dickens for the first time. There is so far nothing to report on that front. Dickens isn’t much of a summer storyteller, so I may hold off on him for now. I understand it’s best to read his work in an uninsulated stone building in the heart of winter. It’s like reading Dostoyevsky, if you’re not cold, you just aren’t going to be able to connect with the story. I’ll pencil Dickens in for October.
While I have ruled out Dickens for the summer, I am still compiling my summer reading list. If there is any other summer reading I should consider, please send your suggestions to jba...@estevanmercury.ca