After the long, rough winter we had to endure up here this year and the extended stretch of cold weather that lasted right into early Spring, I can’t say I’d blame anyone here for feeling that we’ve been due for a bit of payback, which seems to have come in the form of an extended stretch of nice sunny late Spring weather as we make the final approach toward Summer, with the Fourth of July just beginning to show up on the horizon. Of course, with all that I’ve had going on lately I haven’t had a whole lot of opportunity to take advantage of it (provided, of course, that “take advantage of it” means the same thing as “sit in a blazing hot car wishing the AC would hurry up”,) but it’s definitely a welcome respite from the various weather-related crud we’ve had going around lately. My traditional summer wardrobe of shorts and Tevas has already seen plenty of use during the past month, and I’ve even managed to pay a visit to the swimming pool in my apartment complex that I always seem to forget exists until sometime in mid-September or so.
Pretty much everywhere you go, the signs of impending Summer are in evidence, as the various stores have dutifully stocked their obligatory seasonal aisles full of vaguely Summer related stuff, most of which is actually fairly reasonable. In fact, I’d have to say that if I had any particular need for colorful Summer-related dry goods in quantity, the stuff at Target this year is actually quite reasonable (at least in relation to last year’s cavalcade of technicolor gone horribly wrong which was already on clearance by June 10th.) In fact, out of the whole collection on the shelf, I think that the only thing that even really caught my attention was this campfire-shaped drink dispenser. In the interest of political correctness I’ll go ahead and dispense with the obvious “firewater” joke that could be made here, but if in the midst of your miscellaneous Summer-related merriment you find yourself hot and thirsty, would you trust an object designed with the intention of resembling a raging inferno with your beverage-cooling needs? Me neither.
Another common side effect of the Summer and the warm weather which accompanies it is the fact that ice cream goes on sale, often at some of the best prices you’ll find all year. Take, for example, this shockingly low price on Ben and Jerry’s. Not only are these pints (which normally sell for $3.34 here, but often reach upwards of $4 at most other stores in the area) selling for a mere $2.50 apiece, but there’s an additional offer of a $5 giftcard when you buy five, bringing the price down to a buck-fifty each. Normally I’d say that this would be a great time to stock up, but this is Ben and Jerry’s we’re talking about here, one of the most nutritionally dangerous substances known to man. Through a phenomenon that scientists have yet to explain, this ice cream seemingly defies the Laws of Thermodynamics to the point that if you eat half a pound of the stuff you’ll somehow manage to gain two pounds. Well OK, maybe it’s not THAT drastic, but just keeping one pint of the stuff around here is dangerous enough as is, I don’t know what I’d do with five pints sitting in the freezer. Then again, a bargain’s a bargain, and that one’s hard to pass up. Ultimately, I decided to actually listen to my better judgment for once (either that, or the fact that they were low on Cherry Garcia and out of Strawberry Cheesecake) and pass this one up. After all, you never know when there might be a sinister plot to fatten up humanity in preparation for the invasion of some apocalyptic devourer from outer space, and it never hurts to err on the side of caution.