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October 11, 2010 | by  | in Opinion |
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Let the sun shine in

Summer is a bitch. It’s hot, it’s uncomfortable … also public nudity is still frowned upon.

It’s that time of year again, where Wellington has two sun-drenched days and a ‘state of summer’ is unanimously declared. Never mind that it’s only just October, never mind exams are looming like a guillotine, it’s freaking summer! Get outside, you pasty git.

Perhaps I’m getting off on the wrong foot here.

But summer does have a tendency to announce itself unexpectedly, generally by burning poor unfortunate souls as they go about their business. You know the one, that tingling sensation you can’t quite find, the uncomfortable warmth on the back of your legs. (But is it a burn? It’s a burn, right? It’s pink enough, do I use cream? Where’s the fucking aloe vera!?) But after the initial panic of the Virgin Burn summer delivers
in small, secret doses to her victims, the novelty wears off. So much so that people forget they were burnt. Until they shower.

Ohai, summer! Didn’t see you thar!

It wasn’t always like this, feeling as if summer was more of a chore than a state of mind. During our earlier years, the first week of October simply meant there were a few last days of freedom before Term Four commenced and summer dreams were unceremoniously crushed by ‘no hat no play’. You’d try bargaining your 24-pack of Faber-Castell pencils, a delectable item of your packed lunch, or even help with cheating on the Basic Facts test, all just to borrow some kid’s measly spare hat for 45 minutes. You know you
shouldn’t—your mother keeps warning you this child is a breeding ground for cooties. But the little snot doesn’t relent. Even though you assure him it’s not possible to wear two hats at once, he does so. Just to prove a point, the bastard. And so you’re left sitting awkwardly on the concrete, adjusting your backside because it’s gone numb.

At high school, ‘no hat no play’ is a thing of the past; an ancient relic dug up to name and shame your friends. But summer did mean exams, a fact that transformed into an ominous feeling of dread, despair, and hopelessness… which continued into tertiary study. Where tiny children run free on beaches and begin to draft the all-important annual letter to Sandy Claws, fractious students from ages 15 and up are scurrying about libraries and crying in computer laboratories. Surfacing for air and food, students are often blinded by how unnaturally bright summer is, furiously blinking to avoid the glaring sun.

Students are often victims of the Virgin Burn.

When you get down to it, summer can be quite an awkward three months, filled with discomfort and pity-filled glances at pregnant women waddling around Wellington. I saw one in Farmers over Christmas, mere days from celebrating the miracle of life. Doting husband frolicked about the store in airy shorts and a singlet, prancing like a tit in front of the revolving fan. Hair sticking up, eyes wild with irritation, dear wife calmly explained if he did not stop, she would shove the fan up his arse and force their unborn son to
play netball.

I think she knew about ‘no hat no play’ too.

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