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Jefferson Weaver: Why I hate August

By Jefferson Weaver

I hate August.

Not my dear friend and brother in Christ who sadly shares the same name, but the month, four and a fraction weeks of humid, unproductive, foul-smelling misery that simply doesn’t want to end, because it enjoys inflicting pain and suffering.

The month of August is a spavined, worm-ridden, mangy, half-rabid, three-legged honey badger with ingrown toenails. It spawns hurricanes, election promises, wildfires, prickly heat and poor decision making.

The word ‘august’ means marked by majestic dignity or grandeur, according to the dictionary, thus proving that the dictionarist or else the calendarist working for Pope Gregory had a sense of irony, if not humor. There is little majestic about August. It is also worthy of note that Gregory’s number was XIII – that’s right, 13. Even those who are not triskaidekaphobic should recognize the implied threat. Even if it is the eighth month, August is unlucky to those who believe in luck.

I do not like August.

In August, it is too early to hunt, often too hot to fish, and too humid to ride horses, even if my August-increased arthritis would allow me on horseback. August was one of Dante’s levels in The Inferno, but he edited that section out rather than really scare people about eternal damnation.

August is a politician with embarrassing dirt on a rival and a campaign contributor who will benefit from a billion-dollar spending bill that only needs one vote.

When William Hays created his “decency code” for motion pictures, he wanted to add August to the topics to be considered taboo by Hollywood. It got left off, but that was no big deal, since not even the weirdest of Hollywood would touch August. Similarly, the Geneva convention never outlawed August, because even though the convention recognized Man’s inhumanity toward Man, no one could conceive of using a weapon so terrible as August.

In August, lightning strikes can cause fires in the peat of southeastern North Carolina. That’s right – the dirt catches on fire, and will burn for weeks. True, lightning and peat fires can occur anytime, but August seems to attract lightning like a buglight draws suicidal insects. And yes, that was a poor analogy, but this  is August.

August, I loathe you.

August interrupts my mental processes, leading me to awkward, aggravating, argumentative, antagonistic, afflicting, abysmal, acrimonious alliteration that is  the mark of a pusillanimous poser, rather than a poised professional. August leads me to expel and expostulate execrable, egregious existentialism that I execrate using, since such excesses lead to run-on sentences, dangling modifiers, and dandruff.

August, you are a pestiferous plague of scantily-dressed poptarts fighting for an extra second of Internet fame before marching the red carpet into rehab for the most popular addictions that really don’t ail them, but might earn an award.

Oh, August, I despise you. Let me count the ways.

Oops, I can’t. A drop of sweat just ruined my last piece of paper.

While I treasure every day, or try to, I cannot abide by August. School used to start back in September, but now students are at least spared much of the misery of August by being forced back into the classroom. At least they have air conditioning, and some protection from a few hours of the torment of August, when everything has been done and they become bored.

August, you make me weep.

Have you ever had a flat tire whilst stuck in the only mudhole in the middle of a field with no jack or cell service on a hundred-degree day right before a  thunderstorm? I have, but only in August.

Have you ever walked out the door to find all three vehicles suddenly broke down overnight, and the only mount worth riding has gone lame?

Yep. That’s me. On Aug. 1.

Ever found a missing clutch of chicken eggs on another 100-degree day, and not known until it was too late that one had cracked and was acting as a poor cement for all the other rotten eggs?

Yes indeed. Aug. 12, 2017.

I guess one mildly good thing about August is that the catfish do become more active at night, and No. 71/2 dove shells go on sale. Of course, the mosquitoes are so big you end up shooting up a season’s worth of dove shells trying to fish, so I guess August is, indeed, still irredeemable and dare I say a reprobate after all.

August, I truly, exceedingly dislike you.

Whereas August is a bilious, boisterous, blustering, bacchanalian bully of a least favored brother-in-law’s best friend, at least it’s only a few weeks before the glorious gold of September.

August has intruded upon September’s grace a few times in recent years, with hurricanes and the like, but September’s comfort is a soothing balm to the rash of August. September means temperatures will finally drop below that of molten iron, and the first of the leaves will have the slightest hint of color by the end of the month. September means cooler mornings, fog on rivers, and doves rocketing across a cornfield as a young dog quivers in anticipation of a productive shot. September is a time to make up for the lack of appetite in August, as church homecomings vie with family reunions and cobblers battle with casseroles for meals to be remembered for years.

September means a return of the only football I care about, high school football, where every player still has a pure reason to play, namely the love of the game.

September means the swimming holes become refreshing, rather than just a wet version of the August air, and the beaches slowly but surely empty of the tourists who desperately clog the highways in forlorn hope of forgetting their routine lives, many of which must often resemble a year-round case of August, based on their manners and driving. September is a time for the first blues and good spots along the shore, with the occasional blessing of a whale just offshore.

August does have a meteor shower or two that make the nights worthwhile, but almost any September night means a sky full of cold-sharp stars interspersed here and there by shooting stars. In September the owls will howl again, competing with the insane laughter of the nightjar and the screech of the bullbats that only a child can hear.

Were it not for September, August might make me start drinking again.

But I will persevere, and focus on the almost accidental good points of August, like a few birthdays of people close to me, and the reassurance that as bad as I hate August – at least it isn’t February.

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