Beware the onslaught of late-summer visitors
The month of August always brings a strong sigh of relief for those of us who live here year-round. We think it is the signal that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. But August may also signal a certain amount of danger.
History tells us July was named after Julius Caesar by the Roman Senate after much wrangling and corruption over the old calendar. It’s sort of similar to the modern dilemma in the federal government, only back then they had this centurion named Stu the Great who actually made decisions. Well, there were some rumors about cement togas and DNA.
Not to be outdone, August was named after the Roman Emperor Augustus after he defeated Marc Antony and Cleopatra, which explains why there are so many legal shows like “Judge Judy” and “Judge Joe Brown” today, not to mention August is now known as National Goat Cheese month. Seriously!
In any case, August was fraught with battles, upheavals, wars and controversies. This is why you can’t let your guard down. Secretly, amongst some people, it is known as the Last House Guest From Hell Month. With the waning months of summer around the corner, the final burst of relatives, friends, in-laws, uncles with steel plates in their head and people you met in line for the bathroom at a truck stop in Pennsylvania will descend like one of those Japanese movies where millions are shown fleeing Godzilla.
And these aren’t just any guests. Most of them stopped having a pulse years ago, and their palm print is permanently embedded on the remote control.
There is no advance warning either. It is sort of like your son showing up unannounced at an airport six hours away, phoning you at midnight and wondering why no one is there to pick him up.
Oh, you can come up with all the excuses you want; they aren’t going to help, other than it might be good for your resumé should you decide to run for public office.
Telling them you have just returned from Yemen and have contracted a highly contagious disease from the tse-tse fly won’t go anywhere; they have been on antibiotics ever since cousin Bob came down with hoof and mouth disease.
Sure, you could put a For Sale sign out in front of the house, but remember you are dealing with experts here; that’s why the Winnebago is stocked with air mattresses.
The guest I always fear is the cruise director. This person wakes up happy every morning and asks the dreaded question, “What’s there to do around here?”
Hello, there is the ocean, which is what most people come here to experience.
But this person has to be busy every minute of every hour with barbecues, movies, shopping, road racing, mud wrestling, bowling, you name it, you are going to be doing it. The talking is nonstop, interspersed with jingling of coins in his pocket. Hey, just rake your nails over a blackboard and get it over with. Let’s face it; the only peace you are going to get is in an open-air asylum for the very, very nervous.
So my advice for the month of August is to never get caught in the first place. That means never answering your phone, doorbell or mail. And for heaven’s sake never be seen during the daylight hours. Skulking around in the dark is well worth it. You probably don’t have any rods and cones left anyway from all those three lane jump-overs by vehicles driven by visitors who subscribe to the Fidel Castro School of Driving, New Jersey Division.
Should the inevitable happen (here you may make the sign of the cross), I would adopt the attitude of Frankie Laine’s version of “Rawhide.” “Move em’ on, head em’ up!” Sure, you can use a whip, too.