“Things are pretty dull around here,” I told a friend of mine the other day.
“What makes you say that?” he asked.
“Well, for starters, you and I have just spent the better part of the last hour searching the Internet for the topics ‘rabbit hunting’ and ‘bass fishing.'”
“Oh yeah,” my friend said. “But we found lots of sites, didn’t we?”
“We’d probably have found more if we’d dropped the ‘g’ from ‘-ing,'” I said.
Yes, folks, it’s that deadly dull time of the year when we’re relegated to a darkened study, plopped down in front of a computer monitor listening to a DJ on an Australian radio station broadcasting on the Internet and bemoaning the last days of summer.
The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue has come and gone, and daily I arrive at work to find women’s swimwear catalogs stacked on my desk. The catalogs are courtesy of the companies that send freebies to our offices and the folks in the Mississippi Living department who forward them to me because of my ongoing research into how 4 square inches of fabric could possibly sell for $60.
They’re also a reminder that Spring Break can’t be far away.
Spring Break is that time of year built into our circadian rhythms that require us, after approximately four months of dismal weather, to shed our long underwear in favor of T-shirts that say, “Lobotomies for Republicans: It’s the Law!,” cram as many women wearing 4 square inches or less of fabric into a sport utility vehicle bearing the bumper sticker, “Honk if you know where I’m going,” and proceed to head in a generally southerly direction, fueled mainly by barley malt and the need to reach the next public restroom.
In fact, I’m thinking about taking some time off and setting up a booth on a beach somewhere and selling T-shirts that read, “Spring Break ’96: The Public Restroom Tour.”
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating widespread debauchery and mayhem. A lot of students these days spend their Spring Breaks building homes for Habitat for Humanity or serving as volunteers working with disadvantaged youth in the inner cities. That’s great. And, besides, there’s always time for a little localized debauchery and mayhem afterward.
I, personally, never made it to Jacksonville or St. Pete or any of the other infamous Spring Break spots while I was in school. I led a very depraved, er, deprived childhood. The closest I ever got to a wet T-shirt contest was when it rained on the laundry hanging outside on the line.
But I’ve been making up for lost time as an adult. Last year it was a road trip in March to help a friend in Texas celebrate his 40th birthday. This year, who knows. Maybe I’ll live dangerously and head down to Florida for the first time and take in some topless bungee jumping, which is kind of redundant considering you’d pretty much have to have nothing up top anyway to strap a rubber band to your feet and dive off a tower.
Then again, I may just sit in my darkened study and listen to the Aussies cry about the coming winter.
For us, at least, spring will arrive March 20. That’s enough of a break for now.
Marty Russell is senior reporter for the Daily Journal.