The worker’s summer survival guide

It’s a painful, soul-destroying moment: The morning you wake up and realize your vacations are done, the Fourth of July Weekend is past and all summer holds for you is heat and kids who sleep-in until 2 p.m. because they don’t have school or jobs or any care in the world.

It’s the summer doldrums. When the working stiffs exhaust their vacation time and go back to the office to stare down the year ahead. Harumph!

But don’t despair, fellow weary workers, as there are easy ways you can hold on to that summertime vibe and feel just like you’re still on vacation. Here are a few tips that work for me:

• Grow an uneven, slightly haggard beard. It should look like a beaver pelt that Lewis and Clark brought back from their expedition. Nothing screams vacation more than lax hygiene standards and a who-gives-a-darn mound of facial hair. Throw in a twig or a coffee stirrer for added authenticity. When your co-workers start asking if you’ve developed a drinking problem and discuss an intervention, then you know you’ve got it just right!

• Read books by really intellectual, high-brow authors, and then take up writing bad poetry that you believe will usher in some kind of new literary renaissance. (Co-workers will believe it is just another sign of your drinking problem.)

• Satisfy your craving for the open road by driving to far-off locations so your hindquarters go numb and threaten to fall off. Try going to the grocery store … three counties over. Offer to take your neighbors to the airport. Get on the interstate and drive until you’re drawn to gas station convenience stores that the Health Department shut down for violating air quality standards usually reserved for coal-burning power plants.

• Spend vast quantities of cash on worthless trinkets you see by the cash register in stores. More importantly, proudly and triumphantly say things like, “Well, you only live once!” and “This is why I work so hard the whole year!”

• Take pictures of everything you see and really believe it is the most beautiful thing you have ever laid eyes on. Oh, and also believe that your camera skills are so good that when people see your work, they will declare you one of the country’s top photographers and try to get you displayed in museums around the world. (Make sure you don’t look at the photos later, as you will realize you actually had your meaty fingers over the lens and they’re all out of focus.)

• Start planning your next vacation … RIGHT NOW. Dreams of tomorrow are the only way to get you through these next soul-destroying days. Or, at least, that’s what the poetry that has your co-workers so worried says.

Also published on Medium.

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