Every time I listen to the weather report, I understand again that I am one of the many victims of a vast pro-warm weather conspiracy that has been sitting under our noses for years. The Agents of the Sun work day and night to make sure we are inundated with positive images of heat even though it is occasionally naturally damaging to our relatively fragile human forms.
They stand in front of green screens and tell us our sunny savior is on its way and soon those dastardly temperatures below 70 will be a thing of the past. It’s going to be just perfect today, if you like sunburned hides and potential heat stroke.
It starts from a young age: the friendly cartoon face on the sun in our kindergarten classrooms is always smiling and is frequently depicted wearing sunglasses. It’s obviously not wearing the glasses to protect itself from its own radiation so it must be wearing them to look cool. In 1984, Corey Hart taught us that wearing sunglasses when you don’t need them is excessively cool, and collectively we’ve taken that lesson to heart.
Classroom depictions of the moon are just the opposite: frequently portrayed as sad, bored or literally asleep, complete with an Ebenezer Scrooge style sleeping cap, a trail of the letter Z and sometimes even a teddy bear.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg! I’m sure you know of the little game that people play when they’re attempting to assist someone in finding something without directly telling them where it is. When you get closer you get “warm,” when you aren’t even close you get more “cold” of course the higher temperature is associated with finding exactly what you’re looking for!
In our collected fiction there is a consistent personification of fire as some sort of savior entity. Are you stuck in a potentially dangerous outdoors situation? No matter the weather, just fire up a fire and you will soon conquer your natural surroundings and/or be rescued. Do you need to kill a monster made out leftover parts? I bet he’s afraid of fire. I hear it’s even super effective against martians and just about any attacking wild animal that might be pursuing you. Those animals can’t be trusted, they need to be blinded by our fiery progress as a species.
We don’t shoot waterworks on the Fourth of July, we don’t go hunting with our water arms and passion isn’t frequently described as watery.
Have you ever wondered why our kids get their longest break from school during the summer? No, it doesn’t have anything to do with that. Summer break exists for one simple reason: so that generation after generation of people associate high temperatures with good times. You’re probably imagining all of the great times you’ve had in the hot months right now.
Come have some fun in the sun! (The fact that those words rhyme tell you just how far back this goes.) Hit the beach, or the boardwalk, or prepare to have a great time at summer camp! Apparently the summer is full of non-stop action but winter is dreary outside of a few holidays. The council of people who decided the holiday schedule for the year knew that the summer didn’t need much holiday help because we would soon be conditioned to look fondly on the entire season.
Or maybe I’m just a little bitter seeing all these rainstorms pass around Sedalia like we’re living in a giant bubble. Seriously, it’s been happening a lot lately. I like a little rain now and again – the garden could always use it and I’ve got a project to do that requires that empty home improvement store bucket to be mostly filled with water. I put it out not too long after we got all that precipitation not too long ago and it hasn’t rained much since.
OK summer, we get it, you’re here.
Travis McMullen is a longtime Sedalia resident who shares his views on the city through his weekly Democrat column.