We might have but a small readership, I think they like to call it 'niche' in marketing, and as much as I don't want to lose the few readers we have, I have little doubt that this post is going to be very, very unpopular, yes even less popular than my other ones.
As you might have guessed from the title, summer and I don't exactly see eye to eye. While the majority of people complain that British summers are patchy and short-lived, I couldn't be happier with the situation. Nothing makes me smile like the sight of a storm cloud blighting an otherwise empty blue sky in the middle of July sending waves of panic across the scantily clad denizens of London.
But, before you accuse me of being a 'miserable fucking shit', let me explain.
I am, by all accounts, shockingly pale. On a recent holiday I was referred to by a friend as 'Count Dracula', I also managed to immolate my leg despite spending most of my time hiding beneath one of those flimsy looking umbrella things. Nevertheless, I ended the holiday looking slightly less undead, with a healthy glow to my cheeks and about seventy new freckles on my arms, so if there was a lesson to be learned from this it's that the sun can make even me look a tad jollier and healthier as long as I avoid third degree burns. So my stupid fair skin is not the reason I hate summer.
Another reason why I could hate summer would be public transport, particularly the mobile furnace better known as the Tube. For many people a typical morning begins by waiting on a platform for ten minutes because someone pulled the emergency alarm because they were on the verge of passing out through heat exhaustion. This means that by the time the next tube actually arrives, the platform is so busy that there is a three deep row in front of the yellow line and even though there’s clearly not enough room for a small hamster to squeeze on, some ovetly aggressive commuter will hurl themselves into the impenetrable wall of bodies using weight, momentum and stupidity alone to secure a place in the now completely airless carriage increasing the chance that somebody else will pull the emergency alarm by 50000000%. But sweating out half my body weight on the way to work is not the real reason I hate summer.
It’s no coincidence that the genuine villains of summertime public transport abuse are people, they’re the ones pulling emergency alarms, pushing their way onto the tube and generally pissing me off. Yes, the real reason I hate summer is the people.
The minute the sun pokes its unfamiliar face from behind our comfortably cloudy skies people turn into moronic drones incapable of demonstrating anything resembling free will. First up, why does everybody, and I mean literally everybody, go to the park? Parks were designed as little bits of nature in the city, places people could go to escape all the ills of urban life, including the millions of people they would inevitably encounter on a daily basis.
How is it possible to relax in an approximation of bucolic splendour when there are so many people you can’t see the grass and somebody is blasting ragga out from their shitty car stereo? On days like this I advise going to Oxford Street to take the air, it’s much fucking quieter for a start.
On sunny days what we need is a ticket system that every household has to abide by. So if you’re given a blue ticket you can go out on sunny days on Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday and if you have a red ticket you can go out on sunny days on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Nobody is allowed out on Monday.
Secondly, and this is particularly galling, is the whole inner city sunbathing thing. I’ll freely admit that during summer I become the worst kind of British prude, but dear god people, put some fucking clothes on. The other day in the cute little park next to the Museum of fricking Childhood, there was a topless, yes TOPLESS, girl sunbathing and next to her a girl in a bikini that barely covered the most intimate elements of her private parts. Then there was the usual sea of flabby white men in khaki shorts who are invariably going to spend the night writhing in pink-fleshed agony when their sunburn kicks in.
If parks are no longer the urbanites retreat they once were they should at least be the kinds of places where kids can throw things at each other, homeless people can quietly drink themselves into oblivion and nice middle class people can pretend they’re doing something wholesome, not hotbeds of soft porn.
Basically if you want me to enjoy summer, you’re going to have to stay in and keep your clothes on.