Friday, August 4, 2023

Andy Young: No one names their son August

By Andy Young

When it comes to months, August is literally and figuratively not cool.

Aside from being longer than February, April, June, September, and November, the eighth twelfth of the calendar doesn’t have a lot going for it. The eastern United States is consistently hot and uncomfortably humid during August, and while the clamminess factor isn’t as bad in America’s west, that’s chiefly because much of that area is on fire at this time of year.

And as for Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, well, when the temperature is hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk by 8 a.m., it really doesn’t matter what the humidity is.

August isn’t any more attractive in the southern hemisphere either. Winter lingers for a full 31 days this month from the mountains of Chile to Argentina’s southern tip, Tierra Del Fuego. It’s not just South America where August winters drag on; waterfalls freeze over in the African nation of Lesotho, inland alpine areas of New Zealand can see temperatures nosedive to 10 degrees below zero Celsius, and Antarctica is so cold that polar bears won’t even travel there, despite all the delicious waddling birds in the area. August is equally unappealing in both hemispheres. It’s a hot mess in the summer and a cold mess in the winter. It’s also a month without an identity.

Think about it: January commences with New Year’s Day celebrations. February has Valentine’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day is synonymous with March.

April showers bring May flowers and Memorial Day, June means school’s out for summer, and July 4 is all about cookouts and fireworks.

September: Labor Day weekend. October: Halloween. November: Thanksgiving. December: Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa, with New Year’s Eve for dessert.

What’s August got? Ceaseless humidity, millions of acres of forest fires, and cold so intense that even ravenous polar bears won’t make the effort to swim a few thousand miles to a veritable penguin buffet.

Another thing concerning August that needs to be discussed, if delicately: its name. Let me preface this by admitting that as a male Caucasian of above-average height born in the United States of America who speaks fluent English with no discernible accent, I should not be allowed to complain about anything. That’s why the following observation should not be considered a grievance, but rather as mere food for thought.

How come there are three female months, but only one that’s got a male name?

The second quarter of the calendar year consists of three lovely months with three lovely names. In addition to Daisy Duck’s three nieces there are, according to various internet sources, legions of accomplished women named April, May, or June.

There is one reasonably well-known male June, but he comes with an asterisk. The only reason the man who once quarterbacked the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and coached the University of Hawaii’s football team was christened June Sheldon Jones III was that his father was June Sheldon Jones, Jr.

Now compare the amount of splendid and accomplished Aprils, Mays, and Junes there are with the number of prominent Augusts. Well, let’s see. There’s August Anheuser Busch, the son of the founder of the Anheuser-Busch brewing company. And there’s August A. Busch, Jr., and August A. Busch III, and August A. Busch IV, and … well, that’s about it for distinguished Augusts.

I imagine those Busch boys got teased incessantly over their first name. Guys like February Johnson, July Rodriguez and November Williams never had to put up with that.

With apologies to Johnny Cash, being a boy named Sue is a day at the beach compared to being a month named August. <

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