National Stay Inside Month

July is the perfect month to relish one of life’s greatest gifts: air conditioning. (July’s motto: “Wet Air!”)

However, we’ve got backyard barbeques on our minds because Big Summer has got us thinking that outdoors is where it’s at. That’s Big Summer for you, whose motto is “Sweat More!”

Or maybe it’s nostalgia that tricks us into thinking we like July. Nostalgia tricks us into fondly recalling our youth when our thighs stuck together, glued by humidity, just like they do now, but we didn’t care because at least we weren’t at school.

In short, July is for children. Adults prefer not to sweat, that’s why they turn to the great indoors this month.

When you order an ice cream cone in July and try to eat it outside, it melts immediately and congeals around your fingers. Only children can tolerate that nonsense. Adults prefer to eat an ice cream cone in a climate-controlled room. We have degrees and car payments; don’t tell us to eat ice cream outside.

July is the right time for kids to work up some body odor and knock it off by jumping in pools and through sprinklers. Adults have the honor of passing out after blowing up 15 inflatable pool toys, getting squirted by the hose trying to screw on the sprinkler, and wishing it were January.

“But July is a great time to gather with friends and family to sweat as a group,” we think. And our lawns seem like a great place for communal perspiration. But let’s go to our windows, cool and comfortable inside our homes, and look out at our decks. Now let’s imagine ourselves standing over an open grill, getting cooked from above and below, sun and fire conspiring to melt our faces. From inside, it’s easy to forget that the average temperature in July is “lava.”

The sun is shining, though. We can feel it pulling us outside. We can handle a little sun-kissed fun, can’t we? We’ve got sunblock. We’ve got sunblock that we’ll apply once and forget to reapply, resulting in a hellacious sunburn. If not sunburn, maybe sun stroke. If not sun stroke, heat exhaustion. There are so many interesting ways to be abused by the July heat.

Ah, but we can avoid the worst of the heat by going out later in the evening. In July it stays light for hours! We’ll be much more comfortable when the sun gets lower in the sky. Just us and the mosquitoes, no-seeums, chiggers, biting flies, bees, wasps and yellow jackets, lounging outside in the waning daylight. Just us, the biting insects and a can of Deet. Are we having big outdoor fun or what? Would we have nearly as many bites and stings if we had stayed inside to watch baseball on TV?

July, then, is a great month to stay inside, away from sweat and angry, swelling mosquito bites. The only consolation when we are forced to be out-of-doors in July is that it isn’t yet August. That, and the fact that winter will be here soon enough.

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