Surviving the summer

May 17, 2004, midnight | By John Visclosky | 16 years, 8 months ago

Tips for the mid-year slacker

Every year around this time I get on my knees before the idol of summer—the television—and offer a feast of spicy buffalo wings and scrumptious beef jerky in thanks for two months of freedom.

Recently, my idol has come under attack by those who would like to see the words "goofing" and "off" ruthlessly eradicated from the dictionary. The freeloader lifestyle is threatened by those super-villains known as the summer job and the visit from the annoying family members. As summer approaches, slackers everywhere must unite and learn to counter these great evils, all from the safety of their respective couches or comfy futons.

I'm related to you?!

They descend on you like a flock of mosquitoes, sucking the summer dry of fun until you are driven to the edge of insanity. Extended family and relatives are like nomadic tribes that travel the earth in their cursed minivans, leapfrogging from house to house throughout the summer. And unfortunately, there seems to be an inverse relationship between affection and distance; the farther my family is from me, the more I love them.

To avoid spending time with those aunts and uncles who remember your being about three feet tall just last summer, claim to have contracted a tropical disease from a dangerous strain of grassland-dwelling dung beetle from Botswana. The only cure for this rare virus, coincidentally, is to play video games and watch television. Of course, the overwhelming excitement of seeing your extended family would only irritate the infection, resulting in sudden death.

If your ruse works, you shouldn't have to worry about dodging projectile vomit from your baby niece, or dealing with older cousins who think that it's funny to take pictures of you tied with duct tape and wearing nothing but your underwear (if they're anything like my relatives, they also like to put the pictures on the Internet).

The only thing to work on in July is a tan

I like to avoid all types of work after school ends—even reaching across the couch to get the remote can be a strain.

Although lots of parents force their kids to find jobs during the summer, here are some slacker solutions to avoid physical labor.

As soon as a parent or guardian brings up the idea of a summer job, begin highlighting and circling jobs in the wanted ads, and strategically place the paper where it can be seen by all in the house. Make lots of yellow sticky notes about possible job interviews and "accidentally" leave them by the phone.

After a month of "looking for work," tell your parents that you've finally decided to enlist in the Pee-Wee Adventure Camp at your local YMCA. Okay, so maybe you're not getting paid, but you do get to finger-paint, make macaroni pictures and eat free pudding cups and tater tots every day. Also, you can probably wallop every other kid in the camp at dodge ball.

How you spend your summer is, of course, ultimately up to you. But as for me, I think that I'll mosey on over to the YMCA. I won't be hard to find—I'll be the big kid sending all the other campers fleeing in terror across the dodge ball court.

I love summer.

The Five Dangers Of Summer

Monster Mosquitoes – Insects the size of baseballs that always see you as the tastiest meal around.
Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun – This one is hot enough to melt a person, or at least make the back of your neck stick uncomfortably to leather car seats.
The Dreaded Rerun – They just keep playing the same two episodes of everything over, and over, and over, and over…
The Never-Ending Amusement Park Line – You wait for an hour and a half just so you can have 30 seconds of fun before puking your $80 hot dog all over yourself.
The First Day Of School – It keeps coming earlier in the summer every year.

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John Visclosky. John Visclosky is, suffice it to say, "hardly the sharpest intellectual tool in the shed," which is why he has stupidly chosen to here address himself in the third person. He's a mellow sort of guy who enjoys movies and sharing his feelings and innermost … More »

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