In the time-honored tradition, I’m writing about what I did on my summer vacation – and what I didn’t do.
Developed killer tan (for an Irishman) by serving three tours of Census duty walking the baking sidewalks of Cicero. Weeding – forgot to do weeding. Swam in Lake Michigan but only on this side. Never watered lawn, thanks to torrential downpours. Left protective coating of winter salt on my car. Never made it to Cruise Night. Worse, never made it to Groovin’ in the Grove. Made many mistakes pouring beer at No Gloves tournament – someone had to drink them. Failed to splash around at Forest Park Pool. Played tennis but only for fifteen minutes. Didn’t make it to air-conditioned Circle Lanes to shoot pool. Got an excellent workout hauling wet carpeting from basement to backyard. Wore sandals for the first time. Moved my office from Marion Street to spare bedroom. Cleared out decrepit pile of debris in crawlspace so telephone man could install business lines. In the process, discovered I was living with a packrat. Vacation – forgot to go on vacation. Asked neighbors to keep noise down at their party – officially becoming the crabby old man on the block. Took in a Cubs game back when they were using major leaguers. Submitted a column that was rejected for publication. Another first, ate French fries cooked in duck fat. Developed killer sunburn at White Sox game – still peeling. Won all my wrestling matches with air conditioners. Missed CUinFP gathering I was looking forward to. Had a great time at Bob Cox’s graduation party. Got some cheap deals at Blockbuster’s going out of business sale. Watched coyote lope through cemetery. Brilliant brainstorm led to end of our squirrel infestation – at midnight slapped forehead and said, “What if we cut down the branches leading to the roof?” Bought our first saw. Played tourist for a day in Chicago, eating shrimp at Navy Pier. Stopped playing my nightly two-hour set on the piano – learned some new songs instead. Perfected golf swing at Bushwood before losing 15 balls on course that had too many water hazards. Found choice spot at 4th of July fireworks, hardly stepping on anyone in the dark. Read two books in a row about tormented left-handed power hitters, Roger Maris and Shoeless Joe Jackson. Chuckled throughout current edition of the “Onion.” Only made it to one romantic comedy. Still refusing to wear plaid shorts. Stopped getting any easy private detective assignments. Found witness to accident, with only his first name and age. Got my first environmental pollution investigation case since George W. Bush was elected president. Watched a lot of Fox News and listened to hours of right-wing radio. Went to Juneteenth Party at pool, snagged red, white and blue t-shirt. Thrilled family by retiring 14 year-old red, white and blue shirt.