Commentary

Tips for Transplants: Rules for August

Enjoy the last true month for hammocks.
Enjoy the last true month for hammocks. Danielle Lirette

August in general is the doldrums of the summer: The warm-weather holidays are pretty much over until Labor Day ushers out the season of fun; most people have already used up their vacation time; and the kids are bored with the video games you bought just a couple of months ago. We’re all just waiting for September to roll languidly around and start autumn, because seriously: Fuck this heat already.

That’s not to say that August doesn’t have anything going for it. What should we keep in mind as we crank the A/C and wait for fall? Here are ten suggestions.

click to enlarge If you think about it — thermometers? Pretty cool. - JESSICA MULLEN AT FLICKR
If you think about it — thermometers? Pretty cool.
Jessica Mullen at Flickr
10. Heat Resignation Sets In
Is it still hot? Still massively uncomfortable to sleep at night with just the windows open? Are there days that legally obligate the folks in your office and on the local news to say things about eggs and sidewalks? Yes, yes and, sadly, yes. Can you believe that the average temperature in August is 104 degrees? It’s not, but it sure feels like it is. Luckily, we’ve all become accustomed to living in a thin-air oven by the eighth month.

click to enlarge The asphalt...it's so...beautiful... - DON GRAHAM AT FLICKR
The asphalt...it's so...beautiful...
Don Graham at Flickr
9. Get All That I-70 Driving Out of Your System
Are there any reasons to drive up into the mountains in August? Sure — you can visit a bunch of places off-season, finding some seriously low rates at hotels in towns that will be noticeably cooler than it is down at a mile high. Whatever you do, enjoy not seeing the sights along the highway as you zoom-zoom comfortably at or above the speed limit. Because you’ll have all the time in the world to see those sights come ski season.


click to enlarge If it's not Scottish, it's crap. - MASA SAKANO AT FLICKR
If it's not Scottish, it's crap.
Masa Sakano at Flickr
8. It’s Cool to Be Scottish
Speaking of getting out of town, the first weekend in August  sees Snowmass host the somewhat inexplicable and yet still pretty fun Colorado Scottish Festival. Where else can you enjoy a good caber toss, bagpipe bands, and general Irish/Scottish merriment (well, other than in the United Kingdom)? That’s right: For some reason, it’s Snowmass. Haggis for everyone!

click to enlarge School is the way we teach children how to value boredom. - YUTAKA SEKI AT FLICKR
School is the way we teach children how to value boredom.
Yutaka Seki at Flickr
7. Kids Are Back in School — Some Sooner Than You Think
Labor Day weekend used to mark the end of the long, lazy summer months before you had to head back to school in early September — at least back when video games were 8-bit, hashtags were pound signs, and we were listening to Madonna without a hint of nostalgia. These days, school is starting earlier and earlier; some schools in the area (charters, not DPS) start as early as August 7. That’s sort of obscene, especially when a lot of those schools don’t have central air conditioning. Why does this matter to the average childless Denverite? School zones. Those camera vans are going to be out there come the 21st, just waiting for you to inch over twenty miles per hour.

click to enlarge Just put the cake in my mouth. - TAMBAKO THE JAGUAR AT FLICKR
Just put the cake in my mouth.
Tambako the Jaguar at Flickr
6. It’s the Best Month for Birthdays
Yes, everyone thinks their own birthday month is the best (except people born in December, who have to share their day with roughly a bazillion culturally pervasive occasions), but those lucky enough to be born in August are the only ones who are correct. There's just no competition in August; no other reasons for gift-giving, no real holidays to speak of, no way the spotlight can be stolen. On top of that, most people are desperate for a reason to celebrate; the summer is waning, the sun is going down earlier in the evenings, and that sense of "I didn't do enough awesome shit this summer" dread is setting in.

Keep reading for more tips for August.

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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen