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Tips for Transplants: Rules for July

Ah, the traditional medieval napkins.
Ah, the traditional medieval napkins. Ben Gillin at Flickr

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click to enlarge Man, it's good to just get away, isn't it? - SUMMONEDBYFELLS AT FLICKR
Man, it's good to just get away, isn't it?
summonedbyfells at Flickr
6. Go Camping…at Arguably the Worst Time to Do It
It makes some sense, if you only think about it halfway — let’s go camping! You know, up in the mountains where it’s significantly cooler! We’ll get away from it all, away from all the noise of the city, cook out in the great outdoors, enjoy getting back to nature…until you realize that the temps aren’t hugely different between Denver and, say, West Chicago Campground. So if it’s 92 degrees in Denver, it’ll be a chilly 85 or so up there. Also — and here’s the kicker — everyone else and their cousin with all the dogs had the exact same idea. Camping is really just the opportunity to smell like smoke, eat ashy marshmallows, and be annoyed by people other than your neighbors.

click to enlarge This is your brain in July. Any questions? - BENNETT AT FLICKR
This is your brain in July. Any questions?
Bennett at Flickr
7. Understand That People Get Louder
It’s a fact: temperatures go up, and people get a little nuttier. You’re more apt to hear neighbors arguing or passersby whooping it up or even people in the apartment across the way (or in the alley out back) getting it on. Yeah, it’s partially because our windows are more likely open, and we’re more likely outside, and yadda yadda yadda. But really, it’s because we all go sort of batshit crazy for a while between July 4 and the start of school.

click to enlarge This sort of horseplay is not welcome at Denver public pools. - KENNETH HAMBLIN III
This sort of horseplay is not welcome at Denver public pools.
Kenneth Hamblin III
8. Discover Denver Pools
Denver Parks and Rec has a number of lovely swimming pools, both indoor and outdoor, for your wading pleasure. If you haven’t been in a pool since you were a kid, do yourself a favor and dip your toes in. There’s a simple satisfaction that comes with immersing yourself in a cool pool on a hot day — it’s like that first spoonful of ice cream when it’s been too long. And there’s something communal about doing it with your fellow Denverites; this is a bond that goes back to our earliest days as human beings. There’s something spiritual about it. Or maybe the chlorine kills that too. But it’s a decent trade: I think we’d all prefer a sanitized relationship with our fellow man rather than some urine-soaked epiphany, right? Back to my main point: Swimming pools are good.

click to enlarge Step slowly away from the roman candle. - TEAGUE BOHLEN
Step slowly away from the roman candle.
Teague Bohlen
9. Fireworks: Sort of Like Not Wearing Your Seatbelt
Meaning that yes, they’re illegal, and no, no one really gives a shit until something goes terribly wrong (or you’re stupid enough to light one in front of a cop). These are the little ones — the bottle rockets, the roman candles, that sort of thing — not the big displays scheduled across the state. So yes, those are fireworks going off in your alley. They’ll keep going off most of the month, honestly — it only stops when those that have made a run for the border (for explosives, not Taco Bell, though the two often go hand-in-hand) have run out of their supply.



click to enlarge Find your own pool, bro. - JOE HOOVER AT FLICKR
Find your own pool, bro.
Joe Hoover at Flickr
10. Wish It Were Still June
Or better yet, March. Remember March? Sometimes cold, sometimes warm, but usually comfy-cold at night with your windows open…and you could still ski on the weekends and walk two blocks without having to mop your brow and buy an iced latte. Oh, March. You’re our favorite.

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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