A summer without doldrums

Published 9:36 am Monday, July 20, 2015

Commentary by Dr. Don Newbury

   George Gershwin’s 1934 lyrics about summertime “bein’ easy” don’t fit Texas this year, and Nat King Cole’s hit tune of the 1960s about the “lazy/hazy/crazy days” of summer is only one-third fulfilled. The “crazy” reference is a pretty close fit, with or without a wide-angle lens.

For my purposes, I’ll soften the word to mean unlikely, unexpected or unusual. Oh, it’s anything but “business as usual” for the entire nation, but there’s much additional “hubbub” in the Lone Star State. In Texas, flooding seems unending, civil war statues may be endangered and Confederate money–previously “mattressed”–understandably is being converted from currency to Old South silver. Obviously, throwing the biggest coins at adversaries should be more effective than hurling currency that’s likely to be gone with the wind.

And at Aunt Dinah’s quilting party, Nellie–the club’s only social media practitioner–has issued a request: “Please, no more Confederate flags. We’ve run out of storage room, and there’s a long waiting list for quilters.”

New vignettes in cities across America: Wedding officiants–some jubilant, others flummoxed–seem unsure how to conclude ceremonies. Some are saying, “One of you may kiss the bride.” Others are simply changing the last word to “groom.” In one ceremony, the officiant played it safe, instructing, “You may kiss each other.”

Professional wedding planners are writing addendums, such as: “Should your rights to marry be disputed, you may need a firearm. In that case, we’ll rent you one.”

There’s also considerable quaking at Six Flags Over Texas. Officials are wondering which–if any–of their flags will be favored by majorities big enough to justify flying them at full staff. (It may turn out that no significant doldrums will surface this summer.)

My wife and I drove across West Texas recently, and we were shocked to see small lakes in formerly parched fields devoid of surface water for years. Uncle Mort said some wags prayed too long and too often for rain, and now they’re praying in reverse.

It was pleasant, though, to see so much green foliage.

At one of the aforementioned lakes, a telephone pole rises two feet above the water line. Some joker affixed a sign: “Diving permitted if you want to.”

There’s been so much hard news, sports items–usually cited as the breaking news on TV– have nestled on newspaper sports pages–and on broadcasts, after the weather.

In Dallas, cheers turned to jeers in short order when it was announced that the Los Angeles Clippers star, DeAndre Jordan–who had agreed to a four-year, 80 million dollar deal with the Mavericks–changed his mind. The 7-foot Texan who played at Texas A&M University was to be the centerpiece of the “new Mavericks.”

When the news was released, Dallas fans were shattered. They were deflated trillions of times more than those footballs in the New England Patriots’ locker room.

Someone said the faculty at Texas A&M University might write a letter to both Johnny Football and Jordan, Aggie stars in football and basketball, respectively.

The gist of it might be, “We taught you better’n that.”

Both of these Aggies have time to “square around.” Let’s hope they do.

Don’t expect Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to square around, though. First, he has to stop spinning.

They say he feels so low, he could walk under an antique bathtub with a fireman’s hat on and without scrunching down at all. He thought Jordan’s handshake was his bond. Bail bond, maybe?

Used to, we were advised that in times like these, there have always been times like these. I’m not so sure.

What I am certain of, however, is that Americans could use a good case of doldrums right now, coast to coast.

My 103-year-old uncle says he wishes whoever said, “Taxation without representation is tyranny” would come back and see what it’s like with representation. He’s right. Summertime may one day have been easy. If and when doldrums are promised again, we should ask for a signed document. As to Blue Bell’s announcement to start cranking out ice cream again, some slack can be cut. Their verbal promises–like their handshakes–can be taken to the bank.

Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Speaking inquiries/comments to: newbury@speakerdoc.com. Web site: www.speakerdoc.com. Columns archived at venturegalleries.com, newbury blog.