Its official, summer is here. Granted in Alaska that only means that we have a month long window in which it might be sunny, but still, it’s a victory for anyone who had to suffer through this past winter.
Unfortunately, while most Alaskans are out enjoying their summers with barbeques, parties and frolicking with puppies in fields of fireweed (I can only assume that this is a popular activity), I have instead contracted a terminal illness. Now I don’t want to worry anyone, the disorder does not appear to be contagious, but I want my readers to know that it may very well kill me.
I have, and this is difficult to say out loud, what my family refers to as “Summer Brain” and it’s slowly killing me. Now I’m sure that at this point you may be asking questions like; “Is that even a real thing?” and “Are you going to be okay?” or the ever popular, “Who the hell decided to let this guy write the humor column?”
To which I will answer “possibly”, “probably” and “shut up.”
But all doubts aside let me assure you that Summer Brain is a terrible problem that affects millions of Americans every day (maybe).
It started with the wisdom teeth. It turns out that while two weeks of rest may be the perfect cure for dry sockets, it isn’t exactly conducive to maintaining strong mental health. The more I sat on my ass watching endless reruns of “How I Met Your Mother” while cradling a never ending barrel of ice cream, the more my brain decided that his talents were being wasted and wandered off for greener pastures.
When I finally recovered from the dry sockets left by Frank and Joe (my lower wisdom teeth were big fans of the Hardy Boys growing up), I realized that I had been rendered about as intelligent as the cast of the Jersey Shore.
Enter Summer Brain.
Symptoms include; no attention span, memory loss, poor decision making, lack of common sense and a complete breakdown of social skills.
And believe me, I’ve got it bad. It starts with small things; walking into parked cars, forgetting names, neglecting to check your zipper until it’s too late. Then it slowly grows until you’re making life-altering mistakes left and right.
As of Thursday I have now locked my keys in my car with the engine running twice, changed my major half a dozen times, and trapped myself in a local lake by forgetting that the public access gate closed after dark.
That last one was a real pain because as much as my friends tolerate my absentmindedness, no one wants to get a call at midnight asking if they have a spare set of bolt cutters and a truck.
These minor annoyances by themselves are fairly amusing, but when you add them up they start to impact my life in a major way.
Take for example what happened yesterday at my gym. Halfway through successfully (from my perspective at least) hitting on the cute girl behind the desk, I realize that I’ve somehow locked my keys inside my gym locker. As she took pity on me and helped me unlock a locker that I later learned didn’t belong to me, it looked like I still had a chance.
That is, until she asked for my number and I could only remember the first four digits.
So now, not only have I inadvertently stolen a gym bag and a pair of Nikes, I also have to find a new gym. Pretty soon I’ll be missing my mouth with the fork as I try to eat and I’ll end up slowly starving to death, unable to eat, even with a plateful of steak within reach.
The scariest part is that it would seem that this disease is genetic. My mom accidentally removed the drivers side mirror of her car with the side of our house, and my brother may have just set the counter on fire trying to cook eggs.
As much as I’d like to put on a brave face, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a more than a little scared. Even as I struggle to meet my deadline for this piece, I realize that I’ve somehow stumbled into the office half-dressed, missing my car keys with one side of my face still covered in shaving cream.
So now, as I struggle to write my final words for the paper that I’ve temporarily forgotten the name of, I realize that this disease may just be in my head. Maybe I don’t have some unknown disorder to blame for my utter ineptitude. But enough of that crazy talk.
This is Summer Brain Patient Zero, wishing you a safe Fourth of July.