July 16, 2013

Summer safety tips

Now that summer is in full swing, it’s a good time to review some safety tips that can help you have a healthy and carefree summer. As always, it’s important to avoid the sun, stay hydrated and, if possible, relocate to Nova Scotia. But there are other steps you can take to avoid the perils lurking out there this summer. Here are a few common hazards and some tips on how to steer clear of them.

Bob Dylan Overexposure. Because he’s played approximately 837 tour dates each year for the past 71 years and released 23,045 records in his career, it’s possible that you’ve become overexposed to Bob Dylan. And you might be tempted to keep going to shows in the futile hope that you’ll finally understand what he’s mumbling about. True, Dylan is the greatest poet in pop music history, but that mostly happened half a century ago. Although this common malady bears Dylan’s name, it extends to many other purveyors of geezer rock, including The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, The Grateful Not-Quite-Dead and scores of other recalcitrant septuagenarian non-retirees. If you’re suffering from Bob Dylan Overexposure, snap yourself out of it with some Houndmouth or catch a Yo Gabba Gabba marathon on Nick Jr.

Basketball Withdrawal. It seems like forever since U of L won a national championship, right? I mean, it’s been, like, three months (go ahead, pinch yourself) and many fans are getting antsy, waiting for the new season to start. If you’ve developed a nervous tic that the college-recruiting rumor mill can’t take the edge off, you’re probably suffering from Basketball Withdrawal. It might be tempting to drown your sorrows in a commemorative Rick Pitino bottle of Maker’s Mark, but you’ll feel better in the long run if you go completely cold turkey from basketball until November. No matter what the local sports blogs might say, it’s the off-season. And off is there to help you enjoy on.

Pubquizheimer’s. Are you going to more pub quizzes this summer but getting fewer answers correct? Are you constantly racking your brain but still can’t remember which president is on the $2 bill or the name of that warthog in “The Lion King”? You might be suffering from Pubquizheimer’s, a common affliction stemming from exposure to too much trivia. One solution is to stack your team with humans of every category persuasion, so you’ve got a go-to granny for the Cary Grant questions and an LGBT teen for the obscure “Glee” references. A better solution is to take a break from the pub quiz scene and read an actual book. Your short-term memory (and your liver) will thank you.

Politicians. The wiser among us will avoid politicians in all seasons, but everyone should avoid them in summer. Especially in off years. For example, it will be approximately 14 months before Mitch McConnell or Alison Grimes says anything substantive (if ever), so why get involved now? That’s just begging for someone to tell you lies about coal. Journalists who fret over election minutiae more than three months ahead of an election should also be avoided at all costs. If you accidentally encounter a politician or a story about one this summer, spot-treat with gin or Valium.

iPhone Dropsy. Oh, sure, it’s hilarious when the guy in the next Porta Potty drops his iPhone, his sunglasses or his one-hitter in the pooper. Until it happens to you. Then it’s a whole different story. When spending quality time in the city’s finer portable toilets this summer, take a break from your tweets and tokes and slow down, stop and smell the ... um, roses. Remember: Everything you don’t drop in the toilet is something you don’t have to turn around and fish out.

Naked Manboobs. Summer is when many otherwise well-mannered, elderly gentlemen take off their shirts and mow the lawn. Those same boobs on a woman would be worthy of a masterwork by Rubens or Degas, but cover them with gray hair and put them behind a lawnmower and you’ve got a whole neighborhood full of potential trauma victims. If you fall victim to a naked-manboobs sighting, try this: Mentally morph him into Titian’s “Venus of Urbino.” Notice that Venus bears a slight resemblance to Mary Ann from “Gilligan’s Island.” Now, mentally dress Mr. Manboobs in a red-gingham top and tiny blue shorts. Have yourself a wee chuckle and get on with your day.

Be careful out there and have a safe and festive summer!