The Summer Comes To An End
the inevitable end of summer by way of the 90's
If I think back to my childhood in the 90's I think one of the most consistent painful memories would be the night before the first day of school, when you are forced to accept the fact that school is starting TOMORROW, it is no longer a far away date you cannot fathom. You can't quite remember where the summer started, how it went so fast or why is it not here now to comfort you in your time of need. Weeks seem to go by like hours and your ashamed of how you wasted it. the truth is it was never wasted but it was such a euphoric burr it's hard to pinpoint moments in it that you were able to savor. this is how a typical summer would go for me.
The public pool was a classic standby. something about the chaotic environment of screaming and splashing is entrancing. avoiding people's heads whilst competing in a cannonball contest, getting yelled at by the lifeguard for running or rough housing or just an all out foam noodle slapping war, the public pool was the place to be.
now there is one phenomenon that takes place in the public pool or really anywhere. You hear the faint jingle of the ice cream man, every activity comes to a screeching halt and it is now a game of cat and mouse between you and the ice cream truck using only your sense of hearing. a few false starts are normal but once you've pinpointed his location it's a sprint to the finish line. I live in NYC now and the ice cream trucks just sit parked on the road like a wounded animal, there is no thrill of the chase. My Spongebob or simpson's popsicle with the gumball eyes that would disintegrate in your mouth in 3 seconds was well worth waiting in seemingly unending line of kids.
There were some days where you were too sunburned, too sore or just too lazy to go outside, these days usually called for video-games. Super Smash Bros. was the standard but it would usually come to a violent end when my cousin who was always kirby, would somehow escape the depths of hell by gently floating in the air, exhaling little by little and then land on solid ground where as my Link character would violently claw at the air to no avail. we would have to switch to Mario Kart or Goldeneye to level the playing-fields. Days like these would consist of large consumptions of Doritos and soda.
A new model of Super Soakers were usually introduced every summer, you know the X-1000's and so on. i always got about the mid level gun which was more then fine until you play with the kid who has what appears to be a gatling gun strapped to his arm that releases a turbine of water that i can only compare to the pressure of a fire-hose, and the game quickly loses it's any aspect of fun and has resorted to a desperate attempt for survival.
a family summer vacation was usually thrown in the mix. i could spend all the money i had saved since my birthday on whatever useless object my heart desired. I always tried to get into skateboarding because the show Rocket Power had led me to believe any 12 year old kid could pull off an X-games worthy performance at the local skate-park and defy all rules of physics. me and my friends would skateboard around town but any form of staying on the board while it was moving was good enough for me.
the one thing that would represent ending of summer for me would be the first back to school shopping commercial. The thought of school was now reintroduced into your brain and now there is no turning back. The long warm inviting days were getting shorter and colder inevitably leading the the cold bitterness of the actual school year. once school starts no matter how many trips to the beach after school or to your friends house before his dad puts the cover on the pool you fit in will replicate the actual feeling of summer once it's gone you can only anticipate the next one, you will probably find yourself mourning the summers end as opposed to enjoying the last few moments.
summertime to this day passes way too quickly, it's in these last few weeks where you try and squeeze every last drop out of it that you can. i remember one promo that used to air on Nickelodeon in the summertime, it consisted of a kid playing virtual reality games in his living room and watching TV all day until he loses power and he steps outside and picks up an orange nick basketball and starts to play, the text on the screen then reads: "Go outside, we'll be here when you get back". I always liked that a TV network would tell kids to go outside because lets face it, the TV isn't going anywhere but the summer is. i looked extensively for the promo on this website and youtube but no luck, if anyone out there finds it please send it to me, thanks for reading.