20 May 2013

crazy in the mid-may heat

It must've been the heat that made the town go crazy.

Or maybe it was the beer tent up at the Taste of Glen Ellyn—the ability to drink beer in broad daylight while standing in a parking lot next to the shoe store and a Mexican restaurant went to people's heads, perhaps.

Add to the beer the deep-fried Oreos, and it was fated to be a dangerous afternoon.

But mostly, I do think it was the heat. We Midwesterners are made for seasons; we like to talk about them and anticipate them and complain about them, but sometimes, they arrive without us expecting them.

You'd think we'd be prepared for them, what with all the talking, but sometimes, especially with summer, we are taken aback by the suddenness of the heat. One night, you're sleeping with the windows open, and the next afternoon, you have streams of sweat running down your back and you somehow left the house wearing too many layers of clothes.

And that's when we go crazy with the heat.

I'm not talking murdering people crazy, but yesterday on my dog walk with Little Pug, I saw:
  • Two men in tank tops that neither one of them should've been wearing almost get into a fist fight. I have never heard the f-word used in so many creative ways in my little town.
  • Children drawing chalk outlines of each other on the sidewalk in gruesome positions, as if they had fallen from the roof and broken both legs. I think they were playing a horrible game called "CSI: Glen Ellyn." That show would not be interesting at all since the police beat report in the local paper mostly lists missing garbage cans and destroyed landscaping, but the children didn't seem to know that. They wanted their neighborhood to be a crime scene.
  • Two stray dogs. Maybe this doesn't sound crazy where you come from, but Glen Ellyn is the kind of town where most dogs live behind an electric fence. Stray dogs just don't happen; here, dogs stay in their perfectly manicured lawns {unless their owners have been the victim of a landscaping destroying plot} and rest on shaded porches that feature American flags and bundles of forsythia by the door.

    So these two stray dogs were very out of place, and my Little Pug on her little leash looked at them with a mix of envy and confusion.

    I kept asking the dogs who they belonged to, but they wouldn't answer, possibly because they were panting so much from the heat, and they weren't wearing any tags. This led a dog-owner crisis moment where I thought: What do I do? Go door-to-door? Tell them to go home and see where they end up? Keep them?

    And then the littler dog—the yippy one— jumped away from me and into the street, straight towards an oncoming SUV. There was a splitsecond where I thought this was going to become a scene with a doggy outline drawn in chalk, but the dog—I am not kidding you—tucked and rolled, avoiding the tires, and then took off towards the two men about to have a fistfight.

    They stopped when they saw this little black furball running towards them—the dog broke up their fight!—and then darted into someone's back yard {followed by the other dog}, never to be seen again.

    At least by me on that walk in the heat of Glen Ellyn when I wondered: have we all gone a little mad in this mid-May heat?

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