Summer Means To Me
means no school.
Summer means having to mow your yard instead of going fishing
or swimming. And to make matters worse, my tightwad father don't
hardly pay me a thing for all that work. He claims riding around
on a John Deere for a couple of hours isn't some kind of cruel
and unusual punishment. And he also says he won't pay me time-and-a-half
for hazardous duty. Someday Im going to turn him in to the
Federal Wage and Hour people like that ad I saw on TV said to
Summer means fishing with the other guys, whenever I can sneak
off that danged John Deere. Most of the time I go fishing with
just Freddie and Mike, but sometimes Mike's kid brother Jerry
tags along. He's a real pest, if you know what I mean.
Jerry is an okay kid I guess, but like I said, he can be a real
pest. Like when he scares all the fish by kicking the bait bucket
or when he falls into the pond, accidentally on purpose. To tell
you the truth, his falling in the pond is not that bad a deal.
You see, then we all have a good excuse to jump in, clothes and
all, to save him.
Then when we get home and our Moms start yelling about getting
our clothes wet, we can tell them the gospel truth, that we were
just trying to save poor little Jerry from drowning to death in
the pond. Boy, if they ever find out Jerry swims like a fish,
they'll kill us all.
Summer means swimming. Sometimes we swim in the pool in Bob's
backyard. That's okay, except Bob's folks never want you to play
King of the Hill on top of the diving board or Bull-a-Gator tag
in the pool. It also means having to be careful whenever you go
into Bob's house so his Mom won't get mad at you for tracking
in water or making some other mess.
Swimming in the pond is more fun. The only problem is nobody's
parents want them swimming in the pond on account of how they're
afraid we'll all drown or something. So we always have to stop
at the filling station and rinse all the mud off before we go
Summer means playing baseball, and playing baseball, and then
playing some more baseball. Most of us don't really care for it
that much, what with all the rules and coaches and umpires and
all. But for some reason, our parents seem to get a kick out of
the whole thing.
All summer long they keep coming to game after game after game.
And about all they do is sit in lawn chairs and talk to one another
while swatting at mosquitoes and sweating like a bunch of rushing
racehorses. Maybe they keep coming because they enjoy yelling
at the coaches and umpires. They also do a lot of that.
Summer means there's nothing to watch on TV except for reruns.
There's also the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs, or even
worse (if that's possible), golf. But personally, I'd rather watch
My father took me with him one time when he went to play golf.
There's only one word for that game, BORING! I mean, all that
happens is a bunch of grown-ups hit a ball, ride after it a long
ways, and then hit it again. It was fun getting to drive the golf
cart, but when it comes to the game, who cares?
As for the Braves and the Cubs, well as the girls say, gag me
with a spoon. The Cubs are all losers, except for Sammy Sosa,
and the Braves are even worse.
Sometimes my father gets me to watch a real baseball game with
him, like say the Dodgers against the Giants. That's not too bad.
Dad's no pro, but he seems to know a thing or two about baseball.
And it's kinda fun sitting with him, drinking Cokes and talking
baseball, even if he does keep kidding around and calling the
teams the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants.
But usually before the game is over, Mike or Freddie have come
over, maybe with Bob and Jerry, and I tell Dad I want to go with
them. Dad always says it's okay to leave, but sometimes it seems
like he gets this funny, kinda sad look on his face.
Summer means no school.
Fullerton has a B.S. from LSU, a Master's
degree in history from Louisiana Tech and a Purple Heart from
Vietnam. His fiction has appeared in several publications, including:
USADeepSouth, DeadMule.com, and Rose and Thorn. Currently living
in Dallas, he's just finished his second novel, We Danced to
Ray Charles. Read an excerpt.