August has been a tumultuous month. Too many fires and too little rain. If David Plotz of Slate.com were here, he would interpret Flathead’s situation as further proof that August is the year’s worst month and should be abolished. Of course, he’s joking. Or is he? I’m not laughing. I happen to be partial to August. Some of the most important events in my life have occurred during this month. My birth comes to mind.
Plotz’s “August: Let’s Get Rid of It” article is good. He’s a funny guy. But as an Augustite, I must stand up to his abuse. My birthday is Aug. 23. My stand begins now. I offer the lighter, perhaps more unknown, side of August.
August may be humid, hot and miserable depending on where you are in the world, but in Montana it can often be delightful, when everything isn’t burning up. Families use the month to fit in the summer’s final trips before school starts. The rivers are lower and perfect for floating. Apples are ripe. People know summer is almost over, and they pursue its activities with increased urgency and dedication.
I admit there are low points to August. In Montana, it often brings, or simply prolongs, harsh heat, fires, droughts and dust. The days are getting shorter and baseball season is getting too long. For us in the media, it’s a slow news month. The rapper Coolio was born in August and us younger folks are reminded of that one scrawny white friend who fervently believed he lived in a Gangsta’s Paradise.
Plotz has a “solution” for August: cede 10 days to July, 10 to September, give 10 to August and use the one leftover as a holiday to celebrate the end of August. I refuse to give September any days. Thirty is enough. The same goes for July.
Plotz argues that August has no worthwhile holidays. I believe he has overlooked National Potato Day. Also, he hasn’t been to any of my birthday parties. If I recall correctly, a rather large group of eager partygoers – many who I didn’t know – felt with deep conviction that my birthday last year was cause for vigorous celebration.
August is also National Psoriasis Awareness Month. I was not aware. But now I am – and I have August to thank. It is also National Immunization Awareness Month and just writing that makes me feel healthier.
On top of all those wild parties, epic crowds gather every August to celebrate National Ice Cream Sandwich Day and Catfish Month. National Mustard Day hasn’t caught on yet – oh, but give it time.
Let’s not forget Water Quality Month. That means August keeps the water clean for our nation’s catfish. It is also Inventors Month. Perhaps August is the best time of the year to invent something. And while September has Labor Day, August has Lazy Day. So let’s kick back and enjoy the rest of August.
Mr. Plotz, I invite you to spend a frigid February or muddy March in Montana. If August is still the worst month, then, at the very least, give my birth month a second chance. And I will give you an ice cream sandwich.
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