So, it’s incredibly fucking hot. It’s also been a few weeks since we had a really good sustained rain, so on top of the heat it’s dry as hell. One thing about it being so hot and dry: everything’s dead. Come to Washington County and find me some green grass, I triple-dog-dare you. The grass around here abandoned photosynthesis for a lucrative career in hay some weeks ago. At this rate it won’t be until late autumn or early winter that the grass finally comes back to life, just in time for the first frost to kill it all over again.
Another thing about this weather is that everyone walks around outside without a shirt on. What’s the deal with that? Weren’t we founded as a Christian nation? Shouldn’t our culture still carry some residual shame about our bare bodies? On the drive back from class this afternoon I saw a dude traipsing through Funkstown with nothing on but a pair of shorts and a backpack. I consider that obnoxious. I’m not a prude. Far from it, as I think this collage proves:
(If anyone wants this on a t-shirt, email me and I’ll try and cut you a deal.)
No, it’s not the exposed flesh that offends me; it’s the presumption. As though everyone else needs to know how many fucking sit-ups you can do. It’s not so fucking hot that you can’t put a shirt on to go outside. This morning between Bio and Spanish I was walking back to my truck when I ran into Doug Hessler, my screenwriting professor last term. The dude always wears black from head to toe. Today we stood outside in 90+ degree heat and chatted, me in a t-shirt and jeans, him in a black t-shirt and black slacks with a goddamn black jacket over his arm. He makes his living writing screenplays — if that pussy can stand to keep a shirt on, surely so can those bad hombres I see strutting around Sharpsburg all goddamn summer.
It’s not a dig at physical fitness or lack thereof. I don’t give a shit if you look like you’re chiseled out of granite or scooped out of a tub of Crisco — put some fucking clothes on before you walk out the door. I’m not in the greatest shape; since I started college I’ve developed what Ashley affectionately refers to as a “grinch belly” which I’d like to unload at some point. Unless you’re my girlfriend or my doctor, you ain’t ever gonna see the grinch belly. (And if you’re my doctor, you’d better have a good reason — you can listen to my heart just fine through the shirt, asshole.) As “Mean” Gene Okerlund used to say, a little decorum, please!
Walking around without a shirt on shouldn’t be against the law — it shouldn’t have to be. I don’t want the cops to chase people down the sidewalk and issue tickets for indecent exposure. I don’t think there should even be such an offense as indecent exposure, for men or women. I just wish people would exercise a little restraint and a little goddamn common courtesy. Walk around naked as a baby fucking canary at home, if that’s what does it for you. But for fuck’s sake, cover your ass up before you leave the house.