It's the first full day of summer, both calendarically and academically; the Seattle schools let out yesterday. In a shocking departure from the norm, it's bright and sunny outside. I'm working from home, and at high noon betook myself to the Starbucks for an iced caffeine beverage.
Mistake. My localest S'bux adjoins the magnificent burger joint Red Mill, where folks were lined up outside a dozen deep when I sidled through to get at my damn coffee. Not only is the Red Mill pretty firmly beyond even the widest boundaries of Fat Club dining (...sigh), but the place was TEEMING with kids. SO MANY freaking celebratory kids! Don't get me wrong, I like kids, am thinking about picking up a couple to have around the house myself. But maybe not forty of the little buggers, thronging the burger stand, scraping the metal chairs across the concrete outside, flicking limp strands of onion off their burgers into the shrubbery, hollering "I WANT..." at their dazed mothers and nannies. Only 86 days to go, ladies!
The outdoor tables abut the curb, where there are perhaps two parking spaces at that end of the block if you squeeze. One of these was occupied by a dude on a Harley, and as I was threading my way back through the mob, he kick-started it in a purely deafening, terror-inducing BLATT of noise. The entire crowd leapt reflexively, in unison; the kid next to me's arms jerked so wildly that he threw his cardboard boat of French fries skyward like a double handful of confetti. A rain of fried potato strips pattered around us, pelting heads and shoulders as the motorcycle dude roared away and relieved, self-deprecating laughter swept the patio.
Actually, it's hard to find fault with this kind of first-summer day. Maybe I should take the next three months off.