Summertime Tidbits: The Final Chapter

by Chris McGinty of

According To Whim’s Summertime
Funtime has been brought to you by Camp Crystal Lake. Don’t worry. That machete
wielding mad man moved to Manhattan and then went to space. Your pot smoking,
sex before marriage having teenager is very unlikely to be chopped up by the
mother of the supernatural hockey mask wearing freak or by a random ambulance
driver avenging the death of his son who was killed by one of your immoral
teenagers. Send your teenager to Camp Crystal Lake this summertime for some funtime. What could go wrong? Camp Crystal Lake – Hardly any deaths since the 1980s.

Freddy vs. Jason may have still
been a better movie than Batman vs. Superman.
Summertime Funtime was probably just
supposed to be random memories of summers past, but it ended up being an
interesting ride. I’m finally at the end of my long list of ideas. What
happened is that I started out with a few rough ideas of what I might write
about, but as I would start to write about a topic like hanging out by the
water, I’d end up with not one, but two posts just about the lake, and then I
would find a lot to talk about swimming pools. I started talking about some old summer projects, and that led me to a discussion about technology in movies. I
would talk about my time playing little league baseball, and I would realize
that I had enough ideas for not one, not two, but three blog posts about
playing baseball. I didn’t even discuss going to watch my dad play softball
from time to time. I have very few real memories, so that’s really all I had to
say anyway.

Speaking of baseball, I don’t
watch baseball, but I went to a number of games in the 90s. I had a co-worker
who I hung out with quite a bit. I think we might still be friends to this day,
except that we fought all the time. There were some people who probably thought
we were dating, which we weren’t.
He was really into baseball. I
wasn’t. I was really into modern music. He wasn’t. So I went to games with him,
and he chose the music we listened to. This might be part of why we fought a
lot. Let me give you a taste of what kind of music I was listening to back
then, and I’ll tell you about some Texas based baseball games.
Nuclear Valdez – Summer
Most of the games we went to were
Texas Rangers games. We had a blast yelling and wooting and going nuts every so
often when something would actually happen. Baseball can be a bit slow to
watch. We got complained about once, because we were being too loud. The guy
who complained was the only one who had a problem. A number of the other people
told the staff they didn’t mind, but we were asked to move anyway. We went to
the next section over and sarcastically said, “Woo,” and spiraled our index
fingers in celebration when something good happened.
I even picked my favourite player
on the Rangers to have someone to cheer on, a guy named Mark McLemore, who I
called the Irish man. He was no more Irish than Morgan Freeman though. We went
to meet Mark McLemore at a signing at an electronics store called Incredible
Universe. I bought a baseball with his picture, and got it signed by him. My
friend was videotaping it. This was the 90s, so this meant using a camera that
wasn’t on a phone. Some people were still a little weird about video cameras.
He said to turn off the camera, and I was like, “Oh, I didn’t think you’d mind.”
I was seriously taken aback. I think that he may have had a signing before
where video was not allowed, because he seemed to think about it a moment,
laughed a little, and said, “No, I don’t mind.” He was ultimately a pretty nice
I think the only game we went to
that wasn’t the Rangers was when we took a week vacation together to Houston.
Again, I think some people might have thought we were dating. While we were in
Houston we went to an Astros game. I don’t really remember anything about it.
We also went to Astro World, which is Six Flags down there. We had a blast
while we were there. Two things about that trip.
There was a ride that created
some momentum under the rollercoaster cars so that when you took off, you took
off going 40+ miles, which is fast on a rollercoaster. When we were sitting
there waiting for the ride to take off, I asked if he thought we should hold
onto the bars or wave our hands in the air. He never answered me, because the
cars took off. Oh, and my body made up my mind. Fear took over and I clamped
down on the bars.
I told my friend that I needed to
go again, because I couldn’t believe I’d let being startled get the better of
me. The line was relatively short, and he told me I could go. He didn’t want to
go again. I was seated next to a ten year old little boy. I asked him, “Are you
going to hold the bars, or wave your hands in the air.” He said, “I put my
hands up,” like it was no big deal. I realized that I had no excuse at this
point, so when the ride took off, I had my hands firmly in the air. That doesn’t
mean I was always pointing at the sky, because it was one of those
rollercoasters, but I had a lot of fun.
The second thing about that trip
is I wrote a memory trick post right before Nathan suggested the summer themed
posts. I wrote about remembering a girl’s phone number for my friend. That was
that trip. How about a little more music I was listening to back then?
Urge Overkill – Sister Havana
The only thing I have to say about
“Sister Havana” by Urge Overkill is that it’s maybe summer themed in the same
way that “Rio” by Duran Duran could maybe be summer themed, meaning that it’s
not really but it sort of feels like it is. The reason why I included it here
is because both Urge Overkill and Nuclear Valdez were these one hit wonders
whose hits aren’t really remembered by time. They are both based in the same
sort of guitar blues rock with a great vocal hook, and they both start with a
man smoking a cigar. My mind has linked them in a way that it probably shouldn’t
According To Whim’s Summertime
Funtime is brought to you by Summer Glau who played River Tam in the hit show
Firefly, and when I say hit show, I mean in the same way that Urge Overkill and
Nuclear Valdez were hits. Except that time has been a little kinder to Firefly.
I don’t mind Summer Glau being in
the picture with us, but why doesn’t she have sunglasses?
Speaking of late 80s guitar blues
rock with great vocal hooks, I got to go see The Fixx one year with the woman
who would eventually be my second wife. Her sister had won tickets and didn’t
want them. The show was great. It was at a smaller venue, because we weren’t
quite in the 80s revival yet. The reason I bring this up is because Cy Curnin
said something between songs pretty early in the show that was somewhat
abstract and deep. Being a smaller venue, it didn’t really get much of a
reaction. Reading the audience, he changed tact a little as the show
progressed. He said things that were a little more pandering to an audience who
was more interested in drinking beer and listening to 80s hits. He later said, “Don’t
you love summer shows? We love summer shows. It’s nice to see underdressed
people dancing and having a great time.” The crowd went wild for this, and the
started dancing and having a great time. The mark of true showmanship.

The Rolling Stones – Paint It
“I see the girls go by dressed in
their summer clothes.” I have a friend who had an idea what this song was
about, and she was highly disappointed when someone told her it was about
Vietnam. Hmm. Let me check in with Wikipedia…
I’ll have to message her and let
her know that she was correct. If it’s based on anything, it’s based on a James
Joyce novel called “Ulysses.” It’s about the social view of depression and isolation.
Whoever told her Vietnam was probably was thinking about another song, like
maybe “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Ok, maybe not. Speaking of The
Rolling Stones…
According To Whim’s Summertime
Funtime is brought to you by “Satisfaction” starring Justine Bateman.
“What does ‘Satisfaction’ have to
do with the summer?” “Don’t worry. I’ll fix it.”
According To Whim’s Summertime
Funtime is brought to you by “Girls of Summer” starring Julia Roberts. This
summer on February 12, 1988, check out this amazing tale of an all-girl rock
band that Chis has still never seen, but he never saw “Light of Day” either, so
whatever. Be sure to check out this made for TV movie that everyone thought was
a good idea to make for theatrical release. In theaters everywhere… thirty-one
years ago. “Satisfaction” – It’s not “Girls of Summer,” even though it is.

Speaking of Universal Studios,
which had nothing to do with that movie; one vacation story I forgot about
during my examinations was when we went to Universal Studios in the 80s sometime,
so I was still pre-teen. I only remember three things about the trip. Universal
Studios was heavily promoting their classic horror movies at the time, so there
was an exhibit devoted to those movies – Dracula, Frankenstein, The Bride of
Frankenstein, and The Wolfman. We got to see the Bates Motel from a distance
while riding in the tram around the lot, but the attraction was closed down for
renovation. A bit disappointing, because I liked “Psycho” a lot. And the main
thing was the part where the tram drives close to the water and the mechanized
Jaws shark jumps up out of the water and gets everybody wet. I spent the whole
day waiting for that one moment, and I wasn’t disappointed. If it was realistic
or not I don’t know, but in my memory it was realistic and worth the price of
admission. Then again, my parents paid for admission, so it’s easy for me to
make that call.
Now, I’m bringing this to a
close. I think Nathan may also be done with his summer themed blogs. The thing
I found interesting was how each post kept leading to other thoughts. Talking
to my mom and dad about my little league years, I was told the story of how my mom found out she was pregnant with my sister. Writing that post made me
consider some of the advantages of writing a blog. We never got a guest writer for Summertime Funtime, but I have been reading some other blogs as we’ve been
going along here. I’ve written a number of posts that are lying in wait for
after Summertime Funtime. Here’s a summer themed blog post that has a different
tone from what we’ve been writing, but it’s a good post.
Even if we didn’t get a guest in,
I found a lot of inspiration from Nathan’s posts as he discussed water slides and mixed drinks, which led to my own post. Nathan’s post about hanging out with Lance watching “Midnight Madness” and lots of other fun stuff led to many of
the memories that I discussed in Summertime Tidbits #1, #2, #3, and this one
you’re reading now. Nathan even dropped his own Tidbits post, which was really
a trope post. That not only spawned my own trope post, but Nathan also circled
around and did a post that was his actual Tidbits offerings. And there was this
mall Tidbits like post Nathan wrote. He posted about the Fourth of July while I
watched “Stranger Things 3,” and then he watched “Stranger Things 3” while I
reminisced about taking my kids to do summer things. His Rex Allen post
reminded me about the Universal Studios trip that I wrote about in this post. Heck, we even took the fun out of the topic and complained about bad service at chicken places. We hit all the stops, maybe even hitting a coup fourré.
So I bet you’re wondering how I’m
going to finish out all of this. I already examined so many summer songs, and I
did three posts on my favourite band, Duran Duran. Well, my third favourite
band is a-ha. They also have a summer themed song, and it’s probably a good way
to sign out.
a-ha – Summer Moved On
Chris McGinty is a blogger who will
probably not bring up summertime again until at least his next post. Sorry,
folks. He just needs a little break. He should probably avoid linking for a
while too.

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