Though I am sure some would argue just the opposite, summer is the best time to live on the Gulf Coast. I know, I know, the heat and humidity aren’t my favorites either, but I swear if you live down here long enough your body starts to almost become immune to it. OK, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement. But while there may be a few “inconveniences,” there is no place I’d rather be this time of year. So I present to you 20 signs you know it’s summer on the Gulf Coast.
(Some of these are my own observations; others come from the rants or recommendations of friends and family.)
1. You are sitting in traffic on Government Street on a Friday afternoon just trying to get through the Bankhead Tunnel wondering when in the hell they are going to build that freaking bridge.
2. You’ve become reacquainted with the entire musical catalog of The Eagles, thanks to your swim club blasting 96.1 The Rocket every weekend.
3. Three words. Ju. Buh. Lee.
4. You’ve seen some really strange and mind-blowing things on Sand Island, and you’re not just talking about the horseshoe crabs.
5. Your “new” boat breaks down in the middle of the Gulf. You figure out almost immediately who you will eat first if you are lost at sea for days and have to resort to cannibalism. Yes, it’s your buddy who has told you 36 times in the last 30 minutes you should have gotten Sea Tow insurance.
6. You realize it is absolutely impossible to count the number of shirtless men in jorts on the Dauphin Island public beach. But hey, you have nothing better to do. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8…
7. You are sure you wrote your name in the Flora-Bama bathroom somewhere last year after one too many “floaters” in your Bushwhackers, but you can’t find it anywhere to save your vandalistic life.
8. You spend at least an hour discussing the difference between a wharf, a dock and a pier at your friend’s bay house.
9. You find eating throat delicious, as long as it belonged to a snapper.
10. You won the liars’ contest at the Dauphin Island Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo and didn’t even enter. Wait, what?
11. You don’t come home from Dauphin Island without getting a pint of West Indies Salad at Bayley’s Seafood. Maybe even a quart.
12. Baths? Please. Your kids don’t need no stinkin’ baths. Chlorine is the new soap.
13. Hot day + cold Cammie’s ice cream = warm memories (and chocolate-stained shirts). Followed by “chlorine bath.” See previous entry.
14. Waiting for a burger at Pirate’s Cove for an hour is no big deal. In fact, make it an hour and half please. You’ve got people to watch.
15. You are prepared for a hurricane. I mean, if you call having a can of Chunky Chicken soup and a flashlight being ready. You don’t want one to hit here — or anywhere for that matter — or cause any damage to anyone. But if the threat of some weak and harmless “tropical system” shuts down work for a couple days and gives you a chance to drink beer out of the cooler you have rolled into your living room (even though you still have power), while watching wall-to-wall weather coverage, you may be OK with that … but you would never admit it.
16. You blab on and on to your kids what “The Hangout” was like when you were a kid. Yes, your grandmother would drop me off there and let me stay there for hours by myself. No, you cannot do that.
17. You finally realize your girlfriend is going to buy groceries not see her hot new boyfriend when she tells you she’s going to Ben Burger’s.
18. You know the “cooler tube” on the Styx is a must.
19. Everyone keeps bugging you to vote for them in the Nappies.
20. It’s hot.