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Dog Days can't be blamed for everything

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By Kes Colbert

Meth lab “accidentally” blows up house in Panama City. Crook robs store, then comes back to ask clerk for a date. Dog sells for $582,000 in China. Man marries ex-wife and then “remembers” during the second reception why he ditched her originally. Tiger Woods hits a ball into the water.

You talk about strange headlines in the past week! It’s got people talking about the apocalypse. I’m trying to be an “anchor of reason” amid this chaotic exposition.

As a nation, we don’t need to over react here. Let’s hold off on the wailing and gnashing of teeth.            

Lizzie Borden’s problems came to light one hot August. Little Anthony and the Imperial recorded “Shimmy Shimmy Koko Bop” during the late summer of 1959. Germany and Russia signed a 10-year non-aggression pact in the waning days of August in 1939. The Washington Senators actually won a pennant during the dog days of 1924.

The season of “strange and erratic” happenings is not without precedent. I’m not dead positive certain about those “spottings” in and around Roswell, New Mexico, but most of them occurred at this time of the year in the late ’40s. I can’t remember when Joe proposed to Marilyn, but I’ve got a good guess. Amelia Earhart went missing in the early dog days of 1937. I don’t think she flew her plane purposely into the Pacific in a jealous rage. She was not on a spy mission at the request of President Roosevelt.

And don’t believe that rumor that she was captured by the Japanese and forced into radio broadcasts to American GIs as “Tokyo Rose” during World War II.

Our dogs would lay up under the house all day and then come out and howl all night. Leon said it had something to do with when the Dog Star, Sirius, lined up with one of those Vernal Equinox guys. It bubbled up the sun which naturally meant longer, hotter, sultrier days. A body can only take so much of the heat. Dogs went mad, seas begin to boil, tempers grew short and men broke out in burning fevers, rashes and wild hysterics.

I’ve personally witnessed all of the above – except maybe the boiling seas. I know Duke refused to hunt this time of year. He’d run down the Como Road and fight with the Cunningham dogs. He’d slither out to the barn and root with the hogs. He growled when Brother Hatcher came for Sunday dinner. He took to hiding from our cat.

It affected everybody! And there was no escaping it! Air conditioning hadn’t been invented in our neck of the woods. You went to bed sweatin’ and you got up sweatin.’ Flies, mosquitoes, chinch bugs, chiggers and a host of winged creatures swarmed up out of Jarrell Switch Bottom and descended on the town.

If the dog howling, mule braying and incessant heat didn’t get you, the blood sucking flying marauders would. It was enough to drive anyone mad!

So let’s not go off the deep end when we read about meth lab people blowing up their own selves. Or Chinese heiresses forking out half a million dollars for a mutt. Or congressmen yelling and shouting on the house floor. Or Tiger Woods hitting an occasional errant shot. Blame it on the sultry, lingering heat caused by the Sirius Star getting too close to the sun.

Of course, I just read about the guy in Fargo, North Dakota, who claimed his cow flew up onto the roof of his grain elevator. The man said he had to fly up there and get him down. Dog Days can’t explain everything...