Arkansas’s first environmental education state park interprets the importance of the natural world and our place within it.
Somebody informed The Observer that we've been on kind of a string of downers recently, something we're going to pin on the weather. Not the rain. We actually LIKE the rain. We're talking about the copious sunshine. The Observer, being a July-hater of some longstanding renown — never one to rejoice over all the sweat and bugs and ass-on-hot-car-seat sizzle of summer in Arkansas, even back when we were young enough to get the whole cotton-chopping season off from skool — is convinced that there's something about all the springing forth of springtime that drives a lot of people, including Yours Truly, halfway around the bend. It's like that Facebook Depression Syndrome we heard about a few years back, where people looking at all the great wonders and wild cucumbers their family, friends and frenemies were posting to Dr. Zuckerberg's Electromatic Lifemulcher sometimes felt like their own lives were boring and incomplete, even though only the creamy nougat of peoples' existence winds up on social media in the first place. Hell, if you looked at The Observer's Facebook page right now, you'd think that all we did, 24/7/365, was hike picturesquely, eat foods exotic enough for the deserty scenes on "Game of Thrones," and paw through world literature for deep and particularly soul-touching quotes about the nature of human consciousness. Same thing with springtime, kids. When the little birdies are singing and the eggs are hatching, when the flowers are blooming and the air is full of the smell of fresh-mown grass, to look upon one's own decline or even one's own serious lack of meaningful self-improvement can make a body feel like you're shuffling off to The Land From Whence None Shall Return. Of course you are, ye mortal. But there's no sense feeling that way all the time.
Now that we've identified the problem, The Observer is going to perk up and get shipshape right now, just in time for swimsuit season. Get our self some sprayed-on abs. A drink served in a coconut. Something like that. Only yellow cars for us from now on! Convertible or better, big as parade floats, coal-fired and whitewall-tired, full of murderous muscle-car vroom-vroom like the Duzie beast that (SPOILER ALERT!) mowed down poor Myrtle in "The Great Gatsby." Only the shiniest sharkskin suits, too; reflectorized shades, patent loafers, platinum watches with mirrored faces, all surfaces save our skin reflecting back the scowls of The Haters drowning in the syrup of envy, our strut so deep you might think our bunion was giving us fits if not for the Trumpian smirk. From now on, only the finest champ-pang-knee, brothers and sisters, popped corks all around, and no, that's not a euphemism for something else, as much as we might want it to be. At the very least, no more swilling from a paper sack on the stoop while wailing on the harmonica. No more doom-shouting, no matter how many tornadoes blow through trailer parks up in White County between now and the heat, sucking little old ladies' poodles right out of their loving arms. Gonna be all hot tubs and hunnert dollar bills this July, cousins, The Observer taking our pick of the finest and most corruptible college dropouts for company, right up until the leaves go orange and the Hogs are called up in Fayetteville again. Might buy a party barge and name her "50 Shades of DeGray." Maybe a new shotgun to waste all empty beer bottles and the occasional within-range water moccasin. Then again, probably more financially realistic to just buy a bananahanger Speedo, hit the public swimming area, and blow the money on a styrofoam cooler and Coors in cans. Whatever the case, it's time to let The Observatory air a bit, shake out the buffalo robe, cap the chimney, and splash a little cold water onto our top-n-tail. Time to find our bliss again, if we ever had such a thing. Oh, bliss? Are you there, bliss? Earth to bliss? Hope we find it soon. Summer is nearly upon us, and if we don't start getting stoked for it now, we'll wind up riding the couch in the AC for three months, just like we did last year.