Summer panic sets in

TRAVERSE CITY — Now that it’s June, I’m having my annual bout of “summer panic,” wherein I feel woefully unprepared to take advantage of the few weeks of summer remaining. My internal monologue usually goes like this: “Ack! Only 10 weeks of summer left! I didn’t buy a boat! I didn’t make camping reservations! I haven’t picked concerts! I haven’t made enough plans!” Please tell me you do this, too. Having fun is exhausting.

– It’s great to see Jacoby Jones break out a little bit for the Tigers because he clearly wants it so badly, and the Tigers need some of the youngsters to break out. But, remember, Tigers media always jump the gun, and in the Major Leaguers today’s hot player is tomorrow’s cold player. What matters most to a young player’s development is whether he remains productive in between those extremes. Jones has had one good month this year, two awful ones. It’ll be interesting to see where his baseline output settles.

– I’m still miffed about this false “rebuild” by the Tigers. In what other industry can you get away with saying, “Hey, public, our product is going to suck for, oh, the next five years or so but we expect you to keep buying it anyway, and if you don’t we’re going to label you as disloyal”? Try that strategy with your boss about your work. See if it works. “Hey, boss …”

– Major summer debate: Which is better, cornhole or bags? They’re the same game except there are two landing zones on the board in bags, making the game much more strategic. (If you answer “cornhole,” then, I’m sorry, we can no longer be friends.)

– While I’m on the subject, gas or charcoal? I say charcoal because that’s what my dad used, but I always use gas because I’m impatient.

– It’s great to see hamburger alternatives (Beyond Meat, Impossible Burger) thriving. I’m almost to the point where I prefer veggie-based burgers to beef. Impossible Burgers are better than Beyond Meat, which are also good. Just saying.

– Trump’s Dept. of Energy is now referring to natural gas as “freedom gas.” Can’t wait for the new name for coal. I wonder if 100 years from now scientists will say, “If only they’d stopped burning so many liberty rocks for energy, we’d still have a functioning atmosphere.”

– A new poll says half of us admit to using a swimming pool or hot tub as an alternative to bathing. Which means I’m staying the hell out of swimming pools and hot tubs. Good grief, people, what is wrong with you?

– Why do 80 percent of itches occur in the 20 percent of my back that I can’t reach? Life sucks.

– CBD oil is becoming the new pumpkin spice. It’s in everything. I’m amazed Hostess hasn’t come out with a CDB-infused Twinkie yet. Seems like such a natural.

– Have you noticed how our devices are becoming like us? The other day, I growled at Alexa for playing the wrong song, and today when I asked her to tell me the weather she said, “Not until you say you’re sorry.”

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have.” – Seneca

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Andrew Heller, an award-winning newspaper columnist, appears weekly in the Daily Press. He graduated from Escanaba Area High School in 1979. Follow him at andrewheller.com and on Facebook and Twitter. Write to him via email at andrewhellercolumn@gmail.com.