Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The Longest Month of the Year

August is the eighth month of the calendar and is named for the first emperor of the Roman Empire – Augustus,* who ascended to his office after the murder of his great uncle, Julius Caesar.

August also happens to be the deadest month in the hockey year. The bloom of the free agency signing period that began in July is reduced to unkempt weeds by August. The newly minted draft picks from June have been through their development camps and have returned to their homes for the summer. Hockey media don’t tweet about this move or that, they post pictures from their vacation cabins or fishing trips. And it is too early to muster up any excitement about rookie camp or training camp.

It is hard to think about ice and the men who compete on it when one walks outside in August and cuts off a hunk of ripe juicy air to breathe.

So, what is there about August we can be happy about? For starters, it is “Happiness Happens Month,” sponsored by something called the “Secret Society of Happy People.” Makes one wonder why they want to keep it secret. Then again, if you have a web site, you’re probably not all that secret. You might consult their “31 Types of Happiness” to get you through the month.

August also happens to be “Panini Month.” We don’t make this stuff up, folks. We just report it.

And if panini’s aren’t your thing, it’s “National Goat Cheese Month.” According to “News from the Cheese Caves” (the official artisanal premium cheese blog, in case you were wondering), “August, being one of the hottest months of the year, is a time when our cheese choices are for the lighter varieties, such as those younger goat cheeses. When the temperature creeps up into the nineties or higher we might skip the blues, the big-flavored or the stinky cheeses and choose those lighter creamier goat cheeses.” I know I’m hungry now.

Feeling stressed? Annoyed? Want to punch that person in the cubicle next to yours in the mouth? Just remember, August is “National Civility Month” in which “we are civil to each other, we confirm our worth and acknowledge the worth of others. We can move in and out of all levels of society confident that we are always doing the ‘right thing.’ We gain recognition for civility, and we secure the respect of our fellow human beings.” Yeah, ok.

So, Caps fans, be civil to one another, settle back with a Panini adorned with perhaps a bit of goat cheese, and know that in 31 days, this God-forsaken month will be behind us.

Oh, and be happy thinking of this…Even Augustus couldn’t cope with August. He died on August 19, 14 A.D.

* Yes, that is a statue of Augustus, not one of Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman with Martin St. Louis at his feet.