It's harder than frozen bratwursts to believe we've reached the end of May already, but there it is -- Memorial Day -- delivering a swift kick in the buns to any lingering memory of a very ugly winter.
And the mustard rises on another summer. Coincidentally, gas prices continue to spike. Again. Hey, alright. Just in time for travel season. What are the odds? Of course, none of us has the money to go anywhere. So, there is good news.
But Americans would rather spread kimchee on a tofu hot dog at a dental office than give up our summer vacation. Even considering fiscal conditions that are uglier than naked rugby in the rain sponsored by the AARP. So, once again, it's time to trot out that old Chamber of Commerce chestnut: the Staycation.
We all know the program: Due to incredible brokeness, we go to great lengths to fool ourselves into thinking that we're embarking on a festive pleasure trip, while not actually traveling anywhere. Self-delusion as a budgetary exercise via local tourista escapading. A brave attempt to make lemonade out of surplus lemons infested with a greenish mold and spider mites.
The problem with most folks planning a Staycation, is they focus on all the high points of landmarks-visiting and unfrequented restaurant-frequenting, but forget to include all the little moments that truly distinguish memorable holiday excursions.
So allow me to help with a couple of handy hints to keep in mind when replicating the ultimate resort experience from the comfort of your own couch.
How to Perfect Your Family's Fun-Filled Staycation:
· Pack luggage like you're really headed on a trip, and then pick a piece to misplace for the duration. Rip off one end of a handle to complete the simulation.
· Duplicate inevitable airport delay by wasting four hours at a 7-Eleven.
· Listen to Bjork's "Medulla" CD on headphones at high volume as if the airline sat you next to a screaming infant. Repeat.
· Sit on the curb outside your house for 90 minutes because your room isn't ready yet.
· First night of Staycation, drink way too much upon arrival and pass out on bathroom floor by 10 p.m.
· Set alarm for 6 a.m., to receive wake-up call for the room next to yours. Knock on door at half-hour intervals with cry of: "Housekeeping!"
· Remain in bed most of the first day because of a third-degree sunburn received after falling asleep at the beach.
· For full tropical experience, dump sand in your bed.
· Watch a pay-per-view movie, then refuse to pay for it, citing lousy reception.
· Ignore neighbors and friends by pretending you are your own long-lost twin.
· Eat at a strange restaurant and grunt and point at the menu, unable to speak the native language, even if it's only Floridian.
· Grind broken staples into your carpeting before walking around in bare feet.
· Turn air conditioning off. It's broken. Call imaginary maintenance man who never comes.
· Food poisoning. 3a.m. Sound like a match made in heaven? Oh, it is.
· Every two hours, burn sixty dollars.
· And finally, when time to end your Staycation, stuff all the soap and Kleenex and a towel into your bags.
Will Durst is a San Francisco-based political comic who writes sometimes. This is one of them.
Durst, a political comedian, who has performed around the world, is a familiar pundit on television and radio. E-mail Will at firstname.lastname@example.org.