It is the time of year when once again I am reminded of the fact that there are basically two categories of people. The first category consists of people who, like me, realize the folly of being out in the world during the months when mosquitos, flies, bees, humidity and melanoma lurk around every corner. The second category encompasses the other 99% of the world’s population.

I don’t understand it. Why do other people like sitting outside on the concrete patios of restaurants, wearing sunglasses and looking at the parking lot while fanning themselves with their napkins? Do they think Parisians do this? I have been to Paris, and I think it is much cooler over there. Additionally, there is scenery in Paris for those folks to gaze at as they smoke their Gauloises and sip coffees. Over here, not so much.

I have a similar problem at my house. After June first, although my deck is very attractive with all the geraniums and everything, I just don’t want to go out there. It’s humid. There are leaves and twigs on the furniture, so I have to get out the little whisk broom and sweep things off in order to sit comfortably. Before going out there, I have to spray on some DEET, because I just saw a documentary about Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus. My iced tea gets warm really fast.

If my spouse asks me one more time if “we want to eat al fresco,” I will haul off and slap him. He knows how much trouble it is to put everything on trays, get out those dome things to keep off the flies, and light all the citronella candles (which never do the trick). Dinner out there is not all that romantic, what with waving the flies off and ducking away from those nasty yellow jackets. And if he thinks “the gloaming” is any better on the deck than it is from the safety of the living room, there is just nothing I can say to convince him.

What is wrong with you people? Is it something to do with genetics? Am I the product of some Nordic strain that lived during the ice age and needed animal furs and fires in their caves? Are the rest of you friends, family and neighbors descended from equatorial tribes who lived on the deserts and wore loincloths? I just don’t know. But I will continue to revel in the great indoors, giving thanks for central air conditioning and the travel channel while the rest of you rush outside to look at sunsets and sit on bug infested patios, drinking lukewarm beverages and communing with nature. I respect your right to pursue the pleasures of the “great outdoors.” But tomorrow I won’t have any chigger bites.

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