Copyright © 1998 Henrietta W. Hay
The Dog Days of Summer
August 28, 1998
The last week in August is usually pretty dull. The ancients called
late summer the Dog Days, the days when Sirius the Dog Star rises at
about the same time as the sun. Ancients sacrificed a brown dog at the
beginning of Dog Days to appease the wrath of Sirius, believing the star
was the cause of the hot, sultry weather.
But this year there has been some major excitement. The media has gone
completely crazy. The columnists are licking their chops as they
write. Scandal is on everybody's tongue. And no wonder. John Elway is
going to play his last season for a pittance, and the Phoenix Mercs made
the WNBA playoffs.
Fooled you, didn't I? I'm not going to add more verbiage to "the"
story. I think it is time for some Dog Days trivia and odds and ends of
news that may have gotten pushed aside. I've been going through my
I found some pretty interesting headlines reported on the net , none of
which appeared in our paper, of course. In the field of science, the
Los Angeles Times reported that, "Larger Kangaroos Jump Farther,
Researchers Find." For major news, the Journal of Commerce reported
a couple of years ago that "Court Rules That Boxer Shorts are Indeed
One headline which was not identified reported that, "Local High School
Dropouts Cut in Half." I wish I had seen the story that followed that
one. And then there was the startling news that "Red Tape Holds Up New
An interesting story about my home town involves Cinderella City in
Englewood. It is almost a "what goes around comes around" story. A
wrecking ball last week started demolishing the old shopping mall and I
was delighted. Way back when I was a kid, my pals and I spent many
hours on snowy days sliding down and trudging back up the rolling hills
that were covered later with asphalt and brick. Cinderella City was
built on my old stomping grounds. Every time I visited that mall its
heyday I felt a twinge of sorrow for my lost youth. Now it is going to
be a town center, housing the City Hall, Municipal Courts, the Public
Library and a mix of other offices. It will become an "urban village,"
albeit without hills for sleds.
Another welcome headline appeared in the Denver Post last Sunday.
"Terrell Davis Tells Super Story," shouted the Post. A major tragedy
for Denver nearly happened last January happened because Terrell Davis
forgot to take his migraine medicine before the Super Bowl game and was
blinded - or blindsided - at the end of the first quarter. He has
written a book with Adam Schaefer, and tells the story of his worst
nightmare. As we all know, it had a happy ending, but it seems to me,
as an occasional headache sufferer, that a memory lapse like that is a
little like going bungee jumping and forgetting the rope.
A story in the Washington Post last spring intrigued me. It reported
that the percentage of teenagers having babies declined for the sixth
year in a row. That is certainly very good news. But some of the
research reached a remarkable conclusion. "Researchers attributed the
decline to a combination of factors, but said they suspect the chief
reason is that teenagers are having less sex and using more
contraceptives." That should put the research team in line for a Nobel
Unfortunately, I have not seen "Cats," but I understand that it is a
wonderful show. In case you are interested, a clipping from June, l997
reports that the New York production has played to more than 50 million
people since it opened in 1984. It has used:
- 1,508,000 pounds of dry ice;
- 48,451 condoms (to protect body microphones;
- 2,706 pounds of yak hair;
- 9,958 G-strings, Fani-Panties and knee pants;
- 28,492 makeup brushes
- 225 gallons of liquid makeup remover.
I like a recent quote from Walter Cronkite. "John Glenn and I are old
friends. I told him if they wanted to test an older guy in space, I
ought to go. Or I could go with him and play canasta up there."
So much for the Dog Days. Maybe my brain will be in gear next week with
the coming of September.