Junie B. June and some summer lovin’

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In keeping with my monthly homage — or as long as my gnat-like attention span will maintain it — to a literary icon and one of my idols, retired Providence Journal columnist Bill Reynolds, here are some things to ponder as we swing into the summer season and, hopefully, a full return to normalcy soon. 

  • When Anheuser-Busch announced that they would be giving away a free beer to Americans over 21 years old if we reach President Biden’s goal of having 70 percent of the population vaccinated by July 4, I had to double-check to make sure I wasn’t reading The Onion. It took 46 years, but it seems like the country is finally embracing my way of thinking. And if you haven’t already, get your shot. I want my free beer!
  • Much to my mother’s dismay, it is true that it is considered a compliment to the chef in India, Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries to belch following a meal. I used to believe this was an urban legend, but it seems that my table manners and etiquette are innate — that is, if I move to the Middle East.
  • June 10 is National Iced Tea Day. If you haven’t tried the White Claw Hard Seltzer Iced Tea yet—and I realize the body-blow this will deliver to my masculinity—-they are freaking delicious, especially poured in a glass with ice. I encourage you to celebrate…responsibly.
  • There are two muffins baking in an oven, and one muffin turns to the other one and says, “Is it me, or is it really hot in here?” 
  • The month of June was named for Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage and childbirth, and the wife of Jupiter. While the Romans considered it an ominous time to wed, June is now considered to be one of the best months to plan a wedding. I was married in December.
  • June 14 is Flag Day, which commemorates The Flag Resolution, which was adopted on June 14, 1777. Reciprocally, Born on Flag Day is the second LP from the Rhode Island-based band Deer Tick, which was released on June 23, 2009. If you’ve never listened to that album, you should.  
  • June is a somewhat uncommon name these days, but it does have some famous real and fictional characters, such as the country singer June Carter Cash, television mom June Cleaver, the children’s book character Junie B. Jones and actress June Lockhart. 
  • June is also Pride Month for the LGBTQ+ community. If you don’t support their rights, you’re most likely a dick, which is very different from being a June. 
  • On June 4, 1984, Bruce Springsteen released Born in the U.S.A, a brilliant album that portrays working-class lives honestly and poignantly. Its title track is a scathing indictment of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War, something that completely eluded former-President Ronald Reagan when he used it during campaign rallies for his re-election campaign that same year. 
  • June will forever be associated with the last day of school and that particular feeling of freedom and relief that comes with it, like the ending of The Shawshank Redemption. As a teacher, I get to experience that every year, and this year—for obvious reasons—it will be magnified tenfold.
  • The other muffin turns to the first muffin and says, “Holy shit, it’s a talking muffin.”
  • The summer solstice, or the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, will occur on June 20. Have fun celebrating, you pagans. 
  • Did you hear there’s going to be free beer if everyone gets vaccinated?