Dominic DeVenuta

Not to brag, but I could come up with hundreds—nay, thousands—of reasons to be afraid during this wretched season. But since we’re “low on space” and “need to save room for the ice cream reviews,” I’ve whittled the list down to a cool 10.

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1. The sun

The sun distracts humans with pretty flowers while it literally BURNS our flesh, resulting in weird moles and potentially life-threatening illnesses. Sure, it’s the most important source of energy for life on Earth, but without the ozone, ultraviolet radiation from that jerk star would instantaneously wipe out every living thing on this planet. The sun would kill us if it could, and one day, it probably will!


2. Wildfire engulfing everything you have ever known and loved

Did you know that last summer, more than 901,000 acres were burned in Oregon forest fires? You do now! Better dust off the ol’ smoke mask (or buy one before they sell out), lest your lungs fill with toxic particulate matter!


3. Sturgeon

A few totally valid reasons why sturgeon are terrifying: They look like bony, prehistoric sharks with WHISKERS. White sturgeon—the kind that live in the Columbia River—are North America’s largest freshwater fish, maxing out at 20 feet long. They can live to be 100 years old, meaning they’ve probably seen some shit, and are hardened to the brutality of existence. Sturgeon don’t have teeth, but they do have a tendency to leap out of the water, flailing dangerously. In the summer, they migrate from the ocean to rivers for spawnin’, and Rooster Rock State Park in the Gorge is a major hotspot. That’s right: slimy skeleton fish sowing their wild oats at Oregon’s most scenic nude beach!

Dominic DeVenuta

4. Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are tiny assholes, but they’re also the most dangerous creatures on Earth. The diseases they spread have killed more people than every war in history. (Roll call, to the tune of “Mambo No.5”: West Nile virus! Malaria! Dengue! Encephalitis! Yellow Fever! Filariasis!) Ever heard of gallinippers? They’re giant mosquitoes that breed after hurricanes! Since climate change will increase the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, you’d best emotionally prepare yourself for these bad boys and their extra-long, needlelike proboscises!


5. Hot urine

Pretty straightforward: On those sweltering summer days, it’s everywhere and it smells bad. Since everything around you smells like urine, you’re probably also touching tons of stuff that’s coated with urine. The good news: Urine is mostly sterile—hell, you can even drink it! The bad news: If you’re constantly touching urine-coated objects, you probably smell like urine!


6. Heightened risk of social interaction and FOMO

Hey extroverts! I see you, I love you, and I’m going to need you to shut up while I fearmonger with my fellow introverts. Venturing outside to enjoy the gentle caress of a warm summer breeze poses a significant threat to the introverted lifestyle; it’s highly probable that you’ll encounter exes, awkward acquaintances, and mortal enemies who’re also outside enjoying the gentle caress of a warm summer breeze. Although many introverts hate leaving the sanctity of their homes and regret attending roughly 95 percent of all social gatherings, summer also means an increased risk of FOMO, with images of barbecues and pool parties splashed across every social media feed. Seeing other people enjoying the season while you’re loafing around the house in your jim-jams can lead to a suffocating awareness of the fleeting nature of summer (and therefore life itself). Get ready to feel bad about seeing people, but also about not seeing people!


7. Heightened risk of MURDER

I’m not making this shit up: Research has proven that violent crime rates go up during the warmer months! Nobody’s really sure why—perhaps because when people leave their homes to congregate outside and socialize, there are more opportunities for misunderstandings and interpersonal conflicts, or because heat can cause headaches and irritability, or because being sweaty is usually unpleasant. Anyway, add sweaty humans to the list of things that might try to kill you this summer!


8. Sand in every orifice

I’m not too proud to admit that I’ve had sand inside my nose, ears, mouth, belly button... and butt. Imagine trying to act normal in front of other beachgoers when there’s sand up your butt. Pretty scary, huh?

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9. Public butt-sweat

Speaking of butts and humiliation, public butt-sweat can strike anyone at anytime and anyplace—you could be on the bus, or enjoying a refreshing scoop at one of Portland’s internationally acclaimed ice cream parlors. It’ll look like you peed your pants, and you probably won’t have a jacket to tie around your waist (since the weather’s hot enough to cause butt-sweat), and if you try to tell strangers, “Hey guys, although it looks like I peed my pants, I swear this is just butt-sweat,” your speech will probably find its way onto the internet. Say goodbye to romance!


10. The realization that sunshine and ice cream cannot heal the emotional wounds that will likely fester on your soul like pus-filled ulcers until death’s sweet release

H.A.G.S., and good luck with those soul-wounds! *tap dances offstage*