"There is no such thing as August," reports The Washington Post's Dan Zak on this, the first day of August. But, rest assured readers: We've double-checked Zak's reporting, and it appears to be a false alarm. August does, in fact, exist.
For one thing, our phone tells us it's so.
Zak's pronouncement actually comes near the end of a winding, poetic, altogether bizarre essay on August for the Post's Style Section headlined "A Digression For August, As Summer Rots." (Sample paragraph: "August is warm beer. August is a nap deferred.") Zak's point on its existence, in context, is this:
The second half of July is the new first half of August, and September really begins around the 20th, and your cubicle neighbor has decided to vacation for the two weeks after Labor Day, "when it's really nice in Europe." We write essays about August even though there is no such thing as August.
He means that August seems to get devoured by its more memorable neighboring months, but there too, let's agree to disagree. August is notable on its own. (Why else would the Post continually write columns to mark its arrival?) And in fact, the random details of August with which Zak peppers his essay can be corroborated with real life evidence. Zak describes August's "Coleman coolers packed with Coronas and dread." We Americans like taking Instagram photos of inanimate objects, especially alcoholic ones, so this is easy to document. Here's an Instagram user showing us some Coronas (and if you've ever had Boone's Farm Strawberry Daiquiri you'll agree there's some dread in this photo, too.)
An editor's note sitting at the bottom of the essay sounds a bit confused itself, noting, "August is . . . what? Tweet your answer..." And here we get the most whimsical definition of August. Twelve hours into the month, August is primarily snarking on this essay on social media.
August is the essence of wetness. And wetness is the essence of beauty. wapo.st/NlHEQw— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) August 1, 2012
August is nothing you've heard. August is you.— delrayser (@delrayser) August 1, 2012
Do you remember that "Clarissa Explains It All" episode where she got a computer to write poetry? wapo.st/NlHEQw— Eliot Nelson (@eliotnelson) August 1, 2012
At one point, Zak writes that, "August's eternity only lasts 31 days, after all." That means 30 more days of drinking Coronas, complaining of the heat, snarking on Twitter, and wondering where Michele Bachmann went. Sounds like a good month to us.