Don’t misunderstand me: there are still plenty of cucumbers. This year they’re even bigger than average. Our neighbor gave us one that was about 50 cm (about 1.5 ft). What I’m referring to is the socio-economical cucumber season. It used to be a good old tradition that during the summer our leaders took a couple of months off and left some deputy-assistants in their cockpits, with strict instructions to not touch any controls and to leave society on automatic pilot till they returned.

And look around now: Al-Kaida leader killed by a US drone, Nancy Pelosi floundering around in Taiwan and irritating the Chinese leadership, the Ukrainian President readying his country for a massive counter offensive in the Donbass, Putin retaliating by cutting off gas and grain supplies, Wall Street behaving like a JoJo, …

One thinks with nostalgy at those good old days when the world’s powerhouses switched to stand by during the months of July and August, to tackle the world with renewed energy in September. Journalists used to have some human-interest stories in their sleeve to fill up the gaps in the news. Now the tackling seems to go on the whole year long and the human-interest stories gather dust in some forgotten drawer.

Not that anything has changed for Norm and Norma. For them the entrance doors to the administration, the courts, the schools, the financial institutions, … remain closed till September. Meanwhile they look with anxiety to the climbing interest rates and contemplate how that will influence their mortgage application (that hangs somewhere in the limbo till September), where they will send their children to school when the doors finally open again, if they will still live in the same house when the courts will finally pronounce a verdict about their dispute with their landlord, … At least some things remained as they used to be.

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