The final tick-tock-double-lock is growing up and finding that all the long, lazy days of summer are spent locked in an air-cooled office.
No one comes to your door to see if you can come out to play, or if they do it's for tennis, three sets to win; jogging to keep fit; 24 laps across the pool because the pointer on the scale is giving very bad news.
Nuts to all such purposeful play. Bring back the good old days by inviting friends for an afternoon of childhood games.
You could set up an archery target, oozing straw from behind its bull's-eye.
Bow and arrow in hand, it's easy to remember being Robin Hood and rampaging through Sherwood Forest. Much easier than hitting the target, but it's fun to try once more.
Some stores that carry bows, arrows and targets: Area Sports, 18272 Villiage Mart Dr., Olney; Herman's World of Sporting Goods (all eight locations, so check the Yellow Pages for the store nearest you), and The Sportsman, Arlington Road and Bethesda Avenue in Bethesda.
Croquet is another game that calls up a lazier time -- tapping the ball through the wickets and sending your arch-rival's ball flying all the way back to the starting post. Most sporting-goods stores and department stores carry croquet sets, and if your lawn isn't level, it just makes the game more exciting.
You'd need quite a few people to do a successful Red Rover, Red Rover, Let Billy Come Over, but it wouldn't take that large a group to strew the lawn with the bodies of people who have been turned into Statues.
In case that wasn't part of your childhood repertoire, it consists of one person who acts as the pivot taking the hand of another person and spinning around to get up speed.
The pivot lets go and the human projectile stumbles and tumbles across the lawn till freezing in the postion of a statue. The statues can be brought to life with much chasing around the lawn, but it's the first part that's best. t
Mumblety-peg is a game of skill, balancing and flipping a jacknife and watching it fall, hoping it will land upright, the blade dug into the soft earth. To have a proper marbles tournament, though, you really need pavement.
There are so many games of summer -- jacks, kick-the-can, hide-and-go-seek -- that you can ask everyone to contribute one game to the afternoon.
For food, put out platters and platters of cookies. Huge round sugar cookies, lumpy ones made out of peanut butter and others packed with chocolate chips and hazlenuts, all the kinds you used to wolf down on long-ago summer afternoons.
To drink? What else but endless pitchers of lemonade.