The Sun Turns Our Patio Into a Lifeless Hell

Someone on one of those local neighborhood Facebook groups posted a Sunsetter awning for sale today, and of course, what else would that make you think of, but the Dead Milkmen and their spectacular song about the same? Remember the infomercials for those? Happy Suburban Neighbor Guy spends all his time retracting and yanking out his awning, to ensure maximum comfort for his friends, family, and shiny green lawn… Actually, maybe they weren’t infomercials, maybe they were regular commercials that just seemed really long. There was some kind of weird cult vibe to them, mixed with a creepy wholesome Saved By the Bell/Afterschool Special kind of thing. I kept waiting for Stereotypical Angsty Teen to appear through the sliding glass door, awning-retractor stick in hand, defiant in his denim jacket and floppy hair cut, and announce (in appropriately angsty fashion): “I learned it from watching you, Dad!” Fade to black, and the concrete patio sits uncovered while Dad and Teen bond, and the sun soaks in, waiting to burn the feet of Returning Grocery Shopping Mom, through the paper-thin soles of her stylish sandals.

Anyway-there’s a song about that, and it went largely unnoticed, I think, the Dead Milkmen having long outlived their Punk Rock Girl notoriety. I’ve owned every album they’ve ever made, listened to them on repeat for weeks on end through a series of crappy speakers in crappier cars, cranked them up to motivate me to move my lazy ass and clean the house, and this track is without a doubt one of their best. Take a look. It’s beautiful.


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