Imagine you're from London or Seattle, and for months you've planned a warm summer vacation in Laguna Beach only to arrive and it's cold, drab and drizzly.
You know it's bad when tourists are wishing they would have stayed home.
It's official: Summer has not really arrived in Laguna Beach, with temperatures consistently below average and the marine layer hovering like a wet blanket.
It must be global cooling.
In both June and July, there was only one day each month above the historical average — barely, by one degree.
We have been below average by four, five or sometimes up to 10 degrees for days on end.
To add insult to the cold, the fog, mist, clouds, gloom — whatever you want to call it — has stuck, sometimes all day, blocking the sun completely.
You expect by now to say, "Oh, it will clear by noon."
But it doesn't.
"It's cold," said Pascuala Serrano, from Indio, who was bundled on the beach with her 8-year-old daughter, Milagro. They came into Laguna for a weekend getaway.
"We were expecting more sun," she said. "My daughter asked me, 'Where is the sun?'"
No one knows.
Laguna has turned into some foreboding "Game of Thrones" kingdom. We are the Kingdom of Gloom, ruled by the House of Grayness.
Our land ends as far as you can see, which on a good day might be Catalina Island. On most days, however, it's Bird Rock.
To the east, we have our hill clan and canyon woodsmen, who get more sun and privately make fun of us beach lowlanders for starting to grow moss on our bodies.
We already have gills, making us look a bit like groupers.
You expect these things in London or Seattle. Having lived in Seattle for 10 years, I could easily go without sun for three or four years and not think anything of it.
In fact, I still have moss.
Here, when we go to the Rooftop in July, we don't want to curl up under blue blankies and order hot chocolate.
It's messed up.
We want to wear our swimsuits, not sweaters. The months and months of winter workouts — OK, days and days — should not go unnoticed.
On some days, it's not bitingly cold. There have been muggy days where the gray is somewhat tolerable.
Local businesses are not reporting any big change in sales, although more people are choosing to sit inside at restaurants. The bar business has been brisk, according to a few reports.
"It's been warm still, lately," said Felicia Madrigal, owner of Merrilee's Swimwear.
Madrigal said she has not started selling sweaters just yet.
"I don't know that it's impacted business — not like two summers ago," she said.
In 2011, it was another cold summer.
As with rain, we don't know what to do with anything but paradise-like weather.
We are spoiled, admittedly, but we don't care. It's one of the reasons we moved here, making it our right to complain.
It's been two months of summer and we expect the smell of sunscreen to waft throughout town like orange blossoms.
We cringe at the advertising planes that fly low over the weekend with banners promoting icy cold beer.
Are they just rubbing it in?
They must be from one of the inland kingdoms.
Life is a-kilter. We stare dumbfounded at the ocean and into a bank of gray, unable to see where the water and sky meet. It's just not right.
Personally — and I know there are bigger issues — I'm a little cranky about the whole thing.
With one month of summer remaining, we have a forced sense of urgency.
Every time the sun breaks, we pause and look outside. Is it just a little patch or is it real? Will it last? Do I have time to put on the suit?
We don't know.
In this kingdom, nothing is certain.
It's just another reminder, I guess, to take each day as it comes.
But if August is more of the same, I'm telling you right now, I'm bringing in the dragons.
DAVID HANSEN is a writer and Laguna Beach resident. He can be reached at email@example.com.