It’s bikini season — or ice cream time

By Ryn Gargulinski: Guest Columnist

April usually means flowers and showers — except, of course, in New Mexico — but the month also has another important classification attached to it.

It’s time to prepare for bikini season.

True, the High Plains don’t really have a lot of surf where one can loll around in the little stringed numbers, but that doesn’t mean a bikini is obsolete. It’s not called the Land of Enchantment for nothing, now.

Bikinis make fine wear at one of the lakes dappled across the dusty land, there is plenty of sand in which to play beach and one can always emulate the seaside, like I did, with a little blue pool in a freshly mowed back yard. This works best, mind you, if you have a high fence and rocks in the pool to ensure it doesn’t blow away, like mine did, in the middle of the night.

One can also don a bikini while working in the garden. The sun that beats on the beets is equally fantastic for a halter-topped back.

Please note, however, certain paisley styles may not look very dashing with green rubber weeding gloves, but as long as it’s in the same color family, one can usually get away with it.

Just don’t wear one of those low-cut numbers — at any angle — or one may end up with mud clumps in weird places.

One more snippet on the bikini — they are made for women only. Please. While a variety of styles exist to best suit the female form, there is no style of bikini that looks dashing on a man.

Males wearing bikinis should be banned from New Mexico, New York, New England, New Brunswick, the entire United States and even places like the south of France where I eventually intend to live.

April may seem a tad early to prepare for the coming of the bikini — but it certainly is not.

Simply glance at gym memberships, which skyrocket in early January, thanks to a slew of resolutions that are kept for about a week, and again in the spring.

Those who forget about the upcoming bikini season will hit the gym around Memorial Day after they try on last summer’s swimsuit and find they can’t tie the strings.

The Memorial Day-ers will stick around for about 10 hours the first day, go home sore and upset they did not immediately and miraculous drop 22 pounds after nearly wearing out the treadmill tread and spend the rest of their summer in a mumu.

Their mumus are usually bright purple.

We like the mumu people because it serves to make the rest of us, who have properly prepared for the season, look that much slimmer and more stunning.

Now on to how to prepare.

Yes, you got yoga, weight lifting, power walking, power bicycling, step classes, aerobic torture, Pilates and enough other options to make you forget it all altogether and go get an ice cream.

But don’t let the wide variety overwhelm you. There are also a stockpile of less-traditional workouts one can do daily at home, without the threat of a size zero aerobic instructor bouncing intimidatingly in front of the class.

Picking up dog stuff is a great way to work the biceps, triceps or latissimus dorsi. This works best, of course, if one has a dog. But dog stuff can be found around town, ensuring one gets a walking workout while looking for them and does community service at the same time.

If the dog-waste option for some reason seems unattractive, one can always opt to pick up windblown trash that sticks itself against fences. This will also work out the wrist as one struggles to get a plastic bag loose from a clod of tenacious barbed wire.

Weeding weeds is another way to get a full-body workout. Bending and crouching works the thighs, calves, gluteus maximus and would even work the knee muscles if the knees had muscles. The inevitable shouting of obscenities when a dandelion root won’t come loose works the muscles of the face and diaphragm surrounding the lungs.

Shoveling snow is shown to burn up a whopping 832 calories an hour. Since it’s a tough one for eastern New Mexico, we can substitute the snow for rock piles. Or coyote bones. Or compressed clay earth. We found out about the massive workout one gets from compressed clay earth when we dug a garden in the middle of Clovis on a yard that had grown nothing but rocks for centuries. We think we found a dinosaur egg.

Climbing trees is another toughie for the treeless Plains, but there are plenty of telephone poles, dangerous metal structures that hold electrical wires and neighbors’ fences to scale. The adventuresome may even aim for a radio tower or wind turbine — just don’t stick your head too close to the top of the latter.

Starting an early workout, tacking last year’s bikini to a mirror as incentive and putting a padlock on the fridge will almost surely ensure a body fit in time for bikini season.

And if not, there is always the mumu and the ice cream cone.