It's mid-summer in England.
All over our green and lovely land, mysterious funfairs with exotic names slowly begin to spring up on parks and village greens. Pickpockets rub their dirty hands with glee; hospitals and lawyers brace themselves for a flood of whiplash victims; grumpy local residents prepare for a sleepless month.
Thankfully, mid-summer in England also brings another type of carnival - one that Burberry-clad chavs will never get their hands on.
Wednesday sees the start of Twenty20 season: six weeks of Bish, Bash, Bosh entertainment, ridiculed on its inception in 2003, now the most anticipated period of the domestic calendar.
Test cricket is the London Philharmonic playing Handel's Messiah; majestic and traditional, subtly making sense of life and death, right and wrong; a reassuringly long saga that rises to a glorious crescendo, an awesome and lofty Hallelujah.
Twenty20 cricket is Jimi Hendrix playing All Along the Watchtower; an old classic made sexy; hair-raising and ferocious and unpredictable; free-wheeling and unfettered fun.
This season's Wham, Bam Thank-you, Mam promises to be the best ever with counties vying for a shot at an inaugural £2.5million Champions League jackpot.
Over a quarter-of-a-million fans are expected to watch some Twenty20 action over the next month. If you're not already, Cowers has plenty persuasive reasons to get involved...
1. The players love it
Of course, we're all for a bit of discipline and self-control. But isn't it more fun to see players play with a bit of freedom? Didn't Silence of the Lambs only get exciting once Hannibal Lecter had escaped from his strait jacket and started eating people's face off?
2. But Ricky Ponting hates it
Anything that grinds Ricky Ponting's gears has got to be a good thing.
3. It's short
I know you. You like your tandoori chicken bite-sized, your pop music MTV-packaged, your internet connection broadband and your newspapers tabloid. Twenty20 cricket panders to your defective attention span - but there's no shame in that.
THWACK! Everyone loves a six. Last year, Luke Wright hit 19 sixes for Sussex in the Twenty20. That's 19 chances for you to become a hero; 19 chances to jump up from your seat and clamber all over the guy in the next seat before snaffling a breathtaking catch, one-handed, your beer in the other.
5. It reminds people of their youth
Twenty20 cricket isn't a new sport. No, no, no. Ask any cricket-loving gentleman; he'll tell you how he used to play 20 overs-a-side matches as a boy, giving the local rivals a good thrashing in that grudge match against local rivals Roe Green in the under-14 league. Aah, we remember it well.
6. Hot tubs inside the grounds
Hot tubs mean bikinis. I shouldn't have to explain the rest.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I can see people turning down central contracts and, in effect, going freelance to play where the best money is on offer at any one time," Nasser Hussain predicting Kevin Pietersen might become a club/county "mercenary".
TALKING POINT: So what you do love about Twenty20 cricket? And also what don't you like (it'll never be better than a good Test match, you know)
COMING UP: India are playing Pakistan in Mirpur right now, and they usually get a bit excited about these things so check out the LIVE SCORECARD