If someone utters "hot enough?" platitudes feel free to pummel him with The Old Farmer's Almanac — preferably a hardcover copy.
I almost didn't write this column. I didn't want to break into a further sweat by thinking too hard. However, I can blame my normal incoherent gibberish on the heat.
And I can start sentences with conjunctions and end with prepositions since syntax goes out the window when multiple box fans go in. My apologies to wordsmiths Strunk and White, but it's too warm for semantics.
Fervid temperatures get us hot under the shirt collar. One problem with the recent record-breaking heat — it's only the first week of July. These are mere pup days of summer.
This week our daytime temps will hover in the 90s. Friday is forecasted to hit 99 degrees with a heat index of 108. The National Cherry Festival will feature a bumper crop after all: bottled water. Twelve year olds hawking H20 could pocket their entire college tuition.
The early scorching summer is already one for the record books.
According to Weather Underground, a historic heat wave on a scale and intensity not seen in the U.S. since the 1930s Dust Bowl era set new all-time heat records for at least ten major cities last Friday. It hit 109 degrees in Cairo — Illinois not Egypt. The mercury topped out at 113 in Smyrna, Tenn. Nine other triple-digit records were set in other major U.S. cities.
On days like these you wake to sweltering conditions and before you can jump into the shower it's already oppressive. Just toweling off makes you perspire. Sticky describes both the weather and state of your underwear after walking out to the mailbox.
Sweat-behind-the-knees humidity means it's time to shop for frozen peas. You may find yourself lingering in the freezer section. The grocery store manager will seethe if you strip down to your skivvies to roll around with Ben & Jerry.
As oven food metaphors go, we've been baked and — like Aunt Gertrude's meatloaf — overcooked. Which brings me to a potentially unfavorable hot weather statement: I kind of like it.
While I might grumble, a part of me enjoys the heat. I blame it on Cuban ancestry or the thought of shoveling snow five months from now. Sick as it sounds, I'll step out of my temperature-controlled work environment for a stifling heat break.
I'm sure any roofer would trade me places, but I sort of miss those sweaty summer jobs of my youth; long-sleeve shirt to bale hay, tar-stained blue jeans from patching roads and singed arm hairs courtesy of cod splashing in a restaurant deep fryer. Each of these hot jobs left an indelible mark — and in some cases, scar tissue.
Of course it's easy to wax nostalgic as the central air system chugs away in my office.
Perhaps it's time to head out into Dante's dew point inferno and let the summer humidity hit me; either that or a hardcover edition of The Old Farmer's Almanac.