Texas is hot, and not in the way you compliment your wife when she's
mad at you for performing an epic cannonball while she's lounging
by the pool with her laptop.
For the past few weeks, Texas (and much of the world) has been suffering
through a distressing phenomenon known as summerthat time of
year when we all remember what it's like being toddlers walking around
with drenched undergarments.
I realize that my opinion may seem blasphemous to those who enjoy
a good lower-body heat rash, but I've always preferred the fall and
winter over summer. Yes, I get bushy-tailed at the first hint of pumpkin
spice wafting through my ample nose hairs. Besides, when you're cold,
you can always put on more clothes, but when you're hot, you can only
take off so much without getting arrested or traumatizing your family
members and pets. Just ask our cat.
This summer has been particularly brutal so far, with temperatures
regularly reaching the triple digits and placing everyone's lawn in
hospice care. Our home air conditioner has been running non-stop for
approximately 4 weeks and is now demanding a significant raise, enhanced
benefits and casual Fridays. Yet I still have to expose at least one
whole leg and an elbow outside of the bed covers at night (and risk
being attacked by monsters) in order to sleep.
When I asked my wife about our latest electric bill, she refused to
show it to me, simply suggesting that I find a second job and develop
a taste for bologna sandwichesminus the bologna.
Some families take the opportunity this time of year to vacation in
cooler climates where deodorant actually works and you don't have
to wring out your briefs after waking to or from your car. But not
our family. This summer, I took my wife and three teenage daughters
on a road trip to sample
the sweltering delights of New Orleans, Louisiana, where being
outside during the summer is like walking around in a wet fur coat
after wearing it in a hot tub full of gumbo. And we just returned
from a short excursion southward to San
Antonio, Texas, (named after the patron saint of scorching parking
lots)because it's always smart to get as close to the equator
as possible in early August.
Due to the extreme heat and the dangers associated with it, numerous
media outlets are offering tips for surviving in navel-soaking temperatures.
Here are a few of my own:
1. Stay hydratedmeaning you should drink as much fluid as possible
so that you can spend lots of time enjoying the refreshing confines
of an air-conditioned restroom. (The porcelain is delightfully cool.)
2. During the hottest part of the day, keep family pets indoorswhere
they can annoy you more effectively with their incessant noise, booty
scooting, and staring at you when you snack. The same applies to children
of any age.
3. Eat small meals, and eat more often. I'm not sure why this works,
but I'm for it, especially the "more often" part.
4. Check on the elderly (and ask them to prepare you a meal if possible-see
5. Set the air conditioner to a low temperature, and keep it there.
If you're worried about your electric bill, remember the bologna sandwiches
(or see #4).
America experienced a previous heat wave in 1980 when I was ten years
old, and my main concerns were catching the next episode of The Muppet
Show and sorting out my strange new feelings for Brooke Shields. I
don't remember much about the weather, other than it was summertime
and people were walking around in t-shirts that read, "I survived
the 1980 Texas Heat Wave." I guess I thought it was kind of cool,
but not cool enough to distract me from Miss Piggy and Brooke in her
These days, though, I take assaults on my sweat glands more seriously,
and I hope you, too, will benefit from the tips I've offered as we
all pray for cooler temperatures and sales on Wonder Bread and bologna.