The Heat is On…


Just a few weeks ago, I was belaboring all the rain¬† we’ve seen in the Midwest.

As of this writing, we’re still more than 11 inches above the norm.

However, we have managed to string some dry days together with a little sunshine.

but early into the month of July, more typical heat and humidity has replaced seemingly endless days of clouds, rain and somewhat cool conditions.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac thinks July should be a bit cooler and dryer than normal.

But right now, it’s warm.

Very warm.

Well, actually hot.

In a typical summer season, we experience about twenty 90 degree days in this neck of the woods.

Often times, we will hear, “It’s not the heat; it’s the humidity.”


Then why don’t more people live in ovens?

Having done some cookie-baking in my days, a blast of dry heat from the stove when I pop a tray of cookies inside is hot.

Never mind that it might not be terribly humid.

It’s hot.

This also begs the question, “Which is faster, heat or cold?”

Obviously it’s heat, because you can catch a cold.

(Cue the “pun” groan.)

What do bees do when it gets hot?

They take off their “yellow jackets”.

(Yet another pun.)

Want one more?

How do toads stay cool?

They drink ice-cold “Croak-a-Cola”.

Enough of this stuff.

One of my favorite “hot” stories is from years ago when my wife and I were newlyweds and living in southern Alabama.

When new couples moved in to the housing development, we’d all gather together and help install the window air conditioner.

Then we’d have a big cookout, drink beer and celebrate.

This one time, a friend of ours bought a huge AC unit

When I say “huge”, when he turned it on, lights dimmed in the neighborhood.

It took several of virile,  young men to hoist it up and hold it in place.

Others closed off the open window area with a sheet of plywood, bolting it to the window frame and the AC unit.

After the party ended and we all went home and this guy and his wife sacked out.

He told us he awoke during the night, bathed in sweat but he could still hear his air conditioner running.

Thinking he might have been dreaming, he tried to go back to sleep but it was just too hot and sticky in the bedroom.

When he got out of bed to investigate, he discovered that his AC unit had fallen out of the window but managed to stay plugged in.

Now this was a big air conditioner but I don’t think it was capable of cooling the the sultry air of southern Alabama.

That’s a whole bunch of BTU’s needed.

But the question still remains.

what’s hot?

Let us try and determine how you can tell if it’s hot.

Your sweat sweats.

You think convertibles are really neat…until you get stopped in traffic with the top down.

Sleeping on your inflatable raft in the backyard pool sounds like a legitimate option.

There are no eggs in the refrigerator because the kids have taken them all outside to see if they can actually fry an egg on the pavement.

Birds chirp for you to add ice cubes to the bird bath.

You discover that a seat belt buckle doubles as a pretty good branding iron.

You actually take measurements to determine if you can fit your recliner into the refrigerator.

Chickens are laying hard-boiled eggs.

(That’s a “yolk” my friend.)

When the temperature drops below 90, you feel a bit chilly.

The Greyhound bus is panting.

Buy ice cream at the grocery and drive home? I hope you like milkshakes.

You discover you can actually guide your car with just two fingers.

The “hot engine”light comes on when you start your car in the morning.

You replace your bed pillows with bags of frozen vegetables.

You fly a kite and it crashes and burns.

You have hot water coming out of BOTH taps in the house.

The best parking space is determined by shade instead of how near it is to the entrance.

Neighborhood squirrels carry potholders to gather acorns.

You sprain your wrist fanning.

Your digital thermometer reads, “You gotta be kidding!”

All the bread you buy is already toasted.

You step outside just before sunrise and you’re already soaked with sweat.

You discover asphalt has a liquid state.

The kids beg for a swimming pool, but only if it comes filled with ice.

You walk out of an air-conditioned building and you can’t see squat because your eyeglasses fog up.

The next time some says, “Hot enough for you?”, you’re delivering a right uppercut.

You see folks spraying Pam on park benches so their bottoms aren’t pan-fried when they sit down.

Suddenly, there are security guards at all the local ice machines.

If you hear “Summer in the City” one more time on the radio, you’re going to scream.

If you are really bothered by the heat, just close your eyes and remember 6 months ago when we were blue from the cold.

When all is said and done, more than likely, we’ll have an average weather season.

That’s the problem with averages.

It’s all those extremes added together and divided by the number of days that can make “average” pretty uncomfortable at times.

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