How Hot Is It? Let Me Tell You . . .


Since I read a lot of posts complaining about the cold winter last year, while secretly chortling away with Mr. Burns-like laughter, it’s only fair I reveal the darker side of Southwestern living….the summer.

Let me tell you how hot it is. It’s so hot . . .

–For three days in a row now it’s been 115 degrees. And for three days in a row I dreamed of ice fishing in the nude. There has to be a connection.

–I put my running clothes on this morning, took one step outside and lost 10 pounds. Granted it was water weight, but tomorrow I plan on taking two steps, and by the end of the week there’s a good chance 60% of my body will have disappeared and I will emerge as Golem.

–Heat advisories now just recommend an Alaskan vacation.

–Pool parties are Jacuzzi parties with dead mice in the skimmers, after their botched attempts to drink…something…anything.

–It feels like you’re watching the second season of True Detective. Once outside you become confused and disoriented; you forget the names of people around you and can’t keep track of your life’s narrative, unable to recall why you live here in the first place . . . Oh yeah, because last winter was like the first season of True Detective when it made perfect sense.

–Everyone I come across is zombie-like and can’t be bothered with pace. I was in a 40-minute wait line at the post office. In NY, where winter storms invite fistfights over the last can of beans, a brawl would have broken out. But all of us in line knew our cars had turned into an Easy Bake oven and no one wanted to leave the cool 68 degrees safety zone with perfectly good Wifi and Kenny G playing. When the postal employee yelled, “Next,” people just waved her off and grunted.

–Birds spontaneously fall out of the sky.

–I’ve acquired third degree burns from the plastic and metal parts of my car. I wasn’t foolish enough to get a leather interior. In Phoenix, that’s like a hot dog telling a 7-11 clerk it wants a ride on that cool spinny thing. No, no. But when you get cloth, you forget about the other stuff, like the ignition, seat belts, and steering wheel. You know, necessary contact stuff in order to avoid collisions. And good Lord, never leave chapstick in between the console. All I need is a wick to make a candelabrum for Frankenstein.

–I heard someone humming “It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes” in the checkout line, and I hummed along with him until the cashier joined in. The bagger thought he was being punked.

–When you grocery shop, people just eat the pint of ice cream in the parking lot. No sense in wasting a perfectly good milkshake.

–When my older kids come home from the school, I have 20 minutes to lecture them about grades, food pyramids, sex ed, and skincare without sass-back or eye rolls before their heat comas wear off and their faux teenage outrage returns.

–Everywhere you go, water stations for humans and dogs are set up in businesses like first aid booths at a Knife Throwing convention. Want to classy it up and double your cost in services? Throw in some cucumbers – double your profits. (Note: Writers can’t afford these establishments. But we know it’s just hipster water anyway.)

Finally, the other day I was in a ladies room when I was propositioned for a bottle of water by a slumped over Midwesterner on vacation. I obliged and told her, “Next time splurge on airfare in February. I know it only costs $50 to fly into Phoenix right now. But there’s a reason. Cah-peesh? Fly home, my little snow bird. Fly home. This is no place for you until mid-October.”

“But I thought y’all said it was a dry heat?”

“That’s just what we say to relatives back East so we can feel superior year-round.”

She is probably overlooking Lake Michigan now, blogging about how hot it is here.

To that I say, “We’ll see who’s laughing in winter. We. Will. See.”

Stay cool!


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