Hot Stuff

I really want to write something witty and engaging for you this month, but frankly, it’s too hot. Seriously hot. Can’t-touch-the-steering-wheel hot. Cook-an-egg-on-the-driveway hot. Stupid hot. Last month, I wrote from the cool climate of the Rockies, which made humor and creativity literally ooze from my pores. I could write a novel up there. A real bestseller. Back here in Texas, the only thing oozing from me is sweat. And possibly my IQ. I have trouble putting sentences together, even in my head. That’s because I’m constantly interrupting myself by thinking about how hot it is outside. Like, I’m trying to write this article, but OMG, it’s 104 degrees out there right now! And then I think that it might as well be 204 degrees since it’s trapping my family inside like a bunch of caged bears. Hot, caged bears. Sometimes, I spend entire hours looking up the 10-day forecasts on as many online weather sites and apps as I can find. I tell myself that surely ONE of them will show a break in this ridiculous bake-brownies-on-your-dashboard kind of lunacy we’re dealing with! But nope. All they show me are the intricacies of our particular heat here in Southlake. My Accuweather app, for example, offers a feature called RealFeel, which basically (and more tactfully) summarizes what the rest of us are thinking. 104? Yeah, right. This is, like, at LEAST 109. 110 in the parking lot. I personally love it when the RealFeel says something certifiably crazy, like 118. It makes me believe that it does, in fact, know how I really feel. One day, instead of a number, I expect the RealFeel to just say, “You don’t want to know.” Or maybe lighten the mood with a funny Southern euphemism. Hotter’n two jackrabbits wrestlin’ in a wool sock, let’s say. Then there’s the Weather Channel. Oh, they started big and mighty, the king of the 24/7 weather reports, but they’re on my list right now. They’re supposed to offer accurate and unbiased predictions based on science, but I think the guy who inputs the data for the 10-day forecast is just messing with me. Every so often, when I look at the last day on the forecast, it promises a brief dip in the heat. Like maybe 98. With a 50% chance of rain. I think, MAYBE this will start ending. First it will be 98. Then 94. Then 87. And fall will slide on in, and we can forget all this hot nonsense ever happened. But when I go back to look at the forecast again the next hour, the stupid thing says 108 again, with ZERO chance of rain. I’m convinced there’s a guy in a room somewhere at the Weather Channel just laughing his rear end off. “Hey, Steve,” he calls to the guy in the cubicle next door, “I totally did it again. Poor saps.” Then he and Steve go take a walk outside together. Because they can. Because it’s only 83 in Atlanta right now, where the Weather Channel headquarters are located. Another great forecast site to waste time on is called Weather Underground—which is a misleading name, because they are actually predicting the weather ABOVE ground, where most of us are currently living in inhumane temperatures. Weather Underground, no matter how many times I correct it, insists that I am located in Grapevine. I always have to switch it to Southlake, which I hate doing, because for some insane reason, it’s a whole degree hotter here than it is in Grapevine. Is it because they have the big lake? Whatever. It’s so not fair. Weather Underground also likes to offer trivial data that makes you wish you had a private jet. For example, they tell you where the coolest recorded temperature in the state is. So if I had a private jet, and I knew where the heck Marfa, Texas was, I could zip over there in a jiffy and cool myself down a bit. But I don’t have a jet, so I’m stuck here in Heatsville. By the way, have I mentioned that’s really hot outside? My thermometer now says 105. That’s some serious hotness. Other things I do to take my mind off the heat include laughing at my husband. No, not really, but maybe just a little. He’s a runner, and while I try to warn him about this incredible heat wave business, he shrugs and goes running anyway. OUTSIDE!! He’s a big sweater by nature no matter what the temperature, so when he comes back dripping like he’s just had a shower in his clothes and moaning about the humidity, I do kind of chuckle. “I told you it was hot,” I say. Though in all seriousness I suppose I should be happy he’s made it back intact. People can bake out there when it gets this hot. Literally harden up and char like ants under a magnifying glass. I’ve read about it. (Incidentally, he usually wears this obnoxious neon yellow shirt when he’s running, so if you should spot him in a puddle on the side of the road, he wears an ID band on his wrist with my phone number on it. Feel free to call.) At least the kids are about to head back to school. I can stop worrying that they’ll pass out every time they try to play in the yard, especially when they do really smart moves like put on a long-sleeve shirt with leggings in the middle of August (which my 7 year old did yesterday). Someone needs to teach them some common sense. I’d do it, but man, I’m just too hot right now.