Maybe one of you science brainiacs knows whether this flippin heat wave is just a normal fluctuation in the Grand Climatronical Scheme, or whether it’s Al Gore’s nightmare come true. Either way, I blame the patriarchy for it. And for the only conversation anyone ever has around here anymore. It goes like this:
Jill [wiping forehead with back of forearm]: Hey Cindy Lou. How are ya.
Cindy Lou [wiping forehead with back of forearm]: Well, I sure wish it were a little hotter.
Jill [smiling weakly]: Heh.
Cindy Lou [smiling weakly]: Heh.
I admit it. I made a couple of snide remarks a week or two ago when it was all over the news that the Eastern seaboard was all flushed and dizzy over a few days of temperatures in the 90′s. “Call the networks, it’s 98 and we’re starting to perspire!”
Waa. What a bunch of whiners. In Cottonmouth County it’s been 100 degrees every day since May. Texans, however, don’t go on NPR and get all verklempt about it. We suck it up. We carry on. We spring from the TempurPedic an hour before dawn, dunk ourselves in a vat of sunscreen, shove the noggin into a large-brimmed hat, sprint about the countryside doing this and that, and get our ass back under the palapa by 9 AM. Then we find a chair in front of a fan and sit in it, motionless, until the sun goes down. Then we drink a bunch of margs, hit the sack, and do it all over again the next day. Until November. Here in the Prickly Pear Belt it takes more than a little triple digit solar radiation to harsh our mellow.
But today I’m crying uncle. Uncle, do you hear? It’s the 3rd or 4th day in a row of 107, after a week of 106, with another two weeks of 107 in the forecast, with heat indexes ever more purgatorial. 111. 113. 115. Record after record is smashed. It hasn’t rained since about 1947. If you stare too long at the scenery, the friction of your gaze upon the old dried-up grass ignites a wildfire. If you have access to a pool you wouldn’t swim in that thing with a ten foot pole or you’d get poached like some sad tilapia entree at the Golden Corral Buffet.
At this point my air conditioner merely wrinkles a cynical lip and exhales a hot, wet breath if I try to crank it below 90. Yesterday morning when I opened my front door, a crematorial blast of glowing orange air melted my lobe. It liquefied into a glib and oily slime and dripped off my honker. I collected this lobe-grease in a jar, and will probably use it for fuel this winter when the furnace breaks down.
Until then, I’m packing the bathtub with ice and making like an oyster on the half-shell.