Hotter’n Hell


I’m pretty sure I’m going to whine a little bit about the heat more than a few times in the coming months. Starting now, actually.

So, it’s still May, for a few more minutes, anyway. And today it was 103 degrees, according to the car’s temp gauge. OK, really? 103, in May? July, I could see. But May?

D arrived back in Big D late Sunday night, with Chase the Wonder Dog. Since they got here well after the sun had gone down, it was only 97 degrees. We took Chase to the park next to the apartment, where he promptly tried to over-pee on every single blade of grass that had previously been peed upon. But it was so hot, it evaporated before it reached the ground.

In fact, it was so hot, the grackles only shrieked insanely every two minutes, instead of every 60 seconds. It was so hot, people ate habaneros to cool off. It was so hot, Tabasco came and bottled some air to take back to Louisiana.

Of course, rational, sane people would weather these little warm spells by staying in air-conditioned enclosures of various types. Sitting in the living room, watching a nice movie. Riding in the car, air blasting out of the vents and gently caressing your face with little waves of coolness.

Nope. Since we’ve got a convertible, we’re going to use it, by god. Doesn’t matter than it’s dark blue, which soaks up the rays like a snowbird in Florida. Doesn’t matter that we arrive everywhere with a nice sweaty sheen coating our faces, like we’ve been caught in a rainstorm. It’s spring, dammit, and the top is going to be DOWN.

D, being fair-skinned, has always had more trouble with the heat than me. So today, I should’ve known better when we set off to run errands.

Me: “Are you sure? It’s 9 a.m., and it’s already 97 degrees.”

D: “Yep. It’ll be great! Wind in my hair! Freedom! Wide open spaces!”

Me: “That’s a Dixie Chicks song.”

D: “Oh, yeah. But still, let’s put it down. It’s spring!”

Me: “Ohhhh-kay… Should we take Chase with us?”

D: “Oh, no. Too hot!”

Should’ve known then that something was wrong with this picture. It’s too hot to take the dog, but we’re fine stuffing ourselves into the little Easy-Bake oven we call a car?

We head off into the depths of the concrete jungle. Heat washes over us in relentless waves. Sun beats down on our heads. Our thighs stick to the seats, skin ripped off every time we get out of the car. Our shirts cling to our backs like Velcro.

Did I mention that it’s still May?

And it’s not a dry heat, by any stretch of the imagination. It’s wet. Humid. Damp. You can suck water right out of the air through a straw.

While the blast furnace on the highway is bad, stoplights are the worst. Then the heat bakes you from all sides, not just from the front. Most of the 3,456,902 Ford F-150 pickups in Texas stopped in front of us today at one point or another, with their 5-inch tailpipes pretty much at lung level to us. The contact buzz from the diesel ones was particularly fun.

Still, we sat, enjoying the spring air. Drivers next to us stared. Some pointed and laughed. We are happy to be bringing them some pleasure on this nice springtime day. Some even mouth pleasantries, although it’s hard to hear them through their rolled-up-tight windows.

What does “muy loco” mean, anyway? And while it might’ve sounded like that one guy said “Tennessee whack-a-doos,” I’m sure he really said “Tennessee wants its tunes.”

Midway through the day, I check on D.

Me: “Are you sure you aren’t too hot?”

D: “Hot? What? No, I’m fine.”

Me: “OK. You look kind of hot.”

D: “No, I’m … unnnnhhhhhh.”

She regained consciousness pretty quickly, though, after I pulled over, dragged her into a somewhat-grimy-but-air-conditioned diner, splashed water on her face, encased her in six 10-pound bags of Frosty Boy ice, started an IV of Ringers and electrolytes, and force-fed her a couple of Coronas.

No wonder you don’t see a lot of convertibles down here.

I hear that some new cars come with cooled seats, like heated ones, only in reverse. Next time Mr. So Sue Me parks on top of my car, I’m going to get me a new one with some of those seats.

Until then, I think it may be time to stop going topless. I hear it’ll start cooling off again in about eight months…

About wordsmith1313

Now: Somewhat retired, although I don't do it very well. Formerly senior director of Communications and Marketing for the Dallas Zoo. Journalist. EMT. Writer. Breast cancer survivor. I love to travel, and will always return from a trip with a new friend or two. Those fortuitous meetings bring velvet to the rough edges of life.
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One Response to Hotter’n Hell

  1. Deanna says:

    I am too reading it.

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