Archive for the 'Heat wave' Category

It’s hot

It’s hot. But you already know that if you live anywhere on the left side of the continent.

Weather reporters, including KABC’s cute but glum Briana Ruffalo, filled my Samsung screen with heat statistics that seemed to portend the end of the world. First it was the hottest day on record. Then it was the hottest month, and finally the hottest since man invented the thermometer.

Ginger Zee is ABC’s chief meteorologist…I always think of asteroids crashing into the Earth whenever I hear that title. Ginger is less volatile than others, perhaps because her maiden name is Zuidgeest and her married name is Colonomos, both of which sound like medical procedures that are best avoided.

Dallas Raines takes over in the evening and demonstrates his remarkable agility for a man born in the 19thcentury by leaping up and down, showing me a tight fist, and finally contorting his legs in a manner that makes him look like he just filled his pants. I probably would do the same thing if my assignment was to scare the hell out of viewers who think Armageddon is just around the corner.

The addition of wildfires to the mix only added to the devastation that I was sure was on the way. No doubt as punishment for our willful disobedience in rejecting the once popular Make America Great president who now finds himself on the verge of more indictments than Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew.

I’ve tried dealing with the heat in various ways. Adjusting the thermostat was at the top of my list until I received text messages from Edison complete with warning sounds that reminded me of my smoke alarm on steroids. They threatened to shut down my power if I didn’t turn off everything, including my nightlight, between the hours of 4pm to 9pm. Rolling blackouts followed by a visit from the Inquisition’s Torquemada were to be my punishment if I missed even one light bulb. 

Ever the planner, Jackie suggested, “Let’s turn the thermostat down and make this place a frozen palace. You know, just like the way we used to feel in Chicago waiting for a bus on Michigan Avenue in January. That way, when they turn off the power, we can be nice and cool waiting for it to go on again.”

With visions of an electric bill the size of Montana floating through my cerebral cortex, I offered several reasons why she might reconsider her plan. Promising to take her on a weekend in Beverly Hills and a bone-in ribeye steak at Mastro’s did the trick.

On Monday, having spent enough time indoors doing mindless tasks including sorting my sock drawer, I decided to challenge the 100-degree heat. So I made myself a giant smoothie with frozen fruit, nuts, and anything else that wasn’t moving in the refrigerator. I grabbed the Saturday NY Times crossword, my favorite ballpoint pen, my cellphone, and my stylish safari hat.  Even though shaded by the house, I wore the hat for insurance, like a guy who wears a belt with his suspenders. Ready for anything, you’d have thought I was going to the beach.

Instead, I opened the sliding door to the patio, pushed through the opening, and felt that I had been transported to another universe.  Just like a Marvel Comics sci-fi fantasy movie, the world was no longer cool and inviting. It was as though a crack in the earth’s crust had been caused by the villain Thanos, and the stupefying heat of its viscous core would melt anything coming within six feet of it. I thought…maybe I should forget this mission.

But, like Captain America, I would not be prevented from my quest. I closed the patio door behind me, severing my relationship with my home’s cool interior. I sat myself in one of the four patio chairs, sipped some of my smoothie for extra courage, picked up my lucky pen, and began what was supposed to be a journey to a better place.

The Saturday crossword is the toughest of the week. I sometimes wander through all the clues and come up empty-handed. If I sit back and meditate, I can usually return to the field of battle, wrestle with the puzzle’s editor, Will Shortz, and struggle to victory.

But this was a different day. I could not even read the clues. I was transfixed by the heat. There was no breeze; the leaves on the trees appeared painted on the background. The mountain in front of me looked two-dimensional; I almost reached out to touch it. With every other sane person indoors, the silence was like heat waves moving over my body. I felt as though I was being cooked. It was like I needed someone to turn me over to assure uniform browning and succulence.

I was afraid that the crossword puzzle would spontaneously burst into flames, leaving me at the mercy of the evil Thanos. Saving that adventure for another day, I gathered my stuff and, like the transporter on Star Trek, converted my body to pure energy, sent it in a flash to the cool inside of the house, and reconverted myself. Or something like that.

Can’t wait to see my next Edison bill.



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