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How Hot WAS It?

This is an open letter to all the potential pranksters, jokesters, quipsters, jesters, wisenheimers, smarty pantsers, cut ups, clowns, kidders, wits, wags, wackadoos, buffoons and goofs that insist on asking everyone they see anywhere “Hey, is it hot enough for ya?” You are all being warned.

I think it’s safe to say I can speak for 99.999% of humanity these days when I say YES. We’re all stewing in our own juices, and nobody I know is all too thrilled about it. Please stop asking if you value the placement of your front teeth. Some surly souls are surely seeking to snap. SOON.

This is the hottest summer we’ve had in a long long time, and tempers everywhere are about as short as the Cubs have fallen on their World Series hopes since 1908. Which raises a question of logical progression – what did people back then do when it got as hot as it’s been this summer?

Certainly it must have, we keep hearing about how the heat records we’re breaking are all right around 100 years old. That’s when they started keeping records, but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t hot before that. I can’t imagine what everyone did without the frosty cold breeze of air conditioning.

We think tempers are short now – and they are. I couldn’t begin to imagine how tense it would be everywhere if everyone was forced to tough it out through an entire brutal summer without as much as an electric fan – and they were. Not only that, plumbing wasn’t what it is today and cold showers were probably not in the picture either. That must have been one funky flock of folks.

And this is barely 100 years ago. The world has been around a lot longer than that. How did the pilgrims and settlers handle the elements hot or cold? That’s why they had to crank out a dozen or more offspring, hoping at least some of them would survive to carry on the family name. That or they were hoping one of them would invent central air conditioning someday to bring relief.

Somewhere between then and now, somebody thought they were being funny by questioning a fellow scorchee if indeed it were hot enough for said sweater. Maybe the first time it was uttered, it came from such an out of the ordinary place that it actually got a laugh. After that, it was over.

As for me, my first encounter with that line was as a child while out with my grandparents on a sweltering summer day. Some aspiring comedian asked my perspiring grandmother that question and received in return a string of uniquely constructed words I later came to know as ‘profanity’.

Grandma wasn’t in the mood for jokes when the mercury went above 90, and I have to say I’ve inherited that quality myself. I’m a comedian by trade and jokes are what keep food on my table, but there are certain things that should just be left alone. Yes, it IS hot enough for us. Please stop asking.

That being said, if I have to be somewhere in this bombastic barrage of hellish humidity, I’m in the right place in Lake County. It’s got ‘lake’ right in the title, and that’s about the best place one can go to cool off. And it’s all just temporary anyway. Winter will be back around soon enough.

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