Monday, June 9, 2008

Hot? You call this 'hot'?

Temperatures have hit the 90s in the Washington DC region the past few days, and wimps like Joe at NoVaTownhall are complaining:
[T]oday was a complete ass-kicker, unlike any I’ve experienced in recent memory. . . .
I had to do the lawn, which is about a 2.5 hour exercise with the edging and trimming included. . . .
So as much as I like to tell people that 47 is not really so old thanks to modern science and I still get carded in 7-11 by cashiers from the other side of the world, I must admit that mowing the lawn on days like today is no country for 47-year old men.
Hey, Joe, you think 47 is bad, you ought to try 48! Fortunately, having four sons means I never have to mow the lawn anymore.

My wife and I took our three youngest children to the National Zoo on Saturday, when the high was 94. It was extremely sweaty. We had to walk about four blocks back to the car, and when that air-conditioning kicked in -- oh, man, what a relief.

Sunday was just as hot, although I spent most of Sunday indoors. We were cooling with fans only. My thrifty wife refuses to turn on the air-conditioning before July.

Being a native of Georgia, I take pride in my ability to endure hot weather. When I was a kid, we'd turn out for youth football practice in August. The coaches would run, run, run us for about two hours. No water until practice was over -- water was for sissies.

Up here in the arctic climes north of the Potomac, I scoff at any Yankee's assertion that it's ever hot in Washington.

There is a time/temperature sign in front of The Washington Times office on New York Avenue. Co-workers and I would go outside for a smoke break some muggy July afternoon. The sign would be flashing 91 degrees, and everyone would begin their routine grumbling about the heat. So I'd say, "Hot? You call this 'hot'? Shoot, 91 degrees is a mild April morning where I come from!"

Joe shouldn't complain. He says he's from South Florida and grew up before home air-conditioning was common. I also remember those days. When I was a kid growing up in Lithia Springs, Ga., Wyatt's Pharmacy was one of the few stores in town that had air-conditioning, and they advertised it in ice-cube type letters on the front window: AIR CONDITIONED! When we'd go on vacation to Florida, if a motel had air-conditioning, they'd advertise it on a neon sign: AIR CONDITIONED!

It wasn't until I was about 10 years old that we got our first window air-conditioning unit at the house. It was just strong enough to cool the den and kitchen, so we had to keep all the doors closed going into those two rooms to seal it off. The rest of the house was cooled by a powerful updraft attic fan, and you'd leave your bedroom window open and prop open your bedroom door, because if you didn't prop the door, the draft from the fan would slam it shut.

I guess it's OK for Joe to admit to noticing the heat on his blog, but that's where I draw the line. As far as any spoken complaint, no Southerner living this far north should ever admit to being bothered by hot weather.

Sweat in silence. Act like you don't even notice it, and when some Yankee starts mewling about the heat, just laugh it off. "Hot? You call this 'hot'? Why, down home . . ."

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