Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Firing Up the Texas Oven

As this summer's first mega heat wave spreads towards the East Coast, consider this:

Today marked the 19th straight day of 100-degree-plus temperatures here in Dallas - Fort Worth, with no rain, and 100-degree days forecast through at least next Wednesday.

That's purt-near hot, folks.

So take it from me when I say that all it takes is putting things in perspective and knowing how to cope with the heat to endure it.

Here's a handy-dandy 10-point guide to help you out:

1. Our low temperatures here in north Texas have been in the 80's. Think about that when your high temperatures settle back to around 82 next week.

2. Even here in north central Texas, on the topographical threshold of true prairieland, hundreds of miles from the coast, it ain't no dry heat. The only people who say ours is a dry heat are folks from Miami, Florida.

3. Texans don't wear ten-gallon hats much anymore - they're called 10-gallon hats because that's how much sweat pours from your head while you're wearing one.

4. All those black luxury cars, trucks, and SUVs people like to buy because they have an air of luxury actually have air alright: suffocatingly hot air inside those heat magnets.

5. You've no doubt heard about how we grill eggs on car hoods, but that's just a myth. Not because car hoods don't get hot enough, but because it can spoil the paint job. We use sidewalks instead.

6. All those brown lawns you see? We call that color "summer green."

7. During the summers, the only things that freeze up are air conditioner condensers because they're running nonstop.

8. The irony about hand-washing your car is that when you're finished hosing off the soap, the car is practically dry, but you're dripping wet.

9. Having a swimming pool isn't as much a status symbol as owning a commercial-grade ice cube maker for when the pool water gets too hot (I know at least one family who has one for that purpose).

10. Umbrellas can be just as useful on a clear day as they are when its pouring rain.

For years, native Texans have wondered what will happen when the state's long-running population boom outstrips the land. Personally, I don't think there's much to worry about when it comes to overpopulating Texas. The state has its own built-in population control mechanism: summers.

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