What’ll you do to cool off?

Published 3:24 pm Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Remember a few months ago when we were in the midst of almost record cold weather and we dreamed of summer. Well folks, wake up and smell the perspiration — it’s here.

There is a children’s fable about a contest between the sun and the wind that came to mind as I sat sweating on my deck praying for even a hint of a breeze to blow by. It goes something like this.

There was a young man walking down the street wearing a heavy coat who caught the eye of the wind and the sun. The wind, being a bit cocky, challenged the sun to a contest to see which one could get the man to remove the coat.

Very calmly and with a smile, the sun accepted the challenge. The wind went first doing his best to blow the coat off, but instead the man wrapped it tighter around him in an effort to shield himself from the cold. Then the sun took his turn. He sent beams toward the man bathing him in warmth.

Well you know what happened — the man shed the coat in a hurry and the sun won.

I thought about that as I watched people shopping in this almost 100-degree heat. An interesting thing takes place when we get into a record-breaking heat wave; feeling uncomfortable about uncovering ourselves flies out the window.

Folks are doing whatever they can to keep it cool and that leads to some interesting looks.

Take a trip to the grocery store in the middle of the day and you are likely to see bare middles and barely covered bottoms.

I say this because I too become less concerned about how the body part looks in favor of keeping it comfortable. And, cool becomes even more of a challenge when you add an occasional hot flash into the mix.

Any thought about whether or not the shorts hide the cellulite is gone. The ripples on the legs are there, who cares when you can fry an egg on the pavement, and the plastic on the bottom of your flip-flops melts.

I think back with longing to the days when I ran topless through a sprinkler on a hot summer afternoon feeling the cold drops of water washing away the sweat. (Please note that this did not take place in recent history but more years ago than I care to mention here. My mother has pictures).

Those were also the days when the cooling system in our house was a big old attic fan — not air conditioning. No wonder I was outside running around half-naked in the sprinkler. So let’s just forget looking back and longing for the good old days.

I heard on the weather last night that Montgomery was one degree away from tying the record of 100 degrees set way back sometime, probably that year I was out in the sprinkler. It made it to 99 degrees so no record, but hey, there is another chance today.

Yep, it’s summer in South Alabama and will be probably until October. So what is there to do but keep the air conditioner running and remember winter will return.

Hey, here is a thought — get rain involved in that sun/wind contest and maybe experience some short-lived relief from this oppressive heat.

Yes indeed, if the rain challenged the sun and wind to see which one can get a grown woman to run around outside, perhaps indecently clad, I think we know the winner. So if and when the thunder rolls and the rain falls, please do not give my mother a camera. I don’t want pictures showing up on Facebook.