Summer, with its beauty, is not without its thorns. Every 15 seconds during this long awaited favorite season of the year, when hit by hot, very hot weather, we are subjected to one of the most rhetorical, purposeless phrases of our language. As if the sting of salty sweat dripping from our brow into our eyes wasn't enough, we must also be asked "Hot enough for ya?"
Wiping at the shimmering drops on our foreheads with the front of our hands, for the 20th time in a day upon hearing this phrase that means "hot," we once again pull our lips into a Jim Halpert in the confessional forced smile and reply, "Sure is!"
What else can we say?
Not wanting to be labeled the neighborhood nut, we can't answer sarcastically, "If you're asking me, I like it about 40 degrees warmer," nor give them an Angela-esque, "No, as a matter of fact, it is not hot enough for me. Is it hot enough for you?" But how else do we answer? Rolling our eyes and smacking their question back to them with, "Really?* Hot enough for ya?* Is that the best you got?" isn't going to work. At least I can't - I live in a small town and news of who's-the-latest-crazy travels fast. (Lessons Learned File No. 47.)
How much less annoying these fry an egg on the sidewalk days would be if we didn't play the you don't like saying it and I don't like hearing it game of "Hot Enough For Ya?" All it takes is one person to take up the fight and say Enough! One person, one thought, one cry of, "No more!"
Let's take "Hot Enough For Ya" and make it history.
"It's 50 shades of red out here!"
"It's hotter than that metal slide at the park they put in during FDR's New Deal Act of 1939. Burns my kids' thighs off every year but no one in this town seems to want to get rid of it!" (Might as well make it serve your personal agenda.)
How about plain and simple: "Dang hot out today, isn't it?"
"You know that 100 degree heat index they're talking about? They're talking about in the shade. Stand in the sun and you'd better have that Dr. on speed dial because you've got guaranteed heat stroke, my friend. Guaranteed."
"It's so hot I'd even pay Starbucks the 5 bucks they want for one of their frappe mocha chino latte ice chiller frosties."
"It's so hot Chuck Norris is starting to sweat."
"Me? Hot? Not anymore since I started talking Celsius. 95 degrees F = 35 degrees C ahhhhh..."
"I'm about to sleep naked! Right here!"
"It's so hot it's affecting my thinking. Tom Cruise seems sane."
"Looks like it's another one of those days! Where everybody takes a picture of their dashboard thermometer and puts it on facebook!"
"If it weren't for the way this weather makes me look like I need hormone replacement therapy, I'd love it."
"The temperature today could shatter a thermometer. And that scares me. Do they still use mercury?" Worth a shot at invoking a lively conversation and maybe making a new friend. Delirium does funny things and people let their guard down.
"Had a dream last night that I was the sun."
-Decide that an Excessive Heat Advisory gives you the license to lose it and say this, ALL of this: "Hot summer streets and the pavement is burning, trying to smile but the air is heavy and dry. Too close for comfort and this heat has got right out of control. It's a cruel ... cruel ... cruel summer."
"It's so hot, I saw two trees fighting over a dog."
"Whew! Don't know about you but something about wearing white underwear just makes me feel cooler."
A fire starts with a single flare. The single flare of taking a match to the "Hot Enough For Ya?" automatic phrase of summer. I believe none of us really ever wants to say it in the first place, and now we can say what we really mean instead, which is, "I'd even get in line for a water baptism today."
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