If you can't beat the heat, join it

Posted on July 31, 1999

Boy it's hot outside. That's why I'm inside now. People keep talking about beating the heat. You've got to be kidding. You couldn't even beat the heat with a large frying pan. To avoid one silly cliché, I've decided to live by another — if you can't beat it, join it. Here's a short list of things to do to join the heat:

Start a fire — You can burn a lot faster, and burn a lot more for that matter. The folks at Woodstock 99 decided to light a few bonfires, loot shops and get really, really angry. Unfortunately, Willie Nelson escaped with few burns.

Listen to selective music — "Some Like it Hot" by Robert Palmer and "Feelin' Hot" by Buster Poindexter are my favorites. There are plenty of others that can make you feel miserable even longer. Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" could qualify, but see first entry in case.

Turn oven to bake, turn air conditioning off — Ever wondered what an inferno felt like? Or maybe just that last delicacy you had at Pizza King while it was cooking? This will do the trick.

Lie on pavement for a full day — Bring a towel, or you may be stuck there forever. Be sure to stay out of the road, in case a wandering marching band decides to start a parade. You can also try this on Astroturf.

Here's the disclaimer, if anyone has already turned their oven on and basted themselves — I really hope no one resorts to any of the following. I'm sure most of you can distinguish a silly column (this one), to say, perhaps a more serious one, such as one about bowling.

In all seriousness, the heat can be a problem, so be careful if you have to be outside for an extended period of time. Drink fluids, try not to wear too much clothing and stay inside if possible. Although being overheated can be physically strenuous, it is also partly mental. Thinking you are not engulfed in flames can actually work. Imagine it is Christmas time and you are about to go sledding. Last night, I had a cup of hot chocolate and watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." It was at least 60 degrees cooler afterward.

Back in the good ole days (last year), I worked constantly outside at an amusement park. It wasn't manual labor, but it was not uncommon to lose 5-10 pounds a day. But drinking water and not dwelling on the heat got me through the worst of it.

If it were up to me, I would make a national law saying everyone must go swimming at least five times a week. Times like this make an accelerated global warming look even better. Just think, we could all be walking around in three feet of water all the time. That could cause electrical wiring problems and general sogginess, but hey, things can't be perfect.

Stay cool, and if you have to go outside, take a deep breath and run for it. And if you're stuck to the pavement already, I'll be over soon with a shovel.