Thursday, July 14, 2005

Hot Hot Heat


current temperatures
Humidex: 33.2°C
Relative Humidity: 78.0%
Visibility: 8.1 km
Barometric Pressure: 101.36 kPa

Why are there so many popular songs about heat waves or summer heat? Surely these ditties were not penned in the real heat of the summer. The composer's fore arm would be stuck to the paper, their ink evaporated into the afternoon sun, their instruments helplessly and hopelessly out of tune, warped and bloated by the humidity. There is no activity suited to such heat as we've been having across the Golden Barbecue (née the Golden Horseshoe). Citizens gravitate to air conditioned places in hopes of forgetting that the grass outside resembles splintered potato chips (Hickory Sticks, remember Hickory Sticks), or that blooming flowers are drooping like steamed spinach.

The heat and it's ugly sister humidity are not so much choking, as bullying. The air sits on your chest and forces you to say "Uncle". Yet, submitting to the temperature provides nothing but more gasping. The summer is too cruel to even give an inch (ah, Cruel Cruel Summer, another pop rift composed, no doubt, in the cool confines of an airy pool house.)

I've given up the stink filled moving saunas, known as streetcars to ride my bike. Now, you may think it mad to ride your bike in not just skin stinging heat, but in throat tightening smog, but you'd be surprised that a minimal pedal rate results in the most euphoric breeze. Only when you stop at an intersection do you realise that there is no wind, and it was only by your own locomotion that the slight breath passing through your ears existed at all.

I used to wonder how people died from heat. Wouldn't you say to yourself, "I'm so hot I could die." and immediately stand up and head to the fridge, the bath, or where ever and get a drink of water or an ice pack to sit on? The truth is, you would probably doze off. Your body, believing that you've already died and, surprise, gone to Hell, would shut down and turn out the lights. Ironically, when it's this hot, I find you can never sleep, but never really be awake either. You become a phantom, a ghost emitting waving lines from your head, shuffling around wondering how it is you came to be here or how anything could ever live in such a place.

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