Okay. It’s officially enough. We’re on day 33 here in Dallas of temperatures above 100 degrees. And it’s time to stop the madness. That sizzle you’re hearing is me, frying gently in my own fat. Or maybe it’s the pancake-colored “vegetation” in my yard. Are yards supposed to be crunchy? I digress.
I know, I know: I’m a Texan. I’m supposed to be used to our seasons, which by the way here are called Just Had Summer, About to Have Summer, Summer, and Face of the Sun. But this one’s forging me, people. Last time I got cooked like this was the summer of 1998. Over 50 days with 100 degree weather. Hubs and I were childless, and living in a charming little Dallas honeymoon bungalow we couldn’t cool under 80 degrees inside. I literally tin-foiled over the windows. Hubs took to watering the roof with a sprinkler. I was so hot, I believed, because I WAS IN HELL.
That summer thinned my blood. Thought I could take anything after the experience. But with the addition of three surly children to entertain this record-breaking summer, the heat-related Angst-O-Meter is pegging out. What a great summer to choose to work at home. The mini-van has become some kind of crock pot in which you can fry bacon or sear flank steak. Or children tenders. The kids and I always look vaguely like we’ve been dipped in marinade when we emerge.
And here’s something fun to add to the mix: the air quality is so poor in Texas, we frequently have what the news cutely calls “ozone action days,” which, loosely translated, means “pollution-levels-can-actually-poison-you days.” The government around here is more interested in businesses making money than MY CHILDREN BREATHING, so few regulations regarding how much polluting corporations do. Hello, house arrest! And a vague feeling I’m starring in some low-rent version of Brazil. But again with the digression.
Texans, supposedly used to this heat, become even more surly and entitled as August sears its way through our collective conscious. Patience in traffic is at an all time low, and my county evidently will remain permanently under construction. Related: if you cut me off to run through a gas station parking lot to make a turn, I might have to drag you from your car and beat you. Oops. See what I mean about increased aggression with increased temperatures? Must stop the creeping madness.
Politics ain’t helping us lower any negative effects from this brutal summer either. The vitriol over the debt ceiling debate I believe contributed to my local Planned Parenthood being Molotov cocktailed this week, speaking of hotheads. We as a nation face losing a third of the stock market if these children in Washington refuse to share and care. And I do believe I feel a little hotter typing that.
But I’m here to say, as hard as it can be to do: CHILL OUT. If I can keep from child abuse or a aggravated assault charge this summer, you can too. The Earth is, indeed, still turning on its axis. Preseason football is on the horizon. This political free-for-all will be just another footnote in some child’s baby book under “Politics When You Were Born” shortly. Let’s all concentrate on keeping our heads up and our minds cool. We’re in this pressure cooker together, people. Make it so. Just Had Summer is almost here.