I know that talking about the weather is about as banal as can be imagined, but I feel like when (a) it hits 106 not taking into consideration the heat index–just 106 degrees straight up no chaser; and, (b) your second-favorite cable television channel is The Weather Channel (second only to PBS, except during pledge telethon time when TWC steps up to #1), then you get a pass. This is sort of what your entire life up to this point has been leading up to. Complaining about the heat. And, luckily, you have air conditioning and live in a region where the electric supply well out-paces the demand, so you can complain about the heat from the comfort of your over-AC-ed office, in which you have to employ a space heater and wear a mohair sweater to keep off the chills.
The heat slowed my brain synapses down enough that I decided it would be a good time to visit my parents, who have recently restored a historic home somewhere in the middle of Mississippi. I have been there twice, and I still have no idea where it is, except to say that it is west of Alabama and near some train tracks. Upon learning that I was going to be visiting during The Hottest Days Ever, I called my mother and told her the following:
“So I see that it’s going to be in the hundreds this weekend. I think the weekend will best be spent in a kiddie pool, drinking beer.”
My mother took this dream and made it a reality. In the 24 hours before my Mississippi landfall, I received a flurry of phone calls regaling me with tales of crappy Wal-Marts and kiddie pool-procurement attempts. Eventually she spoke to her contractor regarding where to purchase the best kiddie pool (because, really, doesn’t this fall under his home improvement purview?), and I arrived to find an 8 foot pool that features an online instruction video inexplicably set to techno music, the likes of which I have not heard since visiting an Italian Discoteca in Firenze circa 1997.
The beer part of the plan was even more manicured to perfection. Apparently the middle of Mississippi doesn’t sell “good” beer (though does have excellent deals on 6-packs of Coors Banquet tallboys), so I was instructed to go to my local liquor store, where a 3-person team awaited me in matching polos and a veritable luggage cart of beer & wine that my mother had selected and paid for ahead of time, before informing the team of my pick-up ETA.
So that pretty much sums up how I survived the great heat weekend: sitting in a large kiddie pool, drinking fancy beer, and trying to listen to this amazing piece of journalism about The Worst Haircut Ever over and over without dropping my i-device in the water. Every once in a while I took a break to go for a bike ride and ring my bell at Korean ladies on their way to church; or to drive down to the Gulf and walk for miles in obnoxiously tepid water that never got above my knees and was infested with hermit crabs; or to sit on a screened porch and gossip about the neighbors with the mailman and comment on how it is “quite warm today.”