Well, it's official: It is too hot to be funny. It is a proven scientific fact that no comedy is possible upwards of 102 degrees — findings, in fact, were just published in the June issue of JAMA (their annual beach issue! Look for the cover with Kate Upton!). And as the national hotness average is currently topping out at 135, except in Arizona, which is entirely on fire, we are giving up on writing a humor column this week and sticking to something considerably more temperature-appropriate.
Well, it's official: It is too hot to be funny. It is a proven scientific fact that no comedy is possible upwards of 102 degrees — findings, in fact, were just published in the June issue of JAMA (their annual beach issue! Look for the cover with Kate Upton!). And as the national hotness average is currently topping out at 135, except in Arizona, which is entirely on fire, we are giving up on writing a humor column this week and sticking to something considerably more temperature-appropriate. We are torn currently between writing about snow cones and the best way to smash them against the back of your neck for comfort, or the best way, should the need ever arise, to tame a walrus and ride it out of Arctic the tundra. I don't know about you guys, but I am very much enjoying thinking about the tundra right now. Mmmm. Tundra.
We are writing obnoxiously long sentences because there is nothing else to do when it gets like this, other than sit and sweat buckets all over your nice furniture and watch as smaller animals in your lawn — squirrels and gophers and such — burst into flame. (Note: This is a joke; the writer does not advocate watching squirrels burst into flame, although he is not much of a fan of squirrels in general, and honestly something less dramatic but equally squirrel-damaging would be OK with him frankly. The writer also wonders if there are heretofore unknown pro-squirrel lobbies in America who might have "squirrel bursting into flames" on their Google alerts and be preparing a very stern series of emails. If this is the case, I ask you to be courteous in your anger, and also what other kind of hits does that Google alert pick up? Asking for a friend.)
When it gets this hot there are a number of rites of passage people engage in — fill up the kiddie pool out back, watch like 40 episodes of "Deadliest Catch" in a row, cry deeply. But the most frequent for me this year has been the Car Temperature Facebook Photo, wherein a friend (or, as it's Facebook, more likely someone with whom I had passing acquaintance in 1997 and whose children's developmental milestones I have been surprisingly privy to) posts a picture of his/her dashboard thermometer with a disbelieving yelp attached. "Can you believe it!" "It's real!" "Next we'll take a look at the power window buttons!"
Now, I like Facebook and I like the heat and I'm very glad your car's basic functions work and I'm equally glad that you didn't post a photo of your toddler sitting on a toilet somewhere, because that remains a one-way ticket to West Unfriendoville. But let's just all go ahead and assume that it's hot everywhere, what with it being "July" and "summer" and "annual weather patterns being what they are" and everything. It's gonna be hot. And just as a heads-up, in the winter, the opposite will happen. IT IS THE CRAZIEST THING.
Also popular: the Child Slathered In An Amount Of Sunscreen That Could Very Likely Protect The Planet Venus From The Sun's Harmful Rays. This one I can only complain a small bit about, as I have been known to perform said slathering with my youngest, a nine-month-old who, to date, has the shape and color of a large marshmallow. The oldest is dark, olive-skinned like me, enough that when I look at him in the water I immediately default to dreams of watching him hoist trophies in surfing competitions, or a freshly speared shark in a, um, shark-spearing competition (probably in New Zealand). The youngest, by default, has Mom's skin, which is of a shade that, when you see it on the beach, makes you scream "PUT A SHIRT ON THAT CHILD IMMEDIATELY!" Which is funny in itself, as the only swim-shirt we have for him is hilariously small, and he's in the 125th percentile for Head Size, so the net effect is an adorable, off-white child on the beach being not well contained by his too-small swim shirt. We are a party at the beach this summer, let me tell you. I'll post some pics on Facebook.
Jeff Vrabel is too hot to handle and too cold to hold. He can be reached at http://jeffvrabel.com and followed at http://twitter.com/jeffvrabel.