It's getting hot out there, close to the time when cars become saunas and even sitting in the shade drains vital energy.
The outside air's going to get thick with H2O. The pavement will sear our feet. Cooking supper will become an extreme exercise, and the kitchen will hold onto the heat until the wee morning hours.
Yes, my friends, we're approaching another summer in the South.
I love it.
I'm not just saying that to be funny.
There's something about the Southern mixture of heat and humidity that tests a man. I imagine it tests a woman, too, but I didn't want to be presumptuous.
Consider the routine act of mowing the grass.
I pity the people who pay others to take over this important task. Many of them also pay for gym memberships when they could get all the exercise they need by pushing a mower on a sweltering Southern day.
Usually, I try to get the mowing done in the morning or late evening, but there are times when it's been raining for three weeks straight and you've got a 45-minute window during the hottest part of the day to get the job done before the next three weeks of rain start.
But you get the job done.
You lose gallons of fluid. You get a red neck because you usually forget sunblock. Pieces of grass and weeds cling to your skin.
But you get the job done.
And that long, cold shower that follows feels sooooo good.
Do you know what I'm mean?
Can I get a witness?
Or am I just crazy?
The last is possible because I also like the way the pavement sears my bare feet. In my case, that happens only at the beginning of the heat. By July, the soles of my feet have formed hard, black layers of protection.
We've got relatives out West, and it's always pleasant to visit. They've got what you call dry heat, and it's nothing like what we've got here.
Their heat waves are kind of cute, really.
“It got up to 105 degrees today,” the weatherman reports.
“I'd take 105 out here over 80 degrees back home any day,” I say.
Then everyone looks at me funny for talking to myself.
“Must be crazy from the heat,” I tell them, then go take a long, hot shower.
That's not true. I'd probably take a lukewarm shower.
And I wasn't completely honest when I said I love summer in South. That lawn-mowing stuff was a bunch of hooey; so was the part about the searing pavement.
What I meant to say was some of the best moments in my life have happened during Southern summers. The ever-present heat and humidity are a small price to pay for the privilege of living down here with all you fine people.
But that 105 degrees out West vs. 80 degrees back home part was true. I advise scheduling a trip for August.
M. Scott Morris is the Daily Journal entertainment writer. Contact him at 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org