M. SCOTT MORRIS: Summer doesn’t get any higher

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

Years ago, I read a series of books by the late, great Tom Deitz.
If you recognize the name, we should get together, form a club and call ourselves “The Werepossums” or, if you prefer, “The Mad Davy Sullivans.”
But I digress.
In “Windmaster’s Bane” and his other books about fairy folk in Ireland who visit north Georgia, Deitz describes the setting of each chapter, as well as the time of year the action takes place.
He was the first to expose me to the term, “high summer,” and I loved it immediately. I assume he’s referring to the weather we’re experiencing now in our slice of Northeast Mississippi heaven.
Can summer get any higher than it’s been over the past few days?
Climate change scientists would say, “Yes. Just wait,” but who wants to listen to those guys and their data, anyway?
I don’t think Deitz was thinking of our idea of high summer when he wrote that phrase. His characters might get warm or sweaty during adventures, but no one passes out from their struggles beneath the unforgiving sun.
The author’s idea of summer should’ve been described as “mid-grade summer” or “what passes for high summer when fairy creatures are involved,” or he could’ve gone old-school with “summer.”
Setting his stories in Georgia is no excuse. The Weather Channel showed a man who passed out from heat exhaustion in Atlanta. Ouch, right?
At the Mighty Daily Journal, we have a new policy for high summer. We’re supposed to keep our cellphones handy whenever we leave air conditioning.
I usually take little walks throughout the day to get the legs moving, the blood pumping and, one hopes, the brain working. This year, sleet and snow have pounded against my felt hat, and the sun’s rays have beaten down on my nylon hat.
I don’t do much walking in the rain. On those days, I find myself getting up by habit and walking to the front door, only to realize I’ll need to find some other way to make the old brain work.
According to Yahoo! Answers, the human body is 55 to 78 percent water, depending on the person. About 60 percent of an adult male’s body tissue is water.
With the way I’ve been slamming water down, I’m tempted to say my percentage is back up to 78 percent, the level for a newborn baby. But there’s also been an inconvenient increase in bathroom visits.
While we’re on the subject, I’d like to give The Inventor of Water my deepest thanks and appreciation. It’s good stuff, and it’s my sincerest wish to be able to keep taking it for granted for many high summers to come, though that’s probably too much to ask.
I’d also like to extend an overdue salute to Thomas Franklin Deitz, who left this fine earth on April 27, 2009. He gave me high summer, and many great stories to read in the relative safety of my air-conditioned room.
M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal feature writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@journalinc.com.

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