Go anywhere and strike up a conversation.
“How’s it going?”
“Just trying to stay cool.”
“Yeah, I’m sick and tired of the @#$%*&! heat.”
Yes, tempers are as combustible as a field of wheat stubble.
The scalding, skin-bubbling, blast furnace heat is the topic that breaks the ice, err, actually melts it and vaporizes it in a puff of steam.
Sure, we’ve been teased with a few drops of rain and my front yard is actually starting to have a few blades of greenish grass. But with an ongoing burn ban and a prohibition against fireworks, things remain pretty darn arid.
There are several experts and weather professionals who, with lots of diplomas on their walls and initials after their names, have some very technical explanations for this. They track the jet stream, satellite data, ocean currents and water buffaloes passing gas on the Serengeti. They follow short-term weather patterns, long-term weather patterns and the patterns on the ties worn by those high-paid weather personalities on the Weather Channel.
Their conclusion – it’s hot and dry. Thanks, guys. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor we are in, well in a drought.
We are all almost as tired of hearing this as we are of watching Michael Phelps doing the backstroke, hearing about who’s in or who’s out as a judge for American Idol or about toxic blue-green algae in Veteran’s Lake.
So, in lame homage to the late master of late night Johnny Carson, I humbly present the following.
It’s so hot, the armadillos or are heading BACK to the southwest.
It’s so hot, popcorn is popping in the fields.
It’s so hot, chickens are laying hard-boiled eggs.
It’s so hot, fire ants spontaneously combust.
It’s so hot, I might spontaneously combust. If you see a bicycle by the side of the road straddled by a pile of ashes, that’s exactly what happened.
It’s so hot, Great Bend City Council members’ minds have been fried to the point they aren’t thinking about the Convention Center. Sorry if I’ve reminded you. Have another glass of limeade and relax.
It’s so hot, even some diehard rednecks are contemplating illegal border crossings into Mexico to escape the heat.
It’s so hot, tribes of Bedouins have been spotted roaming the High Plains near Tribune. Rumor has it, they struck oil without fracking. I love that word.
It’s so hot, Jack Kilby, the likeness of him in the bronze statue in front of the courthouse, is sweating.
It’s so hot, Kilby is melting.
It’s so hot, I think I saw a glacier moving down Broadway. Wait, that might have been that slow-moving Buick.
It’s so hot, that the cracks in the dirt are wide and deep enough to swallow that Buick.
It’s so hot, that the cracks in the dirt are wide and deep enough that I’ve seen folks offering guided burro tours to the bottom (ala the Grand Canyon).
It’s so hot, hell is jealous.
It’s so hot, Satan is looking at petitioning the Board of Zoning Appeals seeking to get the granite-hard land west of town rezoned to residential so he can throw up spec homes and build a subdivision.
It’s so hot that, no matter how much hell’s chamber of commerce promotes the idea of the subdivision, it’s still a tough sell. The Devil’s demonic evil minions complain it’s TOO hot.
I’ll write and publish this column and, as it hits the streets today, it will probably start to rain, and keep raining. Oh well. Then I will have done my part.
In an unrelated topic, my wife and I move our youngest into the dorms at Kansas State University this Sunday. Thus begins the next big journey for him and for us.
Freedom and independence for all involved, but at a cost. And what a cost it is. My wife and I are now crosses between an ATM and a bank teller.
If anyone has an idea for making it rain hundred dollar bills, I’d love to hear it.
Dale Hogg is the managing editor of the Great Bend Tribune. He can be reached at email@example.com.