Summer should always come with a warning label

August 2, 2011

Last week, with the temperatures soaring into the triple digits, most of us experienced the reversal of what is known as “cabin fever.” Yes, there is such a condition. Instead of sitting around trapped in your house and jingling coins in your pocket, you all sit around in your house eating boxes of Good and Plenty and saying such original things as, “Boy it’s hot,” and asking, “Is it hot enough for you?” and my personal favorite, “It’s so hot, you could fry an egg.”

In some places those sayings have been banned in the belief they lead to violent behavior or loss of the will to live. Summer should always come with a warning label. So, it was with grave concern that I did venture out to my car one day to run an errand. I quickly dashed from my house to my vehicle, veering left and right like I was dodging a bullet, all the while screaming, “hot, hot, hot, aah, ooh, hot, hot,” well, you can get the picture. It’s the kind of emotional response you hear outside of a proctologist’s examining room.

Anyway, at this point, I would recommend you ignore any hairline fractures or shin splints, so that you don’t lose focus of your original goal. You can deal with those later. Delirium sets in very quickly, frying all those brain cells that you thought you had left behind in the college library when you were researching a paper on nanophysics, which was due the previous month of the previous year.

Then I dove for the handle of my car door, forgetting the temperatures were hovering around something you would find on the planet Mars. I know there are some people who like the heat out there; I think all three of them live somewhere in Iowa though.

Now, I also forgot the temperature of metal when it heats up will rip the polish right off your nails. Not only that, but touching hot metal begs the question, who needs that extra skin anyway? It just sheds and flakes after a certain age. It’s better to have less weight on you when you become delirious.

Dehydration is another problem that is very dangerous. It’s a condition that left unchecked will form your brain into the consistency of a floor tile. It works like this - your body loses fluid. At some point it becomes impossible to catch up to replace it. In other words, that half a cup of water you’re sipping is a laughing matter to your DNA.

So I started the engine to the car and headed out, ever mindful of the temperature reading on the dashboard. I don’t know why, but my car always gives me these dire warnings. If I want to hear bad news, I just have to go out to my car and look at the blinking lights and exclamation points.

Now I’m driving with just the palms of my hands on the wheel because I left most of my skin back in the driveway. Like I said, who needs it?

My sunglasses are fogged up, my shirt is stuck to my back and my hair has extended itself out so far that you could hide a litter of Dalmatian pups in there. Any further breakdown in my appearance and I could have my own talk show.

Traffic moves along quickly, mostly because I am the only fool on the road. My car, sensing that I am uncomfortable, makes sure we never make a green light. Obviously, there is a conspiracy with the air-conditioning; perhaps I shouldn’t have left the vehicle outside so long, anyway the only thing working from the air unit is hot air, which never comes on in the winter until I have reached my destination and I am the temperature of a Popsicle.

At last I arrive and the only good thing before me is that there are plenty of parking spaces, which I notice might have something to do with the fact that the sign on the door of the business says, “Closed due to the heat.” Well, at least someone knows what they are doing.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.