Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Hot/Any cool place will do

I like this editorial from today's Star Tribune.
Living in Minnesota's Theater of Seasons is by turns enjoyable, exhilarating and character-building, like one of those 10-hour stage plays you read about occasionally. The intermissions, however, could use improvement.

Take this little trough between heat waves, this relative respite amid visits to the blast furnace. It's as restorative as a lukewarm sip from the lobby drinking fountain, and holds all the promise of a snowball you know where.

The hinges of hell cannot be a great deal hotter than the average piece of iron patio furniture was over the weekend. To do a little yard work was akin to stumbling into the blast of a jetliner throttling toward takeoff.

Come Sunday, forecasters predicted a street-sweeping, air-cleansing thunderstorm -- but no. Over much of the area, the skies delivered a tepid little shower that only seemed to raise the discomfort index, like water scattered on sauna stones.

And so those with air conditioning went back to enjoying the great indoors. Those without began to wonder exactly what the advent of heatstroke feels like, and also whether it might be time to abandon the fiction that Minnesotans only need the AC for a week or so every summer. Sleeping in the basement gets old quite quickly.

After the chilly, damp drizzle that was last summer, this year's version seemed to have potential. Now the city lakes are as warm as dishwater ready for the drain, and citizens are flocking to bad movies or whatever discount stores are open late, pretending to be interested.

Go ahead, stiffen your upper lip and run through the platitudes about how we'll be missing these days come January. We will not. Winter's bitterest cold spell can be endured by putting on more clothes and drinking tea, but summer pushes us up against the legal limits to disrobing.

If this heat doesn't break soon, the jails are going to overflow with public nudists, refusing bail in order to spend a few short days in air-conditioned cells.

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