Saturday, August 02, 2008

Hell on Earth

And now we Kansans have entered Summer Serious. How do I know this? Well, when I take my daily bike ride at 9 AM, I am now drenched in sweat after only a few blocks. When I return from same the rolling wave hardly slows for the rest of the day. I am cooked from the inside out. There are three parts to Kansas summers:

#1 Summer Serene: This segment, stretching from May 1-June 15, is really the cruelest of the summer sections because it is so beguiling. During this period some people actually like living in Kansas; strangers who pass through comment on what a wonderful place Kansas is--"so nice and green"--and what beautiful weather we get. Yes, the grass is still green during the early part of this period, there is still water in the creeks, fluffy clouds, birds, all the normal stuff one thinks of when they think of Oregon or heaven. But lo! Hell approacheth. . . .

#2 Summer Serious: June 16--July 31. If one has any business to do out-of-doors, they best wrap it up by noon for this period will burn you a new orifice should you tarry beyond that. Homeless people start frying their filched eggs on the pavement during this period; they start baking their caught pigeons without a fire too (they just stick the bird in a metal mail box for an hour and its cooked to a T). Grass is brown, flowers are a memory; road rage, normally confined to large urban areas of the East and West Coasts, now becomes all the rage in Kansas and the slightest insult on our city streets can get a malefactor killed dead, dead, dead by some mental whose brain has boiled to paste by the heat and meth. Wife- and husband-beatings shoot through the roof. The nights are noisy from gunfire.

#3 Summer Surrender: August 1-September 15. No one goes out after 10 AM or before 10 PM during this lovely period.
If one does not have an A/C, one dies. Simple. That's how we weed out our old folks, I suppose. Some seniors get their electricity "accidentally" cut for a day. Horrified relatives discover the ancient loved one the next day baked through and through like a roast turkey. Life expectancy of an animal or a kid left in a car in a Wal-Mart parking lot during the daylight hours of Summer Surrender is about 2 minutes, 34 seconds, give or take a second or two; and that's with the windows down. Life grinds to a halt here in Kansas as surely as if a blizzard and ten feet drifts had hit; in truth, homes are sealed about as effectively to keep the heat out during this period as they are sealed to keep the cold out in January. It is death, swift and sure, to bike, jog, walk, laugh, or blink, at any time during this period. Only poor mopes with no money remain in Kansas during this last phase of summer; all the rest wisely bail out for the mountains. Even the ten million illegals here pick this time to return home to the Mexican deserts for a visit where it is vastly cooler.

Hell . . . It's not the heat, it's the humidity.

Future Bike of the Day