Can You Feel the Hotness?
Today’s Weather Forecast —
Hi Temp: 2 middle-fingers
Wind: a gentle flutter from a sacred mosquito’s wings
Heat Index: ripe for Predators
There’s nothing funny about this heat.
Somebody needs to tell that to Co-Worker Carol.
With everyone suffering quietly in their cubicles due to the building’s piss-poor A/C, Carol felt the need to inject one of her patented Midwestern mood-lifters into our miserable day.
“Well this humidity certainly opens the pores, doesn’t it?”
Had I walked over to Carol, picked up her beloved Beanie Babies one by one, ripped their heads off with my teeth and spilled bean bowels all over her desk, no one — NO ONE — would have stopped me.
Levity is just cause for strangulation when you’re trapped at a desk with the greenhouse effect taking place in your underwear.
Dear mercy — IT’S HOT!
This is the type of heat I thought I’d left behind when we moved from the south.
Florida had that moisty, sticky, peel yourself from vinyl swamp heat.
Texas had that arid, sizzling, armadillos exploding intense dry heat.
At some point, both those conditions conjoined and birthed a cranky heat-baby that’s ravaged the Midwest this summer.
There’s no escaping it.
A simple trip to my mailbox results in platter-sized pit stains.
Exercising outdoors? Fuuhhhhh…
If I were to attempt a jog down by the river, the only weight-loss I’d achieve would be from coyotes dining on my superheated E. coli-free carcass.
All activities need to occur within climate-controlled structures with water fountains.
And when you have kids, that ain’t cheap.
Bowling, video arcades, movies, casinos — those suckers make you pay.
So last weekend, when my daughters were antsy for something to do, I had to set my mind to plan a zero-to-low fee activity.
I had to push my creative brain to the limit. Get ultra-innovative.
I asked my wife.
She suggested the science museum in Aurora. Kids are free the last weekend of the month.
BOOM! I knew I’d come up with something.
So while Mommy stayed home for a little mental R&R, me and the girls piled in the truckster and cruised to get us some scientific stimulation.
Doris, my GPS and only other woman with whom I share a serious relationship, showed us the way.
Your destination is eight-hundred feet on the right.
Not wanting to lose out, I whipped the van into a public lot with a few open spaces.
“Dad, don’t you want to park closer to the museum,” asked one of my sweet, naive girls.
“It’s right up the street, honey. C’mon — the walk will do us good.”
We exited the vehicle.
Holy Hell! The temperature must’ve shot up fifteen degrees from when we left the house.
My forehead began to drizzle.
Diverting attention away from my meltage, I took on the role of jocular guide, pointing out the interesting architecture and sharing facts about the city’s history and Hispanic heritage.
Aurora, as you know, means angry fire.
The short walk seemed inordinately long due to street crossings forcing us to wait on a pedestrian signal. I was utterly amazed that for all its interesting architecture, the city was situated in a way that prevented the buildings from providing any shade whatsoever.
With the museum in sight, I decided to pick up the pace which, in hindsight, may have been an error.
Most of the moisture formerly inside my body had saturated my shirt and undergarments. What little liquid remained within was stewing my cerebral cortex.
My vision became wavy.
I suffered heat stroke once in south Texas.
I never thought I’d ever experience that again, especially in Illinois, but had we needed to trek even ten feet further, who knows.
We crossed the bridge and reached the front entrance to the museum.
Opening the large door sent a surge of outer warm air into the cool interior that pushed us through the vestibule with a whoooosh.
I rejoiced internally: We made it! Thank God, we made it!
“What should we do first?” asked one of the girls.
Checking the map directory, I found an answer.
“I have the perfect idea,” I said.
Just as I thought, the space exhibit was dark, quiet and at least ten degrees cooler than the rest of the museum.
It was there that I found a place to sit and regain memory of who I was.
When my energy began to return, I joined my daughters for an illuminating tour through the exhibit.
As tempting as it was to spit at the model of the sun, I restrained myself.
Besides, I still hadn’t formed enough saliva to pull it off.
With the exception of some brutal heat and lousy Daddy parking (yes, there were spaces right in front of the museum) our day was really enjoyable. The staff at SciTech in Aurora were awesome.
And the building had plenty of cool water fountains.