The other day, I complained to a friend about the sparse rainfall, low humidity, and intense heat, which had turned my once lush and beautiful yard, into a bleak and desolate landscape of dried grass, wilted flowers, an algae-covered pond, drifting sand, and rolling tumbleweeds. Well, maybe not those last two, but it was pretty dry. In response, he said,
“What’s this with heat? Just six months ago, you were whining to me about how cold it was. You said you were miserable, and couldn’t wait for summer.”
“He’s right,” I thought to myself. I do hate cold weather. I guess the question is, which one do I hate more? That’s a tough one. Do I dislike dressing in five layers of clothing, shivering uncontrollably, shooing boisterous penguins off my pond, and fighting off ravenous polar bears with an ice scraper; or do I hate the thought of sweating profusely, removing drifting sand from my driveway, and getting trampled by nasty camels? I asked my wife for help deciding, since she knows how much I hate both cold and hot weather. She said,
“What would be worse; dying from exposure to freezing temperatures, or expiring from excessive heat?”
That’s an easy answer – heat. I heard hypothermia is a relatively painless and easy death. You’re very cold at first, but soon you become drowsy, curl up in a ball, and drift slowly and peacefully off to sleep. You know you’re not going to die from dehydration. You’re walking through six feet of snow, for Heaven’s sake! If you get thirsty, all you have to do is open your mouth. It also helps that you turn into a giant popsicle. When rescuers find you, they easily load you onto a sled, bring you back, and thaw you out. You may be dead, but you still look pretty good for the viewing.
I believe, meeting your maker under an unforgiving sun, in a vast and inhospitable desert, wouldn’t be very pleasant. Dehydration would begin taking its toll, and then you’d start having hallucinations of expensive bottled water, and the frozen foods section of your local supermarket. Soon, buzzards would begin circling, as you wandered aimlessly among towering cactus plants, poisonous scorpions, and deadly rattlesnakes. By late afternoon, your Banana Boat sunscreen would be used up, and you’d be dealing with the beginning of a nasty sunburn. If someone finds you within a few days, you resemble a giant raisin. If you’re not found for months, all that’s left is – bleached bones!
Did you ever see pictures of the bleached bones of longhorn cattle that died amid scorching desert heat? You’ll see white skulls bleached by the sun, with the distinctive horns protruding from shifting sands as tumble weeds meander by. It’s not a pretty sight. At you’re funeral, you’ll peacefully recline in your coffin, wearing your only black suit, which is now ten sizes too big. As mourners solemnly pass, to pay their last respects, you might hear these words,
“He looks just like he did in life. Maybe, even a little better. Yes, but he’s a little thin, and so white. He was either an incredible, dieting success story on the new and improved Weight Watchers meal plan, or someone threw him in a washing machine, and added bleach.”
The more I think about it, I realize, I hate hot weather more than cold. A few days ago, I saw a picture of our former President. It was obviously taken a few years ago, during a very hot day. He looked uncomfortably hot in a dark suit, as he wiped sweat from his brow with a handkerchief. In the picture, he seemed to be glancing towards a cloudless sky, and possibly thinking,
“Man, I hate this heat. I keep telling people about global warming, but they’re not listening.”
You know what’s starting to really scare me? I can live with the possibility of the earth warming to uncomfortable and stifling temperatures. What I can’t accept, is that the President of the United States; the leader of the most powerful country in the world, is sweating his butt off. Wasn’t he constantly surrounded by dozens of aides, and secret service personnel? Are you telling me that not one of them had a battery-operated fan?
If I were the President of the United States of America, I would travel in an air-conditioned enclosure like the Pope Mobile. The inside of the White House would be so cold, it would resemble a hockey rink, and the congressional budget committee would be complaining about the enormous electric bills. If I needed to move from the White House to a limo, or a waiting helicopter, I would have people with generator powered air conditioners strapped to their backs, following me, until I was inside. I might even move the White House to northern Maine. It’s pretty disturbing, if you think about it. If our President is sweating, what chance does someone like me have? I’m already halfway to becoming nothing more than – bleached bones!