In my dream, the squirrel is sitting on my chest, begging me to shoot him in the head with a little tiny pistol. He’s panting, obviously dehydrated and exhausted from spending hours in the miserable heat in search of nuts or whatever. I hesitate because I’ve always had a problem with assisted suicide from Kevorkian days. The squirrel realizes that I’m not sure what to do and decides to a brave little one. He shoots himself in the face, and I wake up screaming. Here are five things I’m just not going to do in 100-degree heat.
Give me a front porch swing, a cigar and a book of moderately difficult Sudoku puzzles during the autumn, and I’ll show you a man in heaven. The same scenario played out in 100-plus degree heat would result in a total mental and physical breakdown. Just the sweat alone would ruin the book, even if I had assembled a protective cover. Concentration in 100-plus degree temperatures is almost impossible. The mind wants to focus on images of ice and lemonade. Nope. Sudoku is definitely not happening. I’ll stick to word search. But honestly, if I can stand to do anything but cry, I’ll be surprised.
Any paperwork at all, for anything
I’m writing this nearly two days after my rent was due for my apartment. “The temperature hasn’t dropped far enough for me to feel comfortable writing a check,” is what I left on my landlord's voicemail. “Sorry,” I said. I’ll also not be depositing checks unless I can figure out how to work First Tennessee’s mobile check-cashing function, a task that thus far has proven impossible. I will continue working on my novel, which is tentatively titled “Shock Heat,” and which is about the creation of a shock collar for potentially adulteress women. I don’t expect it to get published, but every writer I’ve ever spoken with has said to just finish something regardless.
I have this amazing pair of broken-in selvedge jeans that I’ve been wearing consistently for almost two years. They make my ass look firm, as opposed to most pants, which make my ass look like a couple of wet, chemically altered fryer chickens. But as soon as the temperature climbs, my precious jeans will be thrown hard against a wall in disgust and replaced with, you guessed it, nothing at all. Because when temperatures are above 100 degrees, Sean Phipps does not go outside. He will stay at home, bottomless, in the air conditioning, watching hockey fight videos. And the answer is “Yes,” by the way, to those of you wondering.
Foster a cat
I wasn’t aware that my not having a cat was a problem until some friends suggested that it was. In their eyes, I’m the perfect candidate to be a “foster daddy” for some cats in need of some special attention. My friends felt that because I live by myself in a decently sized apartment and that I often show signs of loneliness that helping out some cats might do me some emotional favors. But not in 100-plus degree heat. I can’t even imagine having something literally on me while I slept. They would also probably meow all night long, which is something I doubt I could tolerate. And what if I fall in love with one of these creatures only to have it taken away? Nope.
I can’t stand it when people joke about something as serious as temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. There’s just something completely irresponsible about doing that. Phrases like “Hot enough for ye?” and “Stay cool out there!” drive me nuts. What do they think I’m not doing? Yes, it’s hot enough. And of course I’m doing my best to stay cool. The reality is that I want to just scream at everyone when it’s this hot. I don’t want to see smiles or wear jeans or temporarily own cats. Maybe the squirrel in my dream (his name was Todd ... I’ve been reading a lot of Achewood lately) had the right idea.