OK, by a show of hands, how many of you miss the 90s?
Naw, not that decade that brought us the Macarena, Monica Lewinsky, fluorescent sweatsuits and crack.
Im talking about temperatures in the 90s, so hot that it makes you go to the movies who cares what picture you see? just for the air conditioning. Or temperatures so stifling that they force you to slow your roll as soon as you hit the door because it feels as though youre slogging through melted, unsweetened Jello.
Now, thats summertime in Carolina. And boy, do I miss it.
Ever hear the story of a guy who groggily awoke from a coma but thought he was dead? His first words were If this is heaven, where are all of the strip clubs?
Thats the same attitude some of us have about this weather: If this is summer, where are the temperatures in the 90s and, as a result, all of the whining weathermen and weatherwomen?
It cant really be summer because when you turn on your TV sets, there are no meteorologists lamenting the heat as though heat in N.C. in July and August is a surprising development. Also, by this time, weve each usually been asked 1,723 times Hot enough for ya?
Its hard to ask that when its 82 degrees in August. So far this summer, weve had only 18 days where the mercury rose to 90 or above.
Terry Click, a National Weather Service employee, said that by this time last year, wed had 43 such gloriously steamy days.
With no whining weatherpeople, we, in turn, are deprived of the ability to whine about them. During a typically hot North Carolina summer, I receive at least 10 calls or letters from readers asking, in essence, Whats up with these meteorologists? Dont they realize its supposed to be hot in North Carolina in August?
Youre darned right is supposed to be hot. So where is the heat?
Thereve been no feature stories on people who make and sell ice working overtime, of children frolicking through open water hydrants or air conditioners exploding due to overuse. The most overused word used to describe our weather this summer of our discontent has been mild. That is the milquetoastiest of words, and one you only want to hear when describing cheese, cigars or February.
Someone described our wet-blanket summer as like being in Seattle without the Space Needle. Not that the unseasonably cool and wet temperatures arent without some small benefit. It has rained so much that even my usually mercenary yard guy took pity on me and promised me two free cuts once when it rained at least twice before hed even packed up his mower.
Our hearts and prayers should go out to the people beset by flooding and droughts and triple-digit temperatures although Id trade places with them for a couple of weeks.
Years ago on the Ed Sullivan Show, a Borscht Belt comedian was telling how his mother would try to guilt him into eating an unpalatable meal.
Starving children in Africa or China would love to have that food, shed said.
Well, give it to em, Ma, he responded.
Thats my response to the people who say we shouldnt complain about the seemingly perpetually rainy, un-Carolinalike weather weve had because people in drought-stricken areas would love to have it.
Well, give it em. Besides, before long well have a legitimate gripe when it turns cold.
Saunders: 919-836-2811 or firstname.lastname@example.org