Tips on how to avoid dying of heatstroke
We’re into the dog days of summer. That means that the mercury’s rising, if you’re using an old thermometer filled with poisonous liquid metal. If you have such an instrument, please don’t throw it in the ocean because tunas eat them, and the next thing you know Jeremy Piven has mercury poisoning. Then if a bear eats Jeremy Piven, our whole ecosystem is irreparably damaged. My point is it’s hot out.
To find out how hot, turn on the weather report. If today’s icon is a smiling sun, the weather will be nice. If it’s a smiling sun wearing sunglasses, even better. If it’s a grimacing, sweating sun with a gun to its head, that’s not good. You need some tips to stay cool, and I’m going to provide them:
• One thing you could do is go to a nice, air-conditioned movie theater and buy a ticket for Magic Mike. Even though that movie’s been out for a while, and you’ve already seen it five times, Mom. If your car is air-conditioned, get in and drive 100 miles in whichever direction whimsy takes you. (Except the one facing the unrelenting sun.)
• The temperature becomes cooler as altitude increases, so now might be the time to become a weather scientist and live at the top of Mount Washington. Don’t know how to fix a pitot-static anemometer or get to Mount Washington? Just climb a ladder. But remember to do so slowly, because altitude sickness is the scourge of us sea-level peoples.
• Wet ice or dry ice? One of them you’re not supposed to eat, but I can’t seem to keep them straight. It’s like “psychiatrist” versus “psychologist”—I can never remember to whom I’m supposed to confess my recurring nightmare in which Guy Fieri chases me across the moon while screaming, “Punky Brewster, don’t play hide-and-seek near that old refrigerator!”
• Temperature isn’t the only factor in the heat equation. You also need to pay attention to the dew point. The dew point is the point at which it’s so hot that you want to drink Mountain Dew. My personal Dew Point is 150 degrees. Celsius.
• Try to avoid working outdoors. If you can, work at an indoor job where there’s plenty of soothing shade, like down at the steel foundry. If you work in a greenhouse, be aware that even though you’re technically indoors, you’ll still be very warm due to the greenhouse effect. Also, 95 percent of scientists agree that if you want to curb the greenhouse effect, you should paint your house some other color.
• Buy a fan. Turn it to its highest setting. Then get really close to the fan and say, “I am a robot. Humans must die. I am Slaughterbot 2000, and I hate humans.” You’ll sound like a homicidal robot! That’ll be funny and help take your mind off the fact that you’re still really hot because fans don’t do anything.
• Take a swim. The Charles River is a cool and refreshing place to wash away your cares. You won’t have to worry about icky fish swimming past and touching your leg because nothing lives in there. Trivia fact: The Charles River is named after River Phoenix. Each fall, his death is commemorated by teams of strong ladies rowing narrow boats to and fro while being yelled at through a megaphone. I learned that on a Duck Boat tour.
• Want to be really cool? Go to this new bar, Schmurr. You need to know the password, which they broadcast over CB radio each evening. There’s no sign, but you just knock on this one particular manhole cover in the Diddlydinks District. Don’t know where that is? I thought you were cool.
• OK, you know what’s really cool? Saying no to drugs. Psych! Here, try this stuff. Awesome, huh? Psych again! I’m an undercover cop. You’re under arrest.
• If the temperature has dropped, and you’re still too hot, you’re just wearing too many clothes. Stop by Centerfolds, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Nobody in there is breaking a sweat, even though the thermostat is turned up so high that you wouldn’t want to wear sweatpants even if they’d let you.
• Get a big wrench and open a fire hydrant. Then run away, because you’ve just done something that I’m pretty sure is illegal. Have a neat summer!