Time for a Change of Scenery

picture of boats in Port Clyde's harbor

Scenic Port Clyde on the Muscongus Bay in Maine

Kristen’s previous entry got me to thinking about our present heatwave here in terms of “sweating like a pig,” which brings a question to my mind: do pigs sweat actually? Ensuing research provides that hogs don’t sweat at all, or very little if any. They wallow in mud to keep cool.

One explanation for the common cliche comes from the process of smelting pig iron from iron ore. Once the molten steel was poured into a mold, the smelter would determine the metal was safe to move without accidental spillage and injury due to scalding, whenever the “pig sweats.”

As the steel cooled, the surrounding air reached the dew point, causing droplets of moisture to form on the mold’s surface, thus giving way to the overused expression. Makes sense to me.

We’ve been experiencing a blistering, hot summer so far in the Philadelphia area this year too. A friend says she believes I love to have something to nag about always, and the weather has given me a generous wealth of bitching fodder for years.

This past wintertime was at the other extreme with polar vortexes creating devastatingly cold temperatures and much snow, causing a lot of serious complaining on my part while wishing for warmer weather.

Well, I got it certainly again this year—but worse seemingly—thinking now of the cooler temps instead.

OK, I’m never happy with the weather usually except for during the spring and fall, when maybe too much rain would be something to crab about.

With that said, the following is an addendum to Kristen’s hilarious, top-fourteen list of things to describe, “How Hot is It?” I hope you’ll enjoy these just the same.

It’s been so hot that:

The birds have to use pot holders to pull worms out of the ground.

The potatoes cook themselves underground. To have lunch, just pull one out and add butter, salt and pepper.

Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hard-boiled eggs.

The cows are giving evaporated milk.

The trees are whistling for the dogs.

You can say 113 degrees without fainting. (That’s a slight exaggeration. The heat index today was 105 degrees Fahrenheit/40.5 Celsius.)

Hot chili cools one’s mouth off better than ice cream. The latter melts instantly and completely when taken outside.

Instant tea brews simultaneously under the sun by dropping a teabag into a glass of ice water.

A seat belt makes a pretty good branding iron.

When the temperature drops below 95F/35C, one feels a bit chilly.

You discover that in July, it takes only two fingers to drive your car.

A sunburn is possible through a car’s window.

The best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.

Hot water comes out of both taps.

It’s noon in July; kids are on summer vacation, and not one person is out in the streets.

Your hand is burnt by opening the car door.

A sweat breaks out the instant one steps outside, even at 7:30 a.m.

No one would dream of putting vinyl upholstery in a car or not having air-conditioning.

The biggest bicycle-wreck fear is, “What if I get knocked out, end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?”

Asphalt has a liquid state.

Two summers ago, we had a tremendous heatwave in these parts, comparable to of-what’s-to-come for this region within the next couple of weeks, going straight into August. Back then, it was so hot I couldn’t stand it any longer and had to get out of town.

Puffin in Muscongus Bay

Puffin in Muscongus Bay

Heading up to Muscongus Bay in Maine, I intended to photograph some puffins and to chill out literally. My trip up turned out to be just my luck. That neck of the woods was as hot as it was in Philly.

Upon my arrival, after having driven for a couple of hours through a monsoon with intense thunder and lightning, I found the asphalt in the parking lot of my motel was not only in a liquid state, but was steaming as well due to the extremely high humidity.

The temps stayed in the 90s for the three days I was up there.

At least I cooled off somewhat by taking a trip out on the bay in a chartered boat and was able to see these unique, tub-toy-like, little birds, as seen in the photo above. Maybe a trip back to that area is due again, for my feelings of dread for the upcoming inferno is slowly sinking in; but this time, I’ll check the online weather reports before embarking on the long journey up that way. More on my impending travels in the next update.

Until then, stay cool and hydrated in the northern hemisphere, whereby for those down under the equator, I hope you stay nice and toasty for the remainder of your winter.

About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at Lulu.com.
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10 Responses to Time for a Change of Scenery

  1. Shirley Ann says:

    One certain thing about the British Summer is that no matter how hot it gets for a couple of days the rain is always guaranteed to show up- mainly at sporting events or here in my neck of the woods it’s when the Southport flower show is on . It’s our favourite topic of conversation “too hot” “too cold” ” too wet” . We just aren’t cut out for extremes.

  2. Nor either am I, Shirley Ann. Hope you’re enjoying your summer.

  3. Shirley Ann says:

    I always do my best come rain or shine

  4. You’re quite a gal, Shirley Ann.

  5. Shirley Ann says:

    Ha ! Never a dull moment . Tonight I’m off to see a Punk Poet . John Cooper Clarke . I’m expecting a real good laugh . I’ll be sending you feedback no doubt real soon

    • While you are most likely laughing in the theatre, I’m very contemplative, deep in the woods of Sarobia, sitting on a log, looking at the fauna and flora. Isn’t the Internet technology grand to allow me to comment from here?

  6. Shirley Ann says:

    It is indeed . Enjoy all the sunshine and positive energy . After a great night out I’m now staying up late watching Tom Hanks Castaway – poor Wilson

  7. You didn’t say if you had hearty laughs at your show.

  8. Shirley Ann says:

    It was a brilliant evening – great range of poems by John Cooper Clarke and Mike Garry . Lots of laughs and some quite moving stuff too – bought both their books so have got through both of them plus My favourite comedian Peter Kay’s book too over the weekend . Also caught up on some music listened to the Scripts album No sound without silence .

  9. Busy lady you are. Glad it was a fun night.

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