Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hotter than the hinges of

You know what was funny, was that after a few days when the temperature exceeded 100° around here, a day when it was "only" 88° felt downright comfortable. Everything is relative, even your relatives, and even the relative humidity, which is often cited as the reason why it is so uncomfortable here in Baltimore in the summer. "Oh, down in Phoenix, sure it gets hot in July, but it's a DRY heat!" is the quote often uttered by loyal Phoenicians and others who have been out in the sun for a little too long. Listen, I was putting a noodle-bake in the Whirlpool the other day, and it was 350° in the oven when I reached in for the pan. Hot, yes, but it was a DRY 350°. and that made all the difference.

There must be a lot of either Mad Dogs or Englishmen in my part of town anymore, because you see them every day, roasting and jogging and sweating and biking. You know the old song, don't you?

Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.
The toughest Burmese bandit can never understand it.
In Rangoon the heat of noon is just what the natives shun.
They put their scotch or rye down, and lie down.
In the jungle town where the sun beats down,
to the rage of man or beast,
The English garb of the English sahib merely gets a bit 
    more creased.
In Bangkok, at twelve o'clock, they foam at the mouth 
    and run,
But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

Noel Coward was brave enough to write that in 1932, and to this day, pip-pip and cheerio, Englishmen are out there wearing wool suits, drinking hot tea, and exercising at noon as the mercury threatens to shoot right out of the top of the old thermo-meter. Listen, you go out there and jog or bike or whatever you're into, and you're in good shape, and that's its own reward. But for crying out loud, could you break a smile, and not just a sweat, once in a while? Does it have to be so serious, the look of pain and anguish as you thunder along in the special pants and hat and shorts and sneaks? Could you maybe download some funny tracks on your iPod and chuckle a little as you whittle off the avoirdupois? I have several songs in mind that might cause you to give us the old piano keyboard grin as you slide by.

What do you have to lose, but a couple more pounds and that way-too-serious countenance? "Stewie's Banjo Song" from Family Guy always kills. "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" from Allan Sherman: spot on. Cheech and Chong's "Earache My Eye" has been known to cause laughter during dirges.  Actually, to see someone bust up laffin' while joggin' would probably make lots of others crack up too, ya know? 

I just found out that "relative humidity" means you don't want to have your family over when it gets sticky outside.  Also, "provolone" means "in favor of volone."  It's true!

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