All I know is that it’s hot. Sultry. Damp. Heavy. Suffocating. Debilitating. Stifling. Disgusting. I could choke to death trying to mow the grass.
“What happened to him?”
“Not sure. We found him this way. Looks like some dog slobbered all over his face, laid on top of him, and smothered him to death.”
This is August in the South.
I watched the thermometer hit 100 this past weekend. I was so hot, this was the most exciting thing I felt like doing.
Apparently, the dog days of summer has nothing to do with real dogs. Though I’ve seen a few that possibly went mad with heat stroke. It’s defined by an astronomical event that occurs every year in late July. When the star Sirius rises in the morning before the sun comes up, the dog days begin. Sirius is said to be the brightest star in the constellation, Big Dog. That’s what I call it. And that’s where Dog Days of Summer comes from.
Here’s the oddity. Because of the physics of the universe and how this old earth wobbles around in it, the dog days will not always occur in the summer.
That’s right. I read stuff that I don’t always understand, nor can I explain. But the really smart guys who know about these things are saying that in about another 13,000 years we’ll have the dog days of winter. I can’t wait.
Here’s what happens in late summer. Tempers flare. Little League games get out of hand because parents are overcome by the heat. It takes longer for a churn to freeze the ice cream. I get impatient. Small ponds dry up and the tadpoles suffocate. Future frogs are lost forever. AC units explode due to the fact that they are running 24/7 with no relief. HVAC service techs run off to Cancun because they’re tired of being targeted by angry hot people.
The world basically goes nuts. We know better, but in August we start thinking about November. It’s a hopeless excursion of the mind, but the heat and the humidity drive a man to think of despondent things that cannot change.
One guy says, “Boy, if it wasn’t for the humidity, this would be a nice day.”
That’s like saying, “If it wasn’t for this gross mold, these left over pork chops would be good for supper.”
We know it’s dumb, because it is humid. Humid enough to drown in mid-air. I walked out of the house last night to water a few plants. Almost 9:00. Opened the kitchen door and was attacked by a dampness that can only be described as ghastly. The cat was more jumpy than normal. The flower pot was sucking for air like a guppy. It felt wetter than a dirty dish rag, and I’m watering flowers.
I won’t make it to the Dog Days of Winter. I hate to imagine what that means if the human race survives that long. Until then, hold on. November is coming. Only 75 days left. Forgive me for even planting the idea in your head. The heat made me do it.