Saturday, July 24, 2010
Things Are Heating Up
It's hot. Well, of course you knew that if you've ever been to the South in June, July, or bless your heart...August. I try to remind myself, while my clothes are stuck to me and my hair is falling flat that people join gyms and pay perfectly good money for this treatment. It doesn't help. You can't blame us for talking slow and moving slow once you've had a proper dose of it. Oh, those Yankees think they can come down here and rush around trying to get everything done in a New York minute, leaving their manners at the Mason Dixon line. Then it hits them and they are filled with a sudden sweltering understanding that slows them, if not stops them in their frantic little tracks. They gain an understanding of sweet tea, mint julips, and why we brush over those harsh consonants and draaaag our owah vowe----ls. I think the heat is the reason we still say ma'am and sir and why our children address our adult friends as Mrs. and Mr. (insert first names) as opposed to using the ultra polite last names. The heat melts the stuffiness in all our relationships. We'll hug you even if we just met you, ask where you go to church, and offer you tomatoes from our gardens. This type of heat frays nerves and makes folks kind of cranky, so all our little efforts at kindness are are meant to take the edge off. One thing you may notice is that we don't like to expend a lot of energy trying to think of something new to talk about when the mercury rises and the humidity makes it feel like you need SCUBA gear to go to the mailbox. All you really need to know, conversation wise, this time of year are 3 sentences:
"It's gonna be a another scorcher" (all 'round favorite)
"Hot enough for ya?" (generally used by older men)
"Tryin' to beat the heat." (to be said while accomplishing any task before noon)
When you drive through any small town down here you'll see in the town square, generally in front of the courthouse, a statue of a Civil War soldier. I am not aware however, of any tribute to a personal hero of mine, Mr. Carrier who is credited with inventing what I consider to be the best invention of all time, air conditioning. Plainly a grievous oversight.