"Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun." --Noel Coward
Gadzooks! It's 105 degrees in Hayward, WI?!? That's going to seriously stress the tundra!
Last night, I went to bed in Milwaukee, and I woke up in freakin' Beruit. It's wicked hot. And we even had fighter jets buzzing around since the Air Force Thunderbirds are in town for the Lakefront Air-Show --the lakefront where it was supposed to be cooler according to the "comforting" words of the local weather lady on the news this morning.
It didn't take much more than a walk down to the beach and across the sand, to stick a toe in the water and feel the hot breath of summer heaving down the back of my neck to realize that Miss Weatherlady is a damn, filthy liar.
"If it helps," she also said hopefully, "just remember that six months ago it was ten degrees."
I hate you weather lady. I hate you, and I hope a badger gnaws your leg off.
Anyway, after a couple of waffles, my morning angst had passed, and I was somewhat cheerful when The Allison called.
"Hey!" She said. "Let's grab a cooler and go check out the air show."
"What?" I said.
"The air show." She said. "C'mon? It'll be fun."
Honestly, the thought of mingling with thousands of sweaty, overheated, semi-sober Milwaukeeans seemed about as appealing as grinding Dorritos into my eyes with the palms of my hands.
"Hey!" I said hopefully. "I live by the lake and the airport, and the planes always fly over here, and I have air-conditioning and a refrigerator with beer and... and... air-conditioning."
"So, we can watch them from your yard?" She asked.
"Did I mention the air-conditioning?" I said, going for the hard-sell.
"Fine," she said, and I knew that tone. I'm familiar with it. I will pay.
She showed up in the afternoon, we tossed some beers and ice in a cooler, set out a couple of chairs in a reasonably shady spot, and proceeded to sit and wait for the occasional plane to buzz over. And we waited. And waited. And, as it approached dinner time, we'd only caught a few glimpses of a few of the Thunderbirds as they flew overhead. But, the few we saw were pretty neat and really noisy. Still, I knew I was going to pay. It was only a matter of time.
And then it happened.
It started innocently enough. We had a pleasant conversation all afternoon, and we were having a great time in spite of the blistering heat. But, she'd been waiting to strike, and when the conversation turned to dinner, she lept.
"You know what I'm craving?" She asked sweetly.
"Ice cream? Pizza? A peanut butter and jelly sandwich?" I asked hoping I wouldn't be required to pay for my insolence by slaving over a hot stove.
"Shish-ka-bobs," she said. "I've not had those in years."
It should be noted at this point that, either as a result of heat-stroke or just the sheer lunacy of such a craving, my brain took a short leave and I sat gaping like a clubbed trout for several minutes. There might have even been drool. It's hard to tell. The notion of standing before a blazing hot grill on a hundred degree day just seemed completely, barking mad to me.
However, as I sat there reduced to a primal stump of a man, my brain could only handle basic motor functions, and the only words I could grasp were fire, meat, and woman. But, considering how I screwed her out of the air-show, I figured that the least I can do would be to use my mastery of fire along with my inhuman endurance during brain-scalding summer conditions, and cook this girl some kebobs.
So, I ran to the store, came home, lit some charcoal, chopped, tossed, marinated, skewered and prepared myself for my barbecue in Beruit. I even bashed out a quick tzatziki sauce and threw some pitas on my blast furnace of a grill to make them all warm and soft and yummy. Dammit! Was I ever paying.
I think my suffering was worth it, though. After all, the air show's also going on tomorrow, and Allison really wants to go. And, according to the perky weather lady, it's supposed to be even hotter tomorrow, but supposedly "cooler near the lake." I'm sure there's a lesson to be learned in all this, but right now, my brain feels an awful lot like jerky.