The other day, I was out in the yard moving something around and some guy walking briskly down the street stopped and waved. I looked up from what I was doing, mopped my brow and commented about how hot it was. The guy took a big swig from his L.L. Bean water bottle and said what everyone seems to say in that particular situation.
“You know,” he said earnestly, “It’s not so much the heat, but the humidity.”
Well, buddy, I said to myself, you are an idiot. It’s hot. I am outside moving stuff around at 8 in the morning and it’s already feeling like one of those Southern Gothic movies where everyone is sweaty and wet and even the trees are begging for a glass of lemonade. I didn’t recognize this guy as one of the local television meteorologists, so I asked him what he did for a living.
“What does that have to do with anything?” he asked, taking another drink from his bottle.
I asked where he got his meteorology degree. He pointed his water bottle at me and told me he did not have a meteorological degree and he was in cost analysis at one of the big manufacturers in town. I don’t know a whole heck of a lot about cost analysis, but I will bet you dollars to donuts it doesn’t have anything to do with weather. If this guy was a weather expert — or even a scientist — I might have bought his theory. He didn’t even have to be a weather scientist, really, any run-of-the-mill sciencey guy would have sufficed. This was the guy to ask about analyzing costs of stuff, and since I wasn’t analyzing any costs, I really didn’t need his services. That water bottle would have come in handy, though. It was a little hot out that morning.
Here in the eastern part of the state, it gets kinda hot in the summer. It also gets humid. I’m no genius, but I have seen on the television weather where it’s gotten humid without being hot. I guess if it can be humid without being hot, than Mr. Cost Analysis’ theory just got the wind knocked out of it. 100 degrees is plain hot, with or without humidity. I once traveled out west where I was told by the locals that the heat was a dry heat and a lot different than the heat back east. 100 degrees is hot, dry or not. I don’t need humidity to tell me I am a little too warm. A hot bowl of soup and a hot loaf of bread are equally hot. One is wet and one is not. The temperature is still the same. I just don’t buy the heat and humidity argument that everyone brings up each summer.
My mother visited from Maryland a few summers ago. I advised her not to visit in August, but she claimed it was the only time she could get off. I suggested she visit in October, when the weather would be cooler. She insisted on coming in August. She has not been back. You can’t say I didn’t warn her.
Mr. Cost Analysis droned on about how it was the humidity and summers were different where he grew up in upstate New York and how global warming was making the humidity and heat worse and in 50 years we would have to get used to 100 degree temperatures all year round here in this part of the country and he hoped he wouldn’t be around to see it and blah blah blah…
I figured he if he was going to be around any longer, my yard work wouldn’t get done and the heat I would get from my wife would be worse than whatever the weather had to offer. I said my goodbye and wished him a good day and told him to stay hydrated and be careful in the heat.
“It’s really the humidity that gets you, you know.” he said with a smile.
He was still smiling when I threw his L.L. Bean water bottle down the street.
Baltimore native Joe Weaver is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.