Friday, July 8, 2011

Heat


By CHRIS MILLSPAUGH

I went outside this morning and sweat broke out on my upper lip. The Junior Mints in my upper pocket melted. I got into my car, started it up and drove with two fingers to work as the frozen dinner I took for lunch turned to heated mush. Steam rose on the hood of my vehicle as I stopped at the stoplight on Main Street and Sun Valley Road. Have I mentioned that it was hot? It was mid-morning and my climate control blower was emitting boiling air. The stoplight never changed, it just fell to the ground in surrender. Hot, I tell ya.

The gentleman in the landscaping truck next to me noticed my discontent and said, "Caliente es bueno." I smiled, wove my hand and eased on down the road. A pile of tourists huddled under the eaves of the Pioneer Saloon folding their Discover maps awaiting the local bus while they sipped fruit drinks and looked for exits of escape. One yelled, "Help me" as I floored it to the next light. I remembered how there used to be only one light on Main Street and if you ran it, nobody cared. I stopped at the red light and watched a black Lab in the back of the truck in front of me write out a living will.

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When the light changed to green, I continued down Main Street, avoiding the commuters turning onto the Warm Springs cutoff speeding up to 25 mph as two Ketchum Police units desperately tried to hold on to their radar guns. I slowed to 21 mph, lost control of the steering wheel and rolled into the curb at the Ketchum Cemetery. I took a moment reflecting on friends and family interred there, remembered winter, gripped the steering wheel with the aid of freshly chewed Nicorette gum and continued on with my commute.

Then, I thought again about winter replete with the shoveling of snow, and the layers of clothes and coats and sliding off the road into a ditch. There's nothing wrong with the heat. I love it! The Seattle Mariners are 43 and 43, playing .500 ball, the All Star game is next week and I'm not stuck in a snow bank.

Bring on the heat. I can take it, and nice talking to you.




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