Boy, this sure is some heatwave we’re having, huh? Not that it bothers me one bit, as you can tell by the fact that I’m dressed like James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, except this rebel does have a cause, and that’s to embarrass barelegged men with my thick denim dungarees.
Yeah, I grew up in the Deep South, so I’m pretty much immune to the heat. Why don’t I have a southern accent? Oh, sorry, I meant the deep south of New York State, as in Poughkeepsie. But it can get pretty balmy down there come July. Hence the expression, “Hotter than a dog in the Poughkeepsie sun.” No, I didn’t just make that up.
Why do I refuse to wear shorts, even as temperatures around the country reach record highs, resulting in unprecedented heatwaves? Because shorts are for basketball players and AC/DC guitarist Angus Young. Do I look like I’m seven feet tall or an Australian rock legend? No, I’m 5’4” and completely tone-deaf.
Could you imagine John Wayne defending the Alamo in a pair of floral-print Bermudas, or Clint Eastwood chasing down bad guys on the streets of San Francisco in a pair of jorts? Of course not, because real men cover the bottom half of their legs.
You think I’m worried about a little triple-digit heat with 90% humidity? Please, I hiked the Sonoran Desert in the middle of August in a pair of black bootcut Wranglers. And sure, by the end of the hike, smoke was emanating from my crotch and my thighs were so chafed that I could barely stand straight for a month. Still, I still refused to expose so much as an ankle, lest someone should mistake me for a Rockette or a young Jane Fonda.
No, actually, I don’t sweat at all. This liquid you see gushing down my face like Niagara Falls is just a salty discharge that helps regulate my body’s temperature. Oh, that’s what sweating is? Then yes, I sweat quite a lot. In fact, you could say that I have hyperhidrosis. My clothes are usually soaking wet at the end of the day.
Even so, I wouldn’t be caught dead in a pair of shorts even if global warming turned the Earth into an inhospitable inferno, which at this rate should be any day now.
Between you and me, would I love to feel the cool breeze against my severely sun-deprived shins? Of course. The gain in range of motion alone would be life-changing. Plus, my naturally muscular quads were practically made for 5" inseams. But who am I if not the guy who wears jeans in the summer? Just a father of three beautiful children and husband to an adoring wife of more than fifteen years? That’s not enough. Everyone needs a thing, and for me that thing is stubbornly refusing to dress according to the forecast and pretending that my legs don’t feel like two encased sausages slowly roasting inside one of those 7-Eleven rolling grills.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to dunk my face in that birdbath over there and then lie down under a tree for several hours. Not because I’m hot; it’s just something my body does from time to time to preserve energy. Oh, that’s called “passing out from heat exhaustion”? Then yes, I suppose you could say I’m having a heat stroke.