Live your best heat-dome life

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It’s August in Texas, which, at the best of times, is like living inside the molten contents of one of those fried mozzarella sticks that I always steal from my youngest daughter’s order at the Sonic Drive In. This year, though, the summer heat is throwing a good old fashioned hissy fit.

Environmental experts have suggested that the heat dome oozing across the nation is caused by a combination of cattle flatulence, exhaust from my fully-paid-for 2013 SUV with its overexerted check engine light, and something called El Niño, which comes from a Spanish word meaning, “Don’t forget to put on extra deodorant.”

Whatever the cause, I’ve compiled a few tips on what to avoid in order to survive these drawer-drenching temperatures.

First, and speaking of deodorant, don’t skimp on it. However much you’ve been wearing, it’s not enough. Go ahead and slather it on like you’re icing a cake with buttercream frosting. (If only it tasted like that.) You’ll thank me later, and so will your spouse, kids, colleagues and the people sitting near you at church. (They don’t call it a “pew” for nothing.)

Next, when taking your doglets out to soil your lawn (which probably resembles Shredded Wheat cereal by now), slip on your wife’s nearby wedge-style sandals to avoid standing barefoot on any hard, sunlit surface. Without protection, the exposed skin on the bottom of your feet will look like a microwaved cheese pizza by the time the doglets are finished sniffing each other and circling their drop zone at least fifteen times. Besides, the sandals will accentuate your calves.

You should also banish any notions about going outdoors shirtless, heaving your dad-bod into a lounge chair and absorbing some natural vitamin D while enjoying your secret Taylor Swift playlist on Spotify. Otherwise, you’ll risk falling asleep to the sweetly mournful refrains of “All Too Well” and waking up an hour later with your scorched torso looking like you just performed an epic belly-buster off the high dive.

Finally, it’s best not to allow your eldest and most expensive daughter to move out of her current college apartment, located in East-Central Texas where the heat and humidity go to party. Since your daughter is majoring in the Hoarding Arts with a minor in Thrift Store Studies, you’ll have to make several exhausting trips from her apartment to the least expensive, un-air-conditioned storage unit you can find. The facility was clearly built with someone’s scratch-off lottery winnings and is located in the parched outer reaches of civilization – with security provided by the local livestock.

While there, in addition to some hypersonic sweating, you’ll maintain a steady level of paranoia that the door of the storage unit will fall shut with you inside, and you’ll be baked into a slightly hairy cobbler.

I hope these tips help you enjoy (or at least endure) the rest of what seems like a never-ending summer of temperatures that make you long for the good old days of highs in the lower 90’s and an only once-daily change of underwear. Until a cool front arrives, pray for rain, and keep some emergency deodorant on standby.

Copyright 2023 Jase Graves distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Graves is an award-winning humor columnist from East Texas. His columns have been featured in Texas Escapes magazine, The Shreveport Times, The Longview News Journal, and The Kilgore News Herald. Contact Graves at [email protected].

Jase Graves is an award-winning humor columnist from East Texas. His columns have been featured in Texas Escapes magazine, The Shreveport Times, The Longview News Journal, and The Kilgore News Herald. He is also a frequent contributor to The Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop, which named him Writer of the Month for June of 2017, and he has served as a judge in the Erma Bombeck/Anna Lefler Humorist in Residence program.

The National Society of Newspaper Columnists says, "Whether he's breaking down the common types of yard sale denizens ('The Lingerer . . .she was here so long, I'll probably be able to claim her on my next tax return') or sharing cautionary tales of mattress shopping, Jason flays suburban life with a sharp wit. Shopping for his daughter's swimsuits, he wonders if he has 'strayed into the first aid section and . . .was looking at a new line of colorful ACE bandages.'"

Other than writing, his hobbies include berating the television when the Texas A&M Aggie football team is playing and sleeping as late as possible.