Beat the Heat

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Humans cherish our seasonal grievances. In the winter, we enthusiastically complain about the cold. In the spring, it’s the wet. In the fall, it’s the pumpkin spice. But in the summer, it’s the heat. Your Aunt Catherine may have said, “Its not the heat, it’s the humidity.” But as usual, she was wrong: it’s the heat.

So here we are, dead-end summer and guess what; it’s hot out there. And not just your normal summer- hot either. We’re talking exponential factor hot. Second degree burns from the car-door handle-hot. Your clothes all feel like greasy Saran Wrap-hot. Hershey bars are drinkable-hot. Sweating in places you weren’t aware you had places-hot. Record shatteringly hot.

As a matter of fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared July 2019 to be the hottest month recorded in the history of forever. Well, since 1880 anyway, when they started keeping records. Which back then was done with quill and parchment, so you know they were extra careful.

We’ll ignore the question of whether humans are responsible for heating up the globe like a test tube on a Bunsen burner with the gas spigot turned up full. YES! Along with other questions such as does the unceasing burning of fossil fuels bear any responsibility? INDEED! Or is the current administration colluding to accelerate the rise of the planet’s thermostat? YOU BET!

Rather, let’s focus on the practical aspects of surviving these thermal extremes. Local television coverage thoughtfully provides advice with their annual “How to Survive the Heat Wave” segments.

These typically involves a reporter frying an egg on the sidewalk or the hood of a car or the forehead of the resident wacky sports reporter. Then they haul in some dodgy looking expert who intones earthshakingly predictable advice while the perky anchor makes valiant efforts to remain alert; “Stay indoors. Don’t exert yourself. Wear light colored clothing. Drink plenty of liquids. Plan physical activities for early in the day. Call into work as absent due to the scorchiness.”

They might as well caution you to eat food, breathe air and walk upright. And because we here at Durstco care, here’s a couple of novel ideas on how to stay cool while the rest of the world swelters in the blistering.


– Take a trip to the southern part of South America, its winter there.

– At irregular intervals, stick your head in the refrigerator.

– Sign up for underwater spelunking lessons.

– Sleep as close to the beach as possible, but check the tides first.

– Ice cubes in your underwear. Scoff if you will, but it works.

– For as long as it takes, subsist entirely on ice cream.

– Hang out in the shady parts of town.

– Meditation. Think cool thoughts.

– Collect all your sweat and put it in a bowl. Won’t make you cooler, but will keep your mind off how hot it is.

– Eat frozen foods while still frozen.

– Sit in a sauna for ten minutes every hour. Then the mere balmy will seem refreshingly cool in comparison.

Book a room in a hotel with a pool. Crank the air down to glacial.

Drink plenty of water, frozen into cubes, completely surrounded by gin and tonic.

Two words: Champagne popsicles.

Copyright 2019, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin. For a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, “Durst Case Scenario,” please visit