Jewish World Review Aug 3, 2012 / 15 Menachem-Av, 5772
50 ways to beat the heat
By Paul Greenberg
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's definitely time, way past time, to update this annual list of heat-beaters. Feel free to clip and save, mix and match, and add your own.
1. Delete all unwanted e-mails without opening them. Especially if they're from types who are always a bit hot under the collar anyway. If you must open any, under no circumstances reply. Soon you'll be on their heated level. I heard from a satanist the other day -- no, actually he said he was a pagan -- and, you guessed it, he was hot as hell.
2. Forget talk radio and 24/7 television news. Tune out National Progressive Radio and switch to the classical station. Vivaldi is a comfort, Dvorak about as stirring as you need,
3. Recall the lightest, most elegant, interesting dessert you ever had. Mine is zabaglione over half a perfect peach. Italians know what they're doing in matters of summer style, and hot summers bring out their genius for creating just the right dish.
4. To borrow a line from the late great Robert Benchley, get out of those sweaty clothes and into a dry martini.
5. Think on the pure, crystalline beauty of the Pythagorean Theorem.
6. Don't try to figure out the infield fly rule one more time; just settle back and watch the game. Linger over the replays in slow motion.
7. Avoid watching sit-coms, playing rock 'n' roll, listening to TV shout shows, worrying about the future or regretting the past. "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you." --Satchel Paige. Epictetus the Stoic might have said something like that, but not half so well.
8. Decorate with cool, green, leafy things, but not kudzu. Turn your back on it for a minute and it'll cover your house.
9. Take siestas; arrange to live in the early morning and after twilight.
10. Don't hurry back, or anywhere. "Nothing can be more useful to a man than a determination not to be hurried." --Henry David Thoreau. He may have been a
11. Park in the shade.
12. Key lime pie.
13. Wear a hat. With a broad brim.
14. Give the kids a nap. Take one yourself. Or watch an old Mister Rogers show with a small child; it'll soothe both of you.
15. Sit on the front porch. In a swing. Under a fan. Especially if it's glassed-in, air-conditioned, in the shade, and surrounded by cool greenery inside and out. If you must go out in the noonday sun -- like mad dogs and Englishmen -- stick a handkerchief in the back of your collar. Wear sunglasses. Breathe deeply.
16. Read last January's weather reports, with special attention to blizzards and ice storms. Contemplate
17. Take a thimble-sized cup of hot soup before supper to whet the appetite.
18. Switch from big band to chamber music, red to white wine, gin to tonic, cornbread to beaten biscuits, humor to wit. Sit back, breathe deeply, and erase from your mind all thoughts of
19. Go fishing. Early in the day. Without fancy lures, rod 'n' reel, and other impedimenta. Pack a picnic breakfast, choose an unfrequented spot off the beaten path, lie down, breathe deep, close your eyes and clear the mind. ("Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." --Thoreau again.)
20. Have a tall cold one. With a hot dog. At a minor league ballpark. Luxuriate in the nostalgia. See, hear and feel what baseball used to be like and, here in
21. Think tomatoes, the real kind. Like
22. Wear white linen and play Great Gatsby to beat the band. Hide your ties till winter.
23. If you get the urge to exercise, lie down at once. If you absolutely must, swim. In cool water. Never run, seldom walk, stroll if you must. Remember Paige's Law No. 2: "Step lightly; do not jar the inner harmonies."
24. See the movie "Dr. Zhivago." Stay to see snowy scenes twice. This time of year,
25. Sweet tea. If you must attend a political rally, make it one sponsored by the (Iced)
26. Contemplate the coming of the next ice age.
27. Read up on the culture of the Eskimeaux, Inuit and Aleuts.
28. Plan an expedition to the
29. Stock up on watercress and cucumbers.
30. Carry a bandanna. Maybe two. Mop your brow even when it doesn't need mopping.
31. Walk on the shady side of the street. Whoever designed those treeless parking lots around shopping malls should have to park in one. Every day. In August. Let the punishment fit the crime.
32. Sigh now and then over the follies of men. Do not judge lest you get all worked up. (Isn't that in Scripture somewhere?)
33. Read "Gorky Park" or some other detective story set in a cold climate. Check out
34. Send the kids to visit the grandparents.
35. Grandparents: Send 'em back after 24 hours, then take a week off by yourselves. You deserve it. You've already raised your kids.
36. Think what
37. Go for a walk at dawn, preferably without having to get up at an early hour.
38. Peaches. With vanilla ice cream.
39. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.
40. Don't fret. Why worry about things till you have to? You may never have to.
42. Wonder about the Laplanders.
43. Go ahead, try the waterslide.
44. Think on not having to put up the Christmas decorations, cook the turkey, or build a roaring fire.
45. Smile in the sure knowledge that the damper on your fireplace is closed.
46. Check out the contents of the fridge at home. At length.
47. Consult the atlas for the location of Novaya Zemlya and the
49. Be nice. Act pretty.
50. Take the columnists with an extra grain of salt. Maybe a carload.
(The original version of this column appeared in 1982. He recommends reading this year's update to the sound of ice cubes clinking in a tall glass of iced tea.)
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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.
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