Gary Brown: Whining about weather

Gary Brown

The last few days we endured our first heat wave of the season. It came early this year. Usually we can coast through June, complaining only a day here and there about unseasonably cool temperatures. But late last week it suddenly was in the 90s. We had to start whining early.

“Wow, it’s a scorcher out there today. I like summer, but I’m not ready for SUMMER ...”

Whining is our first response to weather. We whine when it’s too hot. We whine when it’s too cold. When the weather rains on our picnic or parade, we whine. If we have to water plants when it’s too dry, we whine.

I believe there are maybe six or seven days late in September and early in October, and maybe one or two days in May, when the weather — temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind speed, cloud cover, barometric pressure, UV index and sunset time — is just right.

Remember to thank the Lord for these gifts if you are not on vacation in a place where you think the weather stinks.

Unseasonably hot

All whining aside, we all have to admit that it’s been a pretty hot June so far. And getting this hot this early presents a few problems that can’t be solved by just turning on the air-conditioning and drinking a lot of fluids.

First of all, it starts a great weather debate that can take hours and cost dozens of glasses of ice tea. During a heat wave, certain people cannot be satisfied with just whining about it being hot right now. They have to know whether it’s the hottest it’s ever been this early in the year.

And this prompts other people to actually remember when it was hotter, and hotter even earlier. “You think THIS is hot,” they start, “you should have been here during the summer of ’56. Now THAT was hot.” They seem very firm on this point. People who whine about the temperature for a half-century apparently start to take it pretty personally.

Well, you were here during the summer of ’56, but you were only 5 years old, so all you remember is running through the lawn sprinkler in your shorts.

You don’t remember it being that hot. You can’t put up much of an argument, because few of us carry weather records with us. All you can do is sit there with the rest of the whiners, nodding and talking about how you “can’t get enough of this tea. I think I’m dehydrated.”

Using up conversation

And that’s another problem that an early heat wave causes. It uses up our best lines. It’s only been a week and already I’ve told people most of what my parents taught me about high temperatures.

I’ve noted, “It’s not so much the heat, it’s the humidity.” I’ve observed, “It’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk.” I’ve whined about how “just walking to the mailbox in this heat wore me out. I can’t mow the yard in this ...” I’ve promised that “you’ll never hear me whining about it being cold in winter ever again.” I’ve even joked that “it’s so hot I saw a chicken laying hard-boiled eggs.”

How am I going to top that if we have a heat wave in August?

Reach Repository Living Section Editor Gary Brown at (330) 580-8303 or e-mail