I can’t say that I’m a big fan of the heat by any stretch of the imagination, and that might come as a surprise to some people. Growing up in Adelaide I’ve been exposed to some ridiculous heat waves in my time – and we’re talking serious heat waves, not two days above 40degreesC, but entire weeks, and in one memorable run, nearly twenty days above the 35degree mark (the accepted benchmark for a heatwave). In Melbourne they make a fuss when the mercury reaches the top level for a day, for example the news stations this morning are fixated on Melbourne’s 43degree and make virtually no mention that we’ve had that, with change, for the last four days. It’s hot. Tarzan couldn’t handle this kind of hot. The Predator would touch down and say, “Jesus, I think I might skip out to the Congo where it’s a bit cooler.” No sir, this heat? I do not like it.
Amazingly enough this isn’t the hottest I’ve seen. “Back in 1946 sonny,” – no, I won’t do that. Suffice to say I’ve seen some heat. Working at the Nullarbor we had a few days that were so taxing and hot that you physically could not sweat – it’d evaporate from your body before it could fully form. This might sound like a blessing, but I’m sure that there’s more than one medical type person out there thinking, “That’s not good.” What was worse, I guess, was that I was then expected to do physical work from 8am to 6pm – no time off and you only ever drank water if you passed out, or were about to. I’m not ashamed to admit this, but I actually electrocuted myself* solely so I could then spend a few days in hospital, after which I promptly checked myself out, gathered a few of my belongings and fled. I left a bit of stuff behind that week, but what you leave behind you don’t miss anyway. Or so Bono says. I miss some of the notebooks and I doubt Bono has ever had to resort to such desperate measures in order to avoid pounding fence posts into the ground by the side of a road with the stench of dead wildlife invading his nostrils.
I soon got tired of people who’d sit there and say, “Oh, I love summer. I love the warm weather. I hate the cold.” To those people I say, “Does your doctor know about these delusions? Is your current medication working?” How any sane person can sit there and say such a thing is beyond me. Give me a day where I’m thinking about pulling a jacket on and I’m happy. You hear people talking about the cool of the night, warmth of a breeze, cold winds – those are the phrases of romance. Not furnace like heat with northerly winds that burn layers of skin from a body and force obese men to walk about in striped boxer shorts**. Oh, and by the way, do note the word, ‘warmth’, not ‘scorching’. No-one ever writes, nor sings, about the gentle scorching breeze that singes hair off the head. You snuggle up with your baby in the cool weather, in the heat you beat them away with a rather large stick.
Living in Melbourne heat would affect me even more, but that’s because there was generally so little of it and the beaches are crap. Overall I preferred Melbourne’s schizophrenic weather patterns – the sun would be out and it’d be 6degreesC. I loved that. It’d be overcast and raining yet the temperature would be around 29degrees. Melbourne’s weather is a joke, created by a person too insane to perform in any DeSade play.
Brisbane’s weather is akin to the movie Salo. You hear a lot about it but you don’t really want, nor need, to see it, nor are you missing anything by not witnessing it first hand. I’m now firmly convinced that the humidity there drives the locals insane by penetrating their brains in such a way that it's not easily explained. After all, I can’t explain their driving behaviours any other way.
Heat does odd things to a person, but you never hear of anyone becoming super creative during a heat wave. Most people become so irrational they border on mental instability. They’ll slough their clothing and happily walk around naked*+ until they’re taken away for their own good. Some will merely run down the streets screaming, sans clothing, some will go to the extreme levels and do things so heinous that no writer of fiction could invent them+. Murder happens in the heat – I can’t think of anyone who’s killed people and claimed a defence of murder due to insanity after being affected by the cold. Cold snap, heat wave, take your pick.
I’m not a fan of the heat. I’d sit on the beach but I can’t stand the morons who populate the place. I’d go to the pool, but ditto. I’d like to sit at home, with the fans on and not much clothing, and just relax, but that’s not going to happen in a hurry. All I can do is be aware of it and not fall asleep, as I did last heat wave where I dropped off only to wake in agony and cramped as the air-conditioners had failed and I’d been sleeping for the past hour in 50degreeC heat. If not for my cat waking me (yes, my cat) God only knows how bad it’d have gotten. As it was I’d suffered heatstroke and found myself quite ill for the next few days. Only the application of constant showers, baths and fluid intakes brought me back to life, gradually, but it was no laughing matter. Still, I did better than another 50+ people who took the easy way out and simply died when it got too hot back in that memorable February.
So, to the those people who say, “I love this weather, “ I reply, “You, sir or madam, are anything but normal. You need help.” And the next person whom plays that bloody Billy Idol song will feel the full force of my venom.
Bring on the rain and cool I say.
*George Costanza never thought of that one, did he?
**Believe it or not, saw such a man wandering the streets yesterday, in the height of the heat.
*+Also not a joke. Last week I saw one man standing completely nude out the front of the hospital here discussing the day with the two police who were about to take him back for what’s affectionately known as ‘sectioning’.
+As evidenced by the guy who was also sectioned last week for masturbating on graves during the hottest part of the day. True story!