Just One Minute
Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Thursday, July 04, 2002




We Are Having a Heat Wave

Roughly twenty years ago, a younger and more energetic MinuteMan was also sweltering in a New York City heat wave. Late on a Friday afternoon, the office conversation turned to beating the heat. Besides myself, the chat included "The Doctor" and "Gourd", two young studs on the way up, and Hugh, a very nice old fellow who did a solid job but was really just enjoying our youthful antics while waiting for his pension. Hugh was a mild mannered guy who wouldn't say boo to a mouse and was always embarassed to make work for the secretaries by asking them to corrrect typos. We would hide his white-out and say "Hugh, there's Olivia, give her a chance, she loves to do this for you". Which was true. Now remember, all of this was back when banks actually offered pensions, and let people stick around to collect them. Sounds strange now, but as I mentioned, it was just after the glaciers receded and the planet was warming.

We are swapping ideas for beating the heat. I opine that sitting inside an air-conditoned office building all day is a killer - if you never face the heat, you never adapt to it. A run in Central Park each evening has helped me acclimatize. I am running marathons at the time, so I know whereof I speak. The Doctor and Gourd, however, are even more serious about their running then I am, and they have dropped their lunchtime run in deference to the heat. They don't like perspiring for the next three hours at their desks, and we are not trying to change their minds.

So we turn to Hugh. "Hugh, you still run a bit. Do you think jogging helps you adjust to the heat?"

"Well, gee, I guess it does. But I've never been much bothered by the heat ever since I served in the Pacific in World War Two with a flamethrower unit."

OK. Back to work. Hope you enjoyed the holiday. If there are any veterans in the audience, thank you. And thank you, Hugh.

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