Right now, across America, idyllic small towns just like ours are also experiencing a heat wave of epic proportions. They’re probably cowering inside, worrying about pedestrian things like heatstroke and sunburn. Here in Iowa City, we’re a little hardier. We attend outdoor blues concerts when the heat index is 105 and let our children decorate the scalding hot asphalt streets with sidewalk chalk. We know what’s important in life.
I write these big words from the safety of my kitchen, into which I have dragged my desk so I can work in front of the propped-open freezer door, my feet fully submerged in a drawer of frozen peas. Not very environmentally friendly, I know. If this summer, the first of my so-called “real life” in the post-collegiate “real world” and one of the hottest on record, has taught me anything, it’s that sometimes you can’t handle it and you fold like a complimentary umbrella, and that’s OK. We’re all human.
However, most of us around here want to be the kind of humans that behave responsibly toward our fellow creatures, and to that end, here are some tips:
• Nothing’s more refreshing than a cold beer on a hot day, a fact with which many Iowa City residents are clearly familiar. When you’re finished with your strawberry-lemonade Natural Ice, crush the can, on your head if you really must, and take it to the nearest recycling bin. Do not throw the can into my hydrangeas, Kevin.
• Do not walk to the office in those patent-leather flats that you found for 20 bucks at Revival and just had to have. All of the skin will come off of your feet. Instead, ride your bike to work. Feel the breeze in your hair and the trees in the Amazon rainforest breathing a sigh of relief.
• This time of year, all I really want is a nice, two-hour long, cold shower. To reduce water consumption, just fill the bathtub instead. For extra points, don’t drain the tub afterwards; it sounds gross, but the second you get out, you’ll want to get right back in, because you’re already sticky. Look, you have a sweat mustache! Gross.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 269.