It was hotter than _____ (fill in the blank)

Hazy sunset by Bruce Stambaugh
Hazy sunsets culminated the hot, humid days.

By Bruce Stambaugh

I have never written an interactive column or blog until now.

With the onslaught of the recent blast of extreme hot and humid weather that affected the country from The Great Plains states to the Outer Banks to Maine’s rocky coast, I heard and saw a lot of comments about the heat.

Some can’t and shouldn’t be repeated, much less printed. I took the prudent approach and attributed the more lewd orneriness to heat stroke.

Here are a few of the ones that can be shared. It was hotter than a firecracker on the Fourth of July. It was hotter than a pistol. It was hotter than two goats in a pepper patch. It was hotter than a cat on a tin roof. Not the most imaginative offerings I know.

Others focused on an end result retort about the oppressive heat. It’s so hot the chickens are laying hard-boiled eggs. It’s so hot I can fry eggs on the sidewalk. It’s so hot that the trees are creeping around looking for shade. These platitudes seem a little more comprehensible.

The interactive part of the post comes in here. Perhaps you have your own heat related ditty. If so, I invite you to complete the headline with your own personalized version or post it in the comments section.

With the lengthy duration of this very hot weather, there can be no doubt that summer has arrived in all its glory in Ohio and across the nation. The National Weather Service was proactive in advising the public about heat related conditions, and offered suggestions on how to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Both are serious illnesses with their own specific symptoms.

Hard work by Bruce Stambaugh
Outdoor work required laborers young and old to stay hydrated.

I felt for people who had to work outside. I was pleased to learn that many such workers were asked to begin work earlier in the coolness of the morning so they could finish up before the really extreme heat of the late afternoon. Some shops simply shut down for a day to save their workers from the oppressive conditions.

Those who had to labor out in the elements soldiered on, improvising ways to stay cool. Construction and landscape workers removed their T-shirts and wore colorful bandanas around their heads for protection from the sun and to soak up the sweat.

Popsicle days by Bruce Stambaugh
Taking frequent, cooling breaks is especially important on extremely warm and humid days.

Even though the National Weather Service warned the public with Heat Advisories and Excessive Heat Warnings, people still got sick. Unfortunately, several people nationwide died from difficulties brought on by the incredible heat. Most were elderly, who are the most susceptible to heat related health problems.

Taking the proper precautions can help avoid complications from being overheated. Keeping hydrated, taking needed breaks, and staying out of the direct sun as much as possible are the safest measures.

Horses in snow by Bruce Stambaugh
Last winter was an especially long and cold one for people and animals alike.

Besides the silly sayings, I didn’t really hear a lot of complaining about the heat. Perhaps the memories of the long, cold, wet winter and spring came to mind, and people just bit their lips and endured as best they could.

Much as I preferred not to be, I was out and about on the hottest days of the year. When I stepped from the refreshing and safe air conditioning into the outside elements, the heat overwhelmed me. It felt like I was walking into an oven. Getting back into the car after an hour’s meeting was no fun either.

I’m not complaining mind you. I’m just reporting. It was hotter than…?

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