Tag Archives: humidity

Baby, It’s Hot Outside!

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My junior AP History teacher, Mr. Tommy Sublett, was the first aficionado of the late War of Northern Aggression I ever met in person and got to talk to at length. I never knew why he loved the Civil War so much because he was from Kentucky and those Kentuckians — bless their little bluegrass hearts — were citizens of a border state. Being a border state meant they, along with their three brethren states, had legal slavery but they were too chicken-livered (or prescient, if you think about it) to join the Confederacy in defending States’ Rights from the encroachment of the soulless Yankees.

Kentucky Colonel or no, “Sub” loved to teach us about the Civil War. We spent four weeks on everything from Jamestown to Fort Sumter and from the second week in September until February on the War of Southern Independence. Then Sub realized this was an AP class (we were his first) and we were going to have to take a big test the first week in May and he hadn’t covered a few important items from our nation’s history . . . like the entire 20th Century. Even though the War Between the States was important, most of us figured that test would have at least one or two questions on WWII and maybe even a question on the Soviet Union. So from February through the AP test, we covered a chapter in our book every two days. I made Fs on the tests, but I made a 5 on the US AP History Exam.

But I digress.

One of the things Sub taught us was the Confederacy was pretty much doomed from the start because the Yankees outnumbered us (I’m Southern born and bred. My ancestors did some stupid stuff, but you have to love them, so it’s US for me) about 5:1 or so, give or take. The war only lasted as long as it did because it took Honest Abe four years to find two men — Gens. Grant and Sherman — brutal enough to exploit the overwhelming numerical superiority. Once Grant started sending the Yankee equivalent of “human wave” attacks at our ragged boys in grey, the gig was up. All the wonderful officers and doughty farm boys in the world ain’t gonna save you when you’ve got a gun that fires 3 shots a minute at most and ten men come at you across 30 seconds of ground. The public — North and South — called those two “butchers” and accused them of slaughtering their own men, but in the end it worked and — as The Band and  Joan Baez put it so eloquently — they “drove ol’ Dixie down.”

But once again, I digress.

Even though Sub taught us about the disparity in numbers, he never addressed how we ended up with such a skewed ratio of troops. I mean, our women are far prettier than Yankee women and if you don’t believe it watch The Real Housewives of Atlanta back to back with The Real Housewives of New Jersey then tell me those “Jersey girls” can match our Belles! So if our genetic stock was (and is) so vastly superior to our erstwhile foes, WHY didn’t we have at least equal numbers of people?

Then, a few days ago, in the midst of a third consecutive day with 100 degree heat with a 115 degree “real feel”, the answer came to me — the Southern climate doomed our boys.

Imagine wearing THIS in JULY, in ALABAMA . . . OUTSIDE . . . ALL DAY!

We have two seasons in the South — January and summer. Short, mild winters coupled with ungodly hot and humid summers put our side at a disadvantage because we only had about a 2 or 3 month window each year when it was cool enough to . . . well, . . . PROCREATE.

We’re all adults here, do I have to draw you a picture?

Our Yankee foes, on the other hand, had the exact OPPOSITE issue. Minnesota? They have two seasons as well: July and winter. It’s that way all across the North. It gets COLD up there and cold is conducive to baby-making. Couple of quilts and some body heat and you end up warm, toasty, and “expectant.” Then just about the time THAT little bundle of joy gets weaned, it’s sub-zero again and the cycle starts all over.

Imagine this scenario, and before we get started, just so you know, this is the regular old yeoman farmers. This ain’t the big, high-falutin’ 100 Slave Working Coastal PLANTATION. This is a dirt poor Georgia / Mississippi, no-slave-owning upland family growing jes’ enuff cot’n ta’ git by. Mama, Daddy, a mess of kids that pick cotton too, and MAYBE — if last year’s cotton crop was awesome — a hired hand to help get the cotton in before the rain ruined it. Anyway, woman’s been up since before dawn cooking breakfast and packing food to take to the fields. She worked all day in the sun, heat, and humidity wearing more clothes than most women today wear in the dead of winter. Got home about two hours before everybody else to get supper ready and do some laundry. Fed everybody, cleaned up, gathered eggs and fed the chickens then washed her face and collapsed into bed .

In comes hubby. He’s worked all day as well. He hasn’t washed his face and hands. This was NOT a hygienic age in America. He hasn’t washed ANYTHING since last Saturday. So he slides into the straw ticking bed in his union suit and eases his hand over to just gently touch his loving wife and offer her a proposition:

“Hey, honey-bun, how’s about a little lovin’ tonight?”

Now, remember, it’s a July night when hot enough to make the Devil sigh with air thick as day old red-eye gravy. She’s sweating buckets in her coolest cotton nightgown and trying to get to sleep so she can get up in a few hours and do it all over again. She gently puts his hand back over on his side of the bed and offers him a counter-proposition:

“Hey, sugar bug, how about you keep that hand on your side til first frost and you’ll have two hands to pick cotton with tomorrow instead of one.” What’s more, not a jury in the county would convict her.

So the case is cracked. We lost the war because we were low on men and we were low on men because none of those good Southern folks had A/C in their bedrooms and it was just TOO HOT this time of year for all that foolishness.

Love y’all and keep those feet cool, dry and clean!

On The Reality of Free Will

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I believe in God and Jesus. I was raised a Southern Christian. Fire Baptized Pentecostal in fact, and that’s about as Southern and as Christian as you can get. Folks who threw eggs and rotten tomatoes at our church said we were just one step removed from snake-handlers. Shame they didn’t come on Saturday nights; they might have changed their minds about that last one.

Anyway, if you’re still reading and haven’t turned me off, understand that I hold no animosity towards anyone’s religion. More people have been killed in the name of whatever someone calls “god” or “God” than every other reason combined. I just had to let you know where I stand theologically or this particular post wouldn’t make sense. If you are an atheist, read on and chuckle if you must. I won’t take offense. I’m just betting you’re wrong and you’re betting I’m wrong. No big deal. Certainly not worth shooting people over. Jesus wouldn’t like that.

So, one of the biggest debates in Christendom for the last two millenia is the idea of Free Will versus Presdestination. Now I could go all theology school on you, but I won’t. Here’s the skinny: some Christians believe man has free will to do pretty much as he pleases while others believe God has everything mapped out. After what I’ve seen this week, I feel completely certain man has free will. Here’s why.

God takes care of the animals. It says so in the Bible in several places. I could cite book, chapter, and verse, but we’d be here all night so I’m asking you to just go with me on this one. God looks after the animals. Now, God programmed the animals with what we call “animal instincts.” It’s what makes meat eaters hunt veggie eaters and veggie eaters hunt salad bars and so on down the line. Now, that’s point one. God takes care of the animals and He’s programmed them to best act and do in order to further their own good health.

Here’s point two. I live in South Carolina. We have three seasons. here They are hot and a little humid, hot and ungodly humid, and January. This week has been the first good week of the “hot and ungodly humid” season. You could drink the air. Flying fish jump out of the water and just keep flying because they can breathe the so called “air” through their gills. If you have naturally curly hair, well, find a good therapist because a hairstylist isn’t going to do you a lick of good.

Now to put point one and point two together. If you drive by a cow pasture (field of grass ringed with “bob” wire and containing bovines for those from the city) on days like we’ve had lately, all the cows will be in the pasture pond if one is available. If no pond is to be had, they will be in the woods at the edges of the field in the shade. If the pasture is completely open, they will, at least, be sedately sitting or lying in the lush grass. That is because God did not give cows Free Will. He gave cows good sense. When it is 90 degrees, with over 80% humidity and not a breath of air stirring, cows understand that their place is resting somewhere as cool as possible. Remember? No free will because God takes care of the cows (and horses, chickens, etc.).

Now let us turn to humans and their obvious possession of Free Will. Humans have developed something called (cue the angelic choir) “air conditioning”. This modern day manna factory takes “hot and ungodly humid” air and cools and dries it so that we who were made in His image can make it through a day at the office or a night in the bed without profaning His Name because it is “TOO *&*&%&% HOT TO SLEEP.” God gave man the knowledge to create such wonders as “air conditioning” and I, as a fat man, am very thankful He did.

HOWEVER, humans do have Free Will. I know this because this week, Budge and I passed not one, not two, but about six people JOGGING always at around 12 NOON in NINETY ONE DEGREE HEAT. The heat index was WAY over 100 and there they were in their clinging, sweat soaked tank tops over Spandex jogging shorts that should NEVER have been made in THAT size, just jogging along. They pretty much looked like microwaved death on a stick. That is how I know that humans have Free Will. Cows and horses, because of the instinct that God endowed them with, know to find somewhere cooler and out of the sun to rest in the heat of the day. Dogs instinctively know to root under the porch and lie spreadeagled on the dirt to get cool. Cats? Well, cats just make their pet humans turn down the (cue angelic choir) “air conditioning.”

But not humans. God gave our race the freedom of choice to go out and die of a heatstroke in the name of “getting healthy” any old time we want. He decreed that if we wished to “lay out in the sun” and roast ourselves like a cheap hot dog on the rotisserie at the local Stop and Steal, then so be it. But as for this pasty white Pillsbury Dough Boy fat man, I’ll be forever grateful for the knowledge Our Father gave us of (cue angelic choir) “AIR CONDITIONING.”

Can I get an amen?

Stay cool and wash your feet in COLD WATER if y’all are down here.

Love y’all. 🙂