Published on September 25th, 2019 | by Randy Weeks0
The View from the Balcony: Sweltering, Sizzling September
Why in the world would we expect September to be more temperate than August? Maybe since Labor Day passes early in the month and after Labor Day the fashion Nazis say we can’t wear white but we can wear a winter white sweater? Perhaps because summer vacations are over and schools are back in session? Whatever the reason, the folly happens every year.
Folks show more frustration over the September heat than in July or August. Maybe it’s dehydration of the will. I admit that by the time September rolls around I’m sick and tired of the heat, too. Heck, I’m sick and tired of it when August gets here!
As a six-year-old I contracted chicken pox while on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in August. On the way back home to Madison we spent the night with relatives in Wiggins. It was one of the hottest nights of the year and they had no air conditioning. If you’ve ever had chicken pox then you know it itches like all get out, but you’re forbidden to scratch. Telling a six-year-old with chicken pox not to scratch is like telling John Currence not to open another restaurant. It ain’t gonna happen. I itched, therefore I scratched, but I got no relief. I lay awake and cried much of the night. So, I have Posttraumatic Chicken Pox on a Hot August Night Disorder.
Growing up my dad took me dove hunting. The first season of dove hunting usually started on the first Saturday of September. More than once I saw my dad nearly faint from heat exhaustion in the dove field. So, I also feared becoming fatherless because of the September sizzles.
Seems to me that if you live in the Deep South long enough you out to know that cool weather typically doesn’t show up in Mississippi until about the second week of October. I know that because one of my sisters’ birthday is on October 11. The State Fair was always going on then. It was during that time that our first honest to goodness cold snap came around just about every year. That hasn’t changed much, if at all. And if climate change is real—and I believe it is—the college students of today may live to see October become as sweltering as September.
But I am more than thankful for the respite from the scorching sun that can be had on The Balcony during September. In June and July The Balcony takes a direct hit from Old Sol before, during, and after happy hour. There’s no escape unless you use a parasol like the one I bought for my good friend, Leon, a very inciteful man, a few years ago. Leon tells me he still has it, but he won’t bring it out in public. I don’t know why. I told Leon that I thought it made him look quite fetching. Leon made an obscene gesture and said, “Fetch this, R.W.!” Testy fellow, that Leon. His main squeeze, No-Account Addie, stays on my prayer list.
From mid-August through September, because of the repositioning of the solar system, The Balcony provides shade for satiated refugees from the time the bar opens through the rest of the daylight hours. And even if there isn’t a breeze from Mother Nature, the two ceiling fans will stir the air a bit. Even when the heat index exceeds 100°, if you wear the right clothes and sit still long enough to acclimate, you can sip your favorite beverage and watch the sweaty world go by.
Last week Oxford’s tropical temps were the hot topic that Two Blondes On The Balcony, Farrin Hite and Celcie Uss, wanted to raise. My friends were kicked back in the shade, sippin’ on their juleps, whining about the heat. I’d finally had enough and told them it must be tough, given their ages, to live in a perpetual hot flash. Farrin Hite and Celcie Uss eyed each other and unceremoniously dumped what remained of their juleps, ice and all, in my lap.
I won’t recommend lap juleps as a regular way to chill, but when you’re melting faster than the Wicked Witch of the West, well, any port in a storm, as they say. Plus, for once I was the coolest man on The Balcony. That’s got to be worth something.
…and that’s the view from The Balcony.