When we were in Columbia, Missouri last week, the temperature climbed over 100 degrees. It was hot — but it was like luxuriating in cool comfort compared to what I experienced in Houston Monday and Tuesday.
The August heat in Houston is like a fist that punches you in the gut and a hand that slaps your face the instant you walk outside. One moment you are sharp and dry in your crisp white shirt and suit; the next you are wet and wilted, with a wrinkled, sodden bit of cotton clinging tenaciously to your back and sweat rivulets beginning to crawl down your spine. The combination of baking heat and high humidity sucks the energy from you in a giant whoosh, and you begin hunting cravenly for the nearest air-conditioned oasis.
There’s a reason why most people move about underground in Houston during the summer and my hotel offered a complimentary shuttle to take guests on trips only a few blocks long. In Houston in August, the surface of the Earth is not meant for most melting mortals.
There may be hotter places than Houston in August — the middle of the Amazon rain forest, or perhaps the dense jungles of southeast Asia — but I don’t want to find them.