The daytime temperature in Las Vegas these days is topping out at around 100 degrees. That’s ludicrously hot, even by mad dogs and Englishmen standards. So, how to lure the crowds staggering from one casino to another to stop at an outdoor cafe for an aperitif? The entrepreneurial proprietors at some spots offer a refreshing mist, the better to cool your fevered brow and stimulate your thirst.
How is that working, you ask? Well, no one was sitting at this outdoor cabaret, even though the misters were firing at full throttle. It turns out that, after the initial cooling sensation, the misters just leave you feeling a bit soggy — and it still is 100 degrees outside.
Today the outdoor temperature in Columbus hit the triple digits. According to the outside thermometer in my car, we got as high as 101 degrees, Fahrenheit.
I was feeling kind of sorry for myself and the rest of the overcooked residents of Ohio’s capital city until I talked to some folks in St. Louis and learned that, there, it was supposed to hit 106 degrees today and 109 degrees tomorrow. 109 degrees! It sounds like part of a recipe, the setting on a sextant, or a section of the instructions on how to locate a distant galaxy in the evening sky, rather than part of the daily weather report.
I normally don’t really mind hot weather, but when the mercury hits 100 or more the nature of the heat seems to assume an almost physical dimension. When I stepped out of my car at a gas station this afternoon, the wall of heat hit me like a fist. When I drove home tonight at about 8:45, with the sun hanging low on the horizon, it was still 95 degrees. I can’t imagine trying to sleep tonight in a room that isn’t air-conditioned — I don’t care how many fans might be running.