So True

Somebody at work this forwarded this to me and now I must share it with you. I'm off to The Whigs' show later tonight so that's all you're getting for now. If you'd like to read this directly off the Philadelphia Inquirer's website or want to email it to somebody, go here.

Read it here! It's hot outside!

By Tom Ferrick Jr.

Inquirer Columnist

I don't get this weather. It's crazy.

Have you noticed it keeps getting hotter and hotter?

It seems to happen this way every year, especially in July and August.

I can't understand it.

Here at the paper, we are trying to understand it, too.

We sent out a team of reporters yesterday, who fanned across the region.

When they came back, they reported: It is hot everywhere! Very hot!

The city editor said: You mean everywhere?!

They said: Yes, everywhere!

He said: This is front-page news!

And so it was done.

Ditto television.

Counting overtime, the stations probably spent $250,000 yesterday to tell you that it is summer and that it is hot.

They had people standing in South Philadelphia, Center City, as far as Bucks County, and they reported back live that it was hot, everywhere.

Of course, they were wearing business suits and ties, so no wonder they were hot.

They should have followed some of the helpful hints we gave readers the other day about what to do when it gets hot:

For one thing, wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothes.

You should also drink lots of liquids, preferably water. Beer will make you sweat and give you a headache.

Stay cool

I have other helpful hints:

1. Don't wear wool clothing. It itches and will make you really hot.

2. Try to stay cool. Don't sit in a room with all the windows closed. Use a fan to circulate the air or, preferably, an air conditioner.

3. Don't run out to buy an air conditioner today. Everyone else who just read No. 2 is trying to do the same thing. The managers of the stores tell us the air conditioners are flying off the shelves. That's what they always say when we ask them. Of course, we never ask them until it is really hot.

4. Whatever you do, don't sit in a room with the windows closed, wearing wool clothing and drinking beer. It is a recipe for disaster. At the very least, wear something that is light and loose fitting. A bedsheet will do.

For those of us in the news biz, there is only one thing more exciting than heat. It is record heat.

For record heat, we will remake the front page and use Pearl Harbor-sized type and write headlines that say:

Record Heat Scorches Region!

We will then proceed to tell you that it was hot yesterday.

Television has us beat. It can tell you that it was hot today.

Here are some more helpful hints:

5. Don't watch television. Watching those TV reporters standing in front of the cameras will only make you hotter.

6. Buy two newspapers. Read one and use the other to fan yourself. It will help alleviate the heat. This is especially true if you insist on sitting in a closed room, wearing a bedsheet and drinking beer.

Forever sidebars

In addition to telling you it was hot yesterday, we can also tell you many interesting tidbits about the heat. We call these sidebars.

For instance, we sent reporters out the other day to find the places in the region that smelled the worst because of the heat. Get it? That's a sidebar.

Tomorrow, if it stays hot, we will think of other sidebars. Maybe we will go out and ask people how they are coping with the heat. Once the editors put their minds to it, the sidebar possibilities are endless.

Did you know that heat waves are a major cause of back injuries among reporters? It comes from hiding under their desks for hours at a time, trying to avoid sidebars.

I predict this heat wave will end before we run out of ideas for sidebars. Then it will gradually get cooler. Then the leaves will fall from the trees. Then it will get really cold. Then it will snow.

As I told you, this weather is crazy.

I have some helpful hints for snow, too. One is to dress in warm clothing, sit in a room with all the windows closed, and drink beer. It will keep you nice and warm.

Now, if you will excuse me, I must go change my bedsheet.

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