Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
Not the weary recycling job you get in other venues, these are all-new tips for coping with a summer that's already a son-of-a-bitch.
Get an early start on your cryonics. Go hang for a spell with Ted Williams' head.
Paint you some tunnels on the sides of old buildings and that frozen beer train will come through, bringing instant icy weather.
Go to Alaska and get Sarah Palin to take you on one of those snow-pack hunting trips to shoot baby wild animals from a helicopter. Cold, in more ways than one.
Sometimes of an evening, when you're sitting out in the glider, you can catch a faint cool breeze from the simultaneous whirring of the billions of mosquito wings that have you surrounded.
An expression still heard among oldtimers around here is "hotter than a two-dollar cookstove." Those things do get mighty hot, and it's a heat that lingers, so if you still have one, and still use it, it might be time for an upgrade.
Take a nostalgic look back at the first season of Ice-Road Truckers. When there was still an ice road over what is now a semi-tropical lagoon. Before climate change was revealed as a hoax.
Remember Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They got through their extreme-heat experience, though their oven was seven times hotter than the ordinary Babylonian execution furnace. About like last Sunday, in other words.
Drifting along with tumbling tumbleweed is contraindicated. Unless it has a/c.
Smoke only menthol cigarettes. Or if you're going to stop altogether, go cold turkey.
Get as close as you can to your congressman's heart.
Get yourself a boat and some water skis and go out and jump a shark. That's what Fonz did and he was always cool. (Of course here in landlocked Arkansas, we don't have many sharks to jump. We do have a few large alligators, but I don't know how jumping the gator compares with jumping the shark on the coolness chart. Also, alas, some of our big gators are of the farm-raised variety — milder dispositioned, and largely indifferent to being jumped over.)
If worse comes to worst, check out any one of the three extant Arkansas nudist colonies, my recommendation being the four-star Gadda da Vita over near Siloam Springs. It has the best bazooms, and this isn't totally offset by the high incidence of Peyronie's.
Keep telling yourself over and over, "It ain't no climate change, Ethel. It ain't no such a thing."
Search your racial memory for the time when the permafrost peered down on these climes from the tops of glaciers just north of here.
Don't shudder after urination. That's your body's way of regenerating heat that you don't need that was lost in the tinkle.
Become one of those casino jinxers who can stop a winning streak by Mr. Lucky just by giving him the evil eye. Coolers, they're called.
Don't risk the rent money trying to draw inside to a straight. The suspense, the anxiety will stoke you dangerously. And even if you hit, it's usually a loser.
Don't harvest okra unless you just have to.
Don't eat chili expecting it to cool you off, as puns related to weather conditions and outdoor temperatures often have the opposite of the desired effect.
You can have your sinuses drained and then repacked with a super-cooling long-lasting gel that's guaranteed to make your summer feel 10 degrees cooler. This stuff isn't sold in stores. Not all insurance plans will cover the procedure. And you should see your doctor if it causes an erection lasting more than four hours.
For a cool start each morning, put your socks and underwear in the freezer the night before. It will go over better with the people you live with if the socks and underwear you put in the freezer are clean, rather than rank from having been worn two or three days already.
A blowout in the merge lane of the Interstate during the rush, just abandon the vehicle. Be sure to remove the license plate and the VIN and registration info from the glove box. And the baby in the back seat.
It won't accomplish anything trying to help clear a massive temperature inversion with a bicycle pump.
Don't park in full sun with your vehicle windows rolled up if you've got unpopped popcorn in there and your heart set on keeping it that way.
If a loved one gets a bad sunburn, you can use him or her for light grilling – burgers and chops; steaks rare only – for a couple of days. Just remember to turn or flip the meat frequently, as you sure as hell don't want it to stick.
Skinny dipping has become a thing of the past because only anorexics can still qualify.
It's permissible, even encouraged, to reply to a discount-merchandising greeter who can't think of anything more original than "hot enough fer ya?" by repeating what Veep Cheney told Sen. Leahy that time. If you don't remember, it starts with a go and ends with a yourself.
Bob Lancaster, one of the Arkansas Times longest and most valued contributors, retired from writing his column last week. We’ll miss his his contributions mightily. Look out, in the weeks to come, for a look back at some of his greatest hits. In the meantime, here's a good place to start.
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