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How hot is it? 

It’s so hot I was out fishing and the worms started volunteering. It’s so hot that I’ve been thinking that Nixon, on the whole, was not that bad a president. It’s so hot the tree frogs only sigh. It’s so hot I thought for a minute there I got a fleeting glimpse of the attraction of NASCAR. It’s so hot that I’m beginning to think this new pope might be right about Harry Potter being a bigger threat than war or hunger. It’s so hot it’s no longer necessary to sterilize your watermelons. It’s so hot it’s just mighty hard to see the point. It’s so hot we used to have riots when it was like this but now we just snap at our co-workers and smash grapefruit halves in the faces of our loved ones. It’s so hot I’d sure hate to die because of all the close-quarters velvet that’s involved. It’s so hot you can’t hardly go pleasure four-wheeling down one of these gated roads for having to dodge coyotes chasing roadrunners. It’s so hot that I’d as soon be rassling with dead pin-oak limbs. It’s so hot you can strike fear with a single hyphenated word: two-a-days. It’s so hot I’d just about rather be covered in okra fuzz. It’s so hot you don’t have to burn your bra, your draft card, your paid-off mortgage, your bridges behind you, your candle at both ends, or the midnight oil. Just leave them outside and they’ll be taken care of. It’s so hot the Western Sizzlins are looking into trademark infringement. Searses, too. It’s so hot I’ve got all worked up again about the WMDs. It’s so hot that the lizards out on the crosstie fence spend the whole day standing on their tippiest tiptoes, relaxing only between 1 and 5 a.m. It’s so hot that baked potatoes are the only kind you can get. It’s so hot you can say Tom DeLay or Ann Coulter and my sapped reflexes don’t automatically come back with bastard or bitch. It’s so hot Scientology starts to take on a plausibility rivaling Mormonism’s. It’s so hot that the blue jays have gone to moping around like cowbirds. It’s so hot that the Huckabees say you don’t have to genuflect till it cools off some. It’s so hot that the Egyptian community down at Bearden has asked Ra to show a little mercy. It’s so hot the chicken-plant illegals pine for the milder climate back home. It’s so hot that I don’t even mind dogs, if they don’t lick or bite or get too enthusiastic with that leg-hunching thing. It’s so hot that when the Baptist revival preachers talk about the lake of fire, they mean right out yonder. It’s so hot that I keep losing my train of tho…. It’s so hot that all the Supreme Court justices want to do is stay in and play Twister. It’s so hot I wouldn’t go water-skiing or eat a whole freezer of home-made ice cream for fear it would just get my hopes up. It’s so hot that by cracky somebody’s just got to pay. It’s so hot that the Governor’s School has banned erections. It’s so hot that I’ve been thinking maybe living in Cabot really does beat a hacking cough. It’s so hot I had the notion I might enjoy watching a game of soccer. It’s so hot that when I tried to play golf the other day the ball stuck to the clubface of my driver on the first tee, creating a kind of smore. It’s so hot that I listened to some rap and didn’t want to just slap whoever it was upside the head. It’s so hot I don’t even care what gasoline costs, if they’d just quit lying about the reason. It’s so hot I saw the Irish setter next door teaching a semi-circle of the backyard raccoons how to pant. It’s so hot they can get away with anything, and they know it. It’s so hot that a measure to decriminalize moderation in Northwest Arkansas might get brief consideration before being voted down. It’s so hot that the homos ought to just get married and adopt while the great lethargy has the generality in its thrall. It’s so hot that I just lost my copy of “Farenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury to spontaneous combustion. It’s so hot it sucks the water out of your bucket before you get it drawn up from the well. It’s so hot that Mountain Valley has gone to bottling and selling the miasma. It’s so hot that the ants have taken to frying the science nerds hereabout into lifeless pork rinds by reflecting sunlight on them with a great many very tiny magnifying glasses. It’s so hot that the town of Pangburn is about to change to Pangburnt. It’s so hot that this is bound to be the crematory and the rest just what’s left of the dream.
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