Fried Eggs on the Sidewalk

In Arizona this past weekend – where temperatures muscled their way to 120 degrees – folks were frying eggs on the sidewalk and baking chocolate chip cookies in cars giving new meaning to the term “outdoor kitchen.”

Today where I live in Woodland Hills, California, in the San Fernando Valley – a neighborhood my disapproving realtor informed me was nicknamed “Woodland Hell” because of the heat – the mercury topped out at 113; unlike in Arizona, where my house is you can only get your street-cooked eggs over-easy and the cookies, while warm, just aren’t as chewy.

What I am 100 percent sure of (though I’m tempted to hyperbolize and call it 113 percent) is: It’s hot.

While I don’t expect my global warming denying friends to agree with either me or the Boston Globe’s Bill McKibben (“The mercury doesn’t lie: We’ve hit a troubling climate change milestone,” March 5, 2016), I hope we can all acknowledge that when it’s 113 degrees and the “dog days of summer” lie far, far ahead, it’s worrisome to think just how hot it’ll get, isn’t it?

Speaking of dogs, my wife and I have three and they’re hot.

dog pole dancing

No, not this kind of hot.

They’re so hot they’re not even being mischievous inside where – having heard how dangerous this apocalyptic heat can be for humans and animals alike – we brought them from their usual backyard terrain.

We’re blessed to have air conditioning as long as the power grid holds but last month when we got our electricity bill, we were even hotter under the collar than we are now.

I’m thinking it may be a good time to eat a cool refreshing Klondike Bar. True, I enjoy ice cream when it’s not nearly this hot – like when the mercury is just a measly 100 degrees – but its even tastier knowing I can burn those wasted calories just by stepping outside into what you might call my “outdoor sauna.” There I can bask like one of the big lizards I’ve seen creeping around lately.

Query: Has anyone noticed that this otherworldly heat is making the reptiles bigger and meaner lately? Is anyone looking into this phenomenon? Because I saw Jurassic Park, and while entertaining, it wouldn’t be if it were real.

huge iguana

I think Johnny’s pet lizard may be getting a bit too big.

At least I’ve got my dogs to protect me. Just one problem though: The heat. It’s made them lethargic.

Plus, although my dogs love me fine, I’m afraid I have to admit that if pressed between choosing to save me from a lizard attack and all the aromatic cookies and eggs now simmering on the ground outside, truly my goose is cooked.

Stephen Cooper is a former D.C. public defender who worked as an assistant federal public defender in Alabama between 2012 and 2015. He has contributed to numerous magazines and newspapers in the United States and overseas He writes full-time and lives in Woodland Hills, California.

©2016, all rights reserved
published with the permission of the author

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