• author
    • Stephen Cooper

    • June 24, 2016 in Columnists

    Fried eggs on the sidewalk and baked cookies in cars

    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.”

    On Monday, 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), 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.

    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.

    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.


    About the Author: Stephen Cooper is a former federal and D.C. public defender. He has contributed to numerous magazines and newspapers in the United States and overseas. He writes full-time and lives in Woodland Hills, California.

    • From Phoenix, I can relate. At least we don’t have the humidity you describe. It got down to 86 this morning; which is a new low-high for this season. Down in the southern part of the state (Tucson, Green Valley, Sahuarita) the start of monsoon rains offer refreshment, but the storms dry out before they get here.

      It’s gonna be a booger of a summer!

        • Stephen Cooper

        • June 26, 2016 at 12:37 am
        • Reply

        And how!

      • Maya Spier Stiles North

      • June 25, 2016 at 11:06 pm
      • Reply

      I’m in Washington State and grateful for it! Fill water balloons and freeze them. Peel off the balloon and put them in a pan for your doggies. They’ll love you for them. 😀 And yes, it’s freaking climate change. Even Bush Jr. came around on it and that’s like moving the Titanic with a Smartcar…

        • Stephen Cooper

        • June 26, 2016 at 12:33 am
        • Reply

        The water ballon idea is a gem! 🙂

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