Readers will, perhaps, recall that I detest hot weather. I am not designed for it: I have a large stocky frame built on a Scottish genome, and in the ordinary course of my routine metabolic business I generate far more heat of my own than I can easily discard. In the winter, when everyone is shivering, I am generally comfy in a sweater and light jacket, and in a typical New York summer (see, for example, here, here, and here), I suffer the torments of the damned, and fear for my very survival. I hang on grimly, and remind myself that eventually autumn will come, but July and August here in Gotham are very, very difficult to bear, and indeed, despite my robust constitution, last July’s hellish swelter landed me in the hospital.
But this year has been different: whichever of Satan’s lieutenants is usually in charge of our summer weather seems — can it be true? — to have abandoned his post. Throughout May and June, when the burner is usually lit and the kettle begins to boil, it was cool and rainy. And July, so far, has been downright splendid, with low humidity, daytime temperatures only in the seveties and low eighties, and cool breezy nights. I regard the invention of the air conditioner as a milestone of human achivement second only, perhaps, to the taming of fire, or the creation of language, but here it is July 13th, and I have yet to switch mine on. I am inexpressibly grateful.
(I probably should have kept mum about this. If the Prince of Darkness, who is, I suspect, an occasional reader, should happen to see this post, the game’ll be up. Just you watch.)