Baby, it's hot outside. I tried thinking cool but my imagination overheated.
How do animals stand it out there under the blazing sun without benefit of central air?
True, they scamper around without a stitch of clothing. No offense to my co-workers, but if we tried that, the sight of all those unfettered bellies bouncing about the office likely would turn more than one stomach.
But most animals wear fur coats. They must know something about staying cool. So I put on my Dr. Doolittle hat and talked to the animals. (Yes, I may be suffering sunstroke. Why do you ask?)
Even though they're cats, tigers take dips in cool water. Humans love to do this, too, but sometimes we have to climb out of the pool and go to work. What then?
Flap your ears, said the kangaroos and elephants. Face it, some of you have ears big enough to fan yourselves and a lesser-equipped friend or two. If there ever was a time to embrace your not-so-hidden talents, the swelters of July is it.
Kangaroos also lick their forearms to cool down. I don't know the science behind it, but who cares? If it works, lick. But you might want to baste your arms in melting Popsicles first.
But if it's your nose that's long, toss dirt over your shoulders and down your back. That's what the elephants said.
Lizards, snakes and other cold-blooded reptiles regulate their body temps simply by moving their lounge chairs off the highway and crawling under rocks. If you're a flagger for road repair crew, maybe you can wear a rock instead of a hard hat.
Cows laze about beneath leafy trees and chew their cud. Baseball players do this, too, minus the leafy trees. Also, I don't think it's cud.
I suppose you could stand in the shade of the water cooler and chew ice cubes. If you're man enough, chew a baby's frozen teething ring.
Pigs lack sweat glands to cool themselves down, so they roll in the mud, caking themselves in layers of cooling mud. I suggested adding a mud bath to the break room at work so sweaty and sweltering employees could roll around every hour or so. The bosses only rolled their eyes.
Dogs and cats pant to cool down. Unless you're a telemarketer, it's worth a try. Plus, it has the bonus of making you sound hard core: ''I know it's 105 degrees (pant, pant) but I really hate to miss (pant, pant) my five-mile run.'' If you shame the other person into taking an actual run, you'll feel cooler by comparison watching him sweat. Plus, he'll be too worn out to chase you when he discovers the truth.
Ground moles, gerbils and the like burrow underground. This might be time to finally organize those boxes, files and broken chairs stored in the basement.
If the basement's not for you, the koala says he prefers to climb trees and spread out among the branches. Not only could you spread out across the cold-air ductwork at the office, but the boss probably can't find you up above the ceiling tiles. But don't snore. The sound could rumble through the ductwork all around the building.
Actually, if the boss tracks you down by your snores and gives you a chilly reception and the boot, you're free to make like a tiger and crawl back into the pool. Problem solved.
Baby, it's hot outside.
----- Actually, you can find Cole hugging his air conditioner at the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org.