Yesterday I was driving up US Hwy 27, one of the major roads in my part of Central Florida. My girlfriend and I had just made note of the fact that the digital thermometer readout on the instrument panel was displaying that dreaded three-digit temperature. Yes, it was 100° outside and we felt every bit of that even though the car’s AC was blasting.
Not very long after our convo about what an insanely-hot day it was, we passed two people making their way down the sidewalk, each carrying two handsful of groceries.
Nothing too remarkable there. It’s a common sight around here, as it is pretty much anywhere.
The truly remarkable thing is that they both were dressed in all black. Black shirts and shorts. And with no hats, no head coverings, to boot.
Yeah, I was gobsmacked. I’ve been in Central Florida for a very long time, I do/have done hundreds of hours of outdoor stuff and heavy-duty yardwork and I know what the uber-high temps we regularly have around here can do.
To make this even more puzzling is the fact that the closest grocery store was quite a ways back.
Now, I still do outdoor stuff–including camping–over the Summer months but I would never even think about what these people were doing. I realize that they almost certainly had limited options as far as getting to and from the store that afternoon but it still is an unthinkable situation for me.
Folks, don’t just hide inside until September comes around. But when you are outside–whether for fun or because you have an important task in front of you, make sure you look out for your safety. Please don’t put your well-being and your very life at risk when Mr Sun is throwing down this kind of thermal assault on all the denizens of Earth.
“Bulldog Ben” Basile
PS: In case you’re wondering, yes, I did feel awful that we didn’t stop and offer them a ride to their destination. That didn’t hit me until we were a mile or two down the road. And I feel more than a little regret about it.
© 2022 Ben Lawrence Basile
Photo credit windsonglife.com