Hello from sunny Florida! Which is to say, hot Florida. Which is to be redundant.
It’s already April, which means that soon (say, in about 40 minutes), it will be about a million degrees down here and stay that way until Christmas Eve. Oh, it will storm the odd afternoon, and the temperature will drop by five or ten Fahrenhoogles…but only long enough for the slick streets to turn into great concrete steam tables. The vapor rising from such surfaces is uncomfy enough to piss off a giraffe.
Now, I know those of you in the northern reaches are waiting eagerly for spring to warm your cockles, or whatever you need warmed. Well, good news! I have it on excellent authority that the earth’s inevitable tilt our way will heat things up nicely. It may even get hot. And you folks will need some pointers on how to deal with it. (Except in the Pacific Northwest. You just get that three ridiculous days in August. So go back to your coffee shacks and stop clogging the feed.)
When it gets hot, people call me all the time and ask, “Adam! Jesus! Where do I park my car so it’s not en fuego when I stroll out of Whole Foods with the broccolini and organic Twinkies?” Some of these callers, I put on hold for Jesus (hey, they asked). Others, I do my best to help. So here, as a public service, is what I have learned over 18 summers here in the Broiling State.
- Timing Isn’t Everything, But It’s Enough. If you can’t find a grocery open at 7 a.m., then you don’t need whatever you’re looking for. Remember, only lawn guys in those funny hats with the rags on the back go out at midday. You don’t. Even mad dogs and Englishmen stay in, and Noel Coward would too, if he were alive.
- Seek the Tree. Patronize businesses whose parking areas have trees. Make for their shade aggressively the moment you enter the parking lot. See the old lady in the Buick heading for the same spot? Don’t even think about karma here. Grandma knew the risks. Besides, if she’s this old, she’s been moisturizing for a long time. She’ll be fine.
- The Sun Moves, Doofus. Find west, or get a compass. Park where the shade of the tree will be for the longest time, not where it is. Remember Wayne Gretzky? He said he was a great player because he went where the puck will be, not where it was. You, and he, can prevent being parboiled by a little planning ahead.
- Oh, fer Chrissakes, Blow $10. Get one of those windshield screens, the accordion kind that expands and reflects the heat out of your car. Unless you like the skin on your hands to be fused to the steering wheel forever oh my sweet Lord that hurts I wish I had listened to Adam now I wish I was dead.
- Administer Justice. Once in a great while, you will find a parker whose regard for the pristinely chalky finish of his 1989 Honda Accord trumps his sense of decency — that is, he covers two spots, either diagonally or by parking with half his ride over the line, thereby cheating you of a shade spot. Such a person does not deserve consideration. He does, however, deserve a foot-shaped dent in his driver side door, applied by a forthright mule kick from you.
I hope this brief primer has helped you understand the basics of parking in hot weather. Now if you’ll excuse me, I see an open tree spot riiiight over there by the — AW HELL, GRANDMAAAAA!!!!!!!♦
© 2013 Adam Barr
Super Serious Note: No pets in hot cars! Ever! Just five minutes in Florida heat is too much for dogs and cats!