I hope by the time this appears in the newspaper our infernal heat wave is over. I don't tolerate heat well. Of course, I don't tolerate cold well, nor wind, snow, spring hay fever, fog, or even mild overcast. I like room temperature -- a temperature I can control with the flick of a heat/air conditioner switch.

So you can imagine how well I've tolerated this recent heat wave -- not well at all.

I went online at the beginning of our Valley Warming to see what I could do to beat the heat. The government, or someone in charge of power usage, asked us not to turn on our air conditioners or anything else that might cool us down during the major part of the day so we could spare the air. Apparently it was all right to use the air in the morning and in the middle of the night, but not actually during the heat. So I checked out the National Wiki-Weather Service to find tips to prevent myself from melting into a pile of ectoplasm all over the floor.

  • Listen to the Weather Channel all day for critical updates. I did. The critical updates were, "More heat coming. Hotter today. Really really hot soon. So hot you could deep-fry a Twinkie on the sidewalk." Got it.

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, but avoid alcohol and caffeine. What? I can't think of anything better than an iced mocha frappuccino on a hot day, except maybe a margarita on the blender.

  • Eat small meals and eat often. Not sure about the logic in this except that if you have a big old turkey dinner, you might fall asleep and miss the heat wave. So instead I ate snacks throughout the day--chips, chocolate, cookies, cupcakes, ice cream -- stuff like that. I didn't feel any cooler, and I gained five pounds.


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  • Avoid extreme temperature changes. Seriously? Then why did Mother Nature give us hot flashes along with heat waves?

  • Wear loosefitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. What would that be? My bathing suit? Too tight. My wool parka? Too heavy. My black underwear? Yeah, right. That leaves my shoes.

  • Avoid strenuous exercise. Actually, I've been doing that for years, even in cold weather. During the heat wave, I took it down a notch to "sloth."

  • Go to cool places. I've been to the mall (bought a sweatshirt for the coming cold wave), restaurants (to have those nonalcoholic drinks), and Costco (excellent freezer section), but you can only loiter so long before security guards ask you to put your clothes back on and leave.

  • Place your sheets in the freezer until bedtime. That way, when they melt, you'll be sleeping on wet sheets.

  • Buy a fan. One of those folded ones that women used to use to cover their faces with in the Victorian age. They're lightweight, portable and hide the sweat all over your face. For added fun, cover them with decals and stickers that say "Zombies are coming!" or "Stay Calm and drink margaritas."

    I think I'll just suck on Popsicles while sitting in the bathtub filled with ice cubes and wait it out. Before I know it, winter will be here and I can complain about the cold.

    Contact Penny Warner at www. pennywarner.com.