What’s so great about Florida anyway?

So, it’s roughly 6,000º F outside and the humidity is 900 percent. What I use to call skin is now a layer of goo about a quarter of an inch thick that is slowly melting away. And I have taken on the unmistakable look of someone who lives under a bridge with my hair in a matted mess on top of my head.

OK, that’s probably a huge exaggeration, but what I want to know is, how did people live in Florida before air conditioning was invented? Think about it. Even Henry Flagler in his grand wisdom (he did hire Thomas Edison after all) in designing the most elaborate hotel of his day could not air condition his hotel. Flagler College didn’t fully convert until about six years ago. So, why is it that I feel like I’m on the surface of the sun in a sauna whenever I go running? I should be used to it by now.

But instead it seems hotter than ever outside. That’s not to say the weather hasn’t been beautiful. In fact it’s been gorgeous if you’re not outside exerting energy. If I were sitting in my backyard in a lawn chair reading a book and sipping lemonade, it would be quite nice. But instead I’ve begun to collect my own sweat in case of drought. I plan on selling it to people who live in golf course communities when the county decides to cut back on lawn watering to preserve resources.

Hold on while I ring out my clothes.

I think I have about a half gallon now.

Seriously though, it’s always the summers in Florida that make me wonder just why I still live here. Most of my family is in Missouri and Illinois (or the super smart ones who live in California) — you know, states that have all four seasons instead of “summer,” “not quite summer” and “almost summer.” You think I’d have left long ago, but I always get sucked in the “winter” when the weather is comfortable and I am laughing at my dad, who is shoveling snow out of his living room because the drifts are seven feet high.

Then summer rolls around and my dad calls to taunt me with the 75 degrees of pure heaven they are experiencing in July. “I think I might have to wear jeans tonight,” he says. “It’s a little chilly out.”

“I’m going to get off the phone, dad. I need to ring out my clothes again,” I reply. And I ask myself, “Why do I live in a subtropical climate where 85 is considered a cold front?”

And to make it even worse, the hottest part of the year is also hurricane season. I think we’re all insane. Guess I’ll just keep running so I can outrun the storm surge.

But until the first hurricane threatens, I’ll be content with the fact that I’m probably in the best shape of my life. I’ve dropped a full clothing size, which is especially good, because when I stop running, I think I’m going to go lay on the beach to get some relief from the heat. And that’s infinitely more fun when you look good in your bathing suit.

Plus, I’ll be the first to know if a hurricane is coming. And then I’ll just move to Missouri. Just not to any of these places – The Sweatiest Cities in America. Oddly, Florida did not make the top 10.

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