In my efforts to terrify my poor friend Dave Hutchison, I regularly tell him insane lies about how much worse Texas is than his native England. Not just the minor exaggerations, such as the packs of roadrunners that chase down joggers like modern-day phorusrhacids, or my concealed chainsaw permit for when I need to go grocery shopping. (As I said, minor exaggeration. Cattle prods are much more effective when dealing with people who walk the way they drive.) No, I tell him the big whoppers, the ones that would leave Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von Münchhausen exclaiming “Oh, come ON!” Again, insane lies: tales of people using their cars for bread proofing ovens and frying pans on summer days. I tell him about the sun being so horrible that Texans brew tea by putting water and teabags in glass jars and just leaving it outside in the sun for a few hours. I tell him about a place where the outside air can still run close to blood temperature, four hours after nightfall. And he believes it all.
Oh, wait, that’s right. I forgot. When I tell him “these are insane lies”, I really mean “this is the absolute truth of the matter. Gaze upon the horror, ye mighty, and despair!” That’s just how Texas is.
Believe it or not, I don’t do this to torture him. I do this to convince him to come out and visit. Preferably, he’d visit at a time when the ambient temperatures come close to the fusion point of iron, but we can’t have everything. So instead of making the obvious jokes about “man, is it hot in Dallas right now, I just ask him “So…it’s too hot to ride a bicycle to work any more. Do you think there’s enough room in the parking lot for one of these?”
That vague ululation you hear coming from Great Britain? That’s Dave, trying to figure out whether he needs to scream or cry, and not quite accomplishing either. I suspect he’ll come out here one of these days, just to beat the hell out of me with a toy Dalek, just because he can.