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Advice from a mountain man

By Clint Younts

Folks, I feel like I owe all y’all an apology. Back in mid-July, while Texas was baking like a tray of snickerdoodles in Grandma’s oven, I pulled a Ted Cruz on y’all. I packed up the entire family and headed off to the Colorado Rockies. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinkin’ ‘bout all y’all back home. As I was sitting on the patio of my rented condo, nestled ‘neath towering pine trees and surrounded by snow-patched mountains, I’d sip my hot coffee to take the chill off my arthritic knees and take a peek at Facebook to see how hot it was back in Texas.

Now before y’all start cussin’ me, I planned this vacation two years ago with no earthly idea it would actually get hot in Texas during the month of July. My family has switched from going to the beach in July to heading to some mountains instead. Last year it was the Ozarks, and the prior year we vacationed in Ruidoso, NM. Next year, we hope to visit the Smoky Mountains while Texas is hotter’n the tailpipe of a UPS truck.

As I worried about getting frostbite on my bare feet (should’ve put on my socks that morning), I wasn’t frettin’ over the health and well-being of my friends and family back home. As newscasters carry on about the heat wave, down in Texas we just refer to it as summertime. Sure, global warming is real, but was it the cause of one of the hottest summers on record back in 1929? 

No, I wasn’t real worried about my fellow Texans living through another hot summer, as I grabbed another pipin’ hot mug of coffee and my blanket. I survived many summers, including one in ‘78 when I was a roofer during my college recess. I did just fine, although I turned as dark as Zorro’s horse. We all manage to get through these Texas summers, with the help of iced tea and cold watermelon.

As I zipped up my jacket on that lofty patio, I worried about those newly-implanted Texas residents who had just descended from the Sierra Nevadas and Allegheny mountains. Those folks might not’ve ever experienced this kind of heat. To them, anything over 82 degrees is excessive. For us Texans, we pull up the collars of our pearl-snap shirts when it gets that chilly. So, being such a thoughtful and caring soul, I thought I’d give some advice to all y’all who might be experiencing your first Texas summer.

Y’all might want to put an oven mitt on your front porch ‘cause by noon, that door knob will be hotter’n a branding iron on the 6666 Ranch. And don’t even think about climbing in your Kia bare-chested after tubing down the river. I once bought a car from a guy who moved back to New Jersey after living in Texas for just one year. The car still smells like burnt bacon.

If you’re standing on the corner waiting to cross the street, keep moving your feet so the rubber soles won’t melt. And if you‘re standing outside in a crowd, don’t remove your hat for more than a few seconds. Everyone hates the smell of singed hair.

It’s important to stay hydrated, and water is best for that. If you’re getting a drink from the hose, be sure to let the water run for a few minutes or you’ll get a mouthful of thirsty ants and scalding hot water.

If you don’t like the taste of warm beer, try drinking it while you stick your head inside the fridge. Once the Texas sun touches that beer can, it’ll start bubbling and boil over like a witch’s cauldron.

Unless you like attending a wiener roast, I suggest you fellas using the indoor facilities unless it’s after sundown.

Folks, I have more advice to give, but I need to start looking for a cabin up near Gatlinburg, TN. I can’t tell if the liquid dripping from my ears is melted ear wax or my brain is leaking again. Stay cool!

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