Extreme heat logo

May was nice. But it’s time to move on. Summer’s here. Let’s deal with it with a quiz. I know you’re just burning to take this, so let’s get started.

1. In the U.S., temperature is measured by Fahrenheit. Everywhere else on the planet it’s measured in Celsius. Which of these statements is true?

A. Fahrenheit is a better way to measure temperature because I have no idea what 40 degrees Celsius means. Sure, it’s hot but it doesn’t sound hot. Now 110, that sounds hot.

B. Celsius would be a better name for a dog than Fahrenheit.

C. To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit you’d need a calculator or, at best, more fingers.

D. 100 degrees Celsius is 212 degrees Fahrenheit, the boiling point of water. To get an idea of what that’s like, step outside.

2. When you go outside, you should always take care not to get too much sun. What’s the best approach?

A. Apply gobs of sunscreen, although it could be bad for you. It gets into your bloodstream and does who knows what. Maybe bad things. Science isn’t sure. On the other hand, there’s always skin cancer. Maybe just stay in bed.

B. Cover yourself in clothing. Long sleeves. Long pants. A floppy hat. An umbrella. Just try not to stand out.

C. Go out at night.

D. Move to Anchorage.

3. Cars parked in summer are nothing more than ovens with wheels. What’s the best thing you can do?

A. Never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never ever leave kids, dogs, cats or anything you love in a hot and locked vehicle. Of course, you wouldn’t.

B. A car is a better place to reheat a pizza than a microwave.

C. Driving around with the window open is a good way to blow-dry your hair.

D. Find an ATM that will take the credit cards that melted on your seat. If you do, let me know.

E. If the steering wheel is superheated, grip tightly to sterilize both hands.

4. The forecast for the coming days calls for:

A. Boiling frogs to fall from the sky.

B. An uptick in emergency room visits from the shock of the first summer electric bill.

C. Mild and pleasant afternoons, that is, if you head for the high country. Along with a million other people.

D. Searing heat for all the days to come. Day after day after day of sweat and toil. But especially sweat.

5. The monsoons offer some relief. At least it rains a bit between dust storms. What are the hallmarks of an Arizona monsoon?

A. Monsoon storms can be intense with strong winds and localized showers. A neighbor can get 3 inches of rain in an hour, while you get none. On the plus side, if your roof is blown off, you won’t get wet.

B. Monsoons are often accompanied by lightning. If you hear thunder, stay indoors. If you don’t hear thunder, stay indoors. It’s still too hot to go out.

C. Monsoons peak in August, which is also the month Christmas displays go up.

D. Don’t drive across a flooded road, unless your car is made of Flubber.

6. Casa Grande offers a number of venues for staying cool. There are two libraries, an aquatic park — a fancy name for a pool — and now a new community rec center. What outdoor activity should you think twice about?

A. Golf, unless you bring plenty of water. And a swimsuit for a quick dip at a water hole, where your ball is anyway.

B. Hiking Casa Grande Mountain, unless you have sufficient water. According to the charts, you’ll need somebody to follow you around with a tanker truck.

C. Standing on the corner in a gorilla suit and twirling a sign for used cars. I haven’t seen that yet. But, you know, first time for everything.

D. Walking the dog, making sure it gets the water it needs to work up a good drool.

7. Climate change makes the summers hotter. Duh. What’s the best thing you can do about it?

A. Be thankful you’re not getting frostbite in a polar vortex.

B. Stop using all that plastic, if you can find anything not made of it.

C. Drive a hybrid or electric vehicle. You’ll save the environment and feel all smug about it.

D. Turn up the thermostat on the air conditioner, just enough to melt the icicles on the ceiling fan.

The correct answer is 3.A. Everything else is mostly a joke, although I still wouldn’t wear a gorilla suit in July.


Reach contributing writer Bill Coates at bccoates@cox.net.