The great thing about this heat is that when someone tells you they’re hot, there is no double entendre.
What they mean when it is actually hot, is that they are feeling the heat. In fact, they are feeling the heat so intensely, that the idea of any other meaning of the word ‘hot’ is as far from their mind as it is to look ‘hot’ on a very hot day.
There is plenty of unpleasantness on a hot day, but the heat wave’s silver lining is that finally, people are using their words as they are intended.
For a long time, the word ‘hot’ hasn’t had a whole lot to do with temperature, unless it is the temperature which goes up of the onlooker whenever said ‘hottie’ or ‘smokin’ hottie’ enters the room.
In the past few months, we have all been ‘hotties’ and it doesn’t actually do anything to improve our looks. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t find anything attractive about clothes clinging to you, sweat running off your face and a ruddy glow. Perhaps this might have some appeal on an actual ‘smokin’ hottie’, but on most people it is anything but attractive.
Which brings me to my point and that is how does this image of a hot body suddenly escalate to become the figurative ‘hottie’?
As our temperatures have risen in recent weeks, the numbers of people who look better as a result seem in direct opposition.
Talking about the heat threads its way through many current conversations. We talk about global warming. We talk about synthetic clothing. We talk about long bright days and sleepless nights under fans. We talk about brown grass and dead plants. We see pictures of animals basking in pools. We see paddle pools in back yards.
We talk about the cost of air conditioning. It’s a bitter sweet commodity, because who wouldn’t want to have it turned on right now? Better that than my youth spent willing a breeze near the front door, standing in a woollen school tunic on the black bitumen quadrangle and driving in cars with bench seats, sweaty body next to sweaty body.
The climate may have changed but so have our expectations. We cosset ourselves and travel in air conditioned cars to air conditioned houses and air conditioned offices.
So, really who wants to be a ‘hottie’. Give me ‘cool’ and all that implies any day.