It’s 91 degrees Fahrenheit in Indianapolis today. Tomorrow it’s supposed to be around 93. I read in The Washington Post that over 130 people have died in California from the over 100-degree heat. Global warming’s gettin’ pretty ugly.
Now, my husband and I have a running “discussion” about the fact that I hate summer. My reasoning is always the same: winter may make the landscape ugly, but summer heat makes people ugly. Too many people with no business showing off their bodies wear bikinis, Speedos, shorts, tank tops, halter tops, or no tops. Guys with more hair and their backs than on their heads cut the grass in nothing but cut-off jeans, and we have to look at their large sweaty beer guts jiggling with the vibration of the lawnmower. Yuck. Toss in the fact that the U.S. is in the midst of an obesity epidemic, and we’ve got the makings of an aesthetic disaster.
So here comes this killer heat. And the summers are just going to get hotter as the greenhouse gases insulate the planet. Accordingly, people are wearing skimpier and skimpier clothing. Thong bikins, low-rise Daisy Dukes, halter tops that aren’t much more than handkerchiefs. The problem is that you can take off only so many clothes before you end up naked. I figure that’s next, and nudism is on the rise.
Personally, I will miss clothes. They are fascinating; they serve so many purposes. Not only do they cover up our private parts to preserve our modesty and keep us out of jail, but they also cover up other parts we’d rather not expose for various reasons – scars, deformities, unattractive bits. Some clothes, like uniforms, can identify us as members of a group; others, like costumes, can keep us from being identified at all. Some people use their clothes to tell people about themselves. Sometimes we use clothes to pretend to be something we’re not. They can make us feel more confident, more beautiful, more relaxed. They can attract attention or divert it. We can dress up or dress down. Clothes have spawned entire industries: fashion designers, fashion magazines, textile plants, clothing retail. People spend hundreds of dollars on all those skimpy outfits. A lot of money will be lost when we lose our clothes. Not to mention the loss of our dignity.
Now the one thing that may save us from all this ugliness is that clothes keep us protected from the sun. So we come back to the whole global warming thing. No ozone layer means a lot of sunburned butts if we all go naked to beat the heat. I’m counting on the threat of skin cancer to keep people dressed. I can handle only so much ugly.