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Burning you up, ready or not

I once had a friend who spent some time in Vietnam. She told me, "Alan, most days the only living creatures outside at noon are the heroin junkies and rabid dogs."

These days, I feel like both while scrounging around for stories — a desperate search for a hard news fix. This weekend, I intend to cool down. My method of madness? Number one: Order Chinese from the Lucky Dragon while sitting in the comfort of my cooled home. They bring me food early Sunday afternoon, I lounge around with a dirty martini. We both win.

Number two: Buy fireworks in Alabama. Sure, I must brave the sun's rays for a moment, but if I start early enough Saturday morning I can get to a choice location for all my sparkler needs. I suggest driving along U.S. 280 in Phenix City while scanning for large American flags. Or you can always hop into Wal-Mart on the other side of the river. It is air-conditioned, after all.

And finally, number three: Chill by the pool. Or lake, or pond, or some vague body of water within a 30-minute drive. In these trying times, we rarely pause to sit a spell under a flowery umbrella next to quieting waters while enjoying the sixth Harry Potter novel.

Unfortunately for me, my pool still lacks an essential component — the water. This won't deter me from my goal of keeping cool, though. I've got a fan, an extension cord and a bucket of Bud Ice.

Go ahead — turn up the heat til we fry.