When you live in Cincinnati, one thing you know for certain is you’re going to get some weather extremes. There’s typically snow in winter and definitely plenty of bitter coldness that can surface from late October through March.
Our springs and falls are generally pleasant but have their fair share of thunderstorms, flooding and even sometimes, tornadoes.
And as we’re being reminded of right now, summers here can get hotter than a jalapeno’s armpit.
Back in January, we asked you what kind of person you become when snow hits – with options ranging from stocker-uppers who go crazy for milk and bread at the first sign of a snowflake to the four-wheel driver who can’t wait to navigate the white stuff, no matter how bad it gets.
So the same can be asked now that we’re in the dog days of summer — who do you become when the mercury is off the charts?
Now, this is all in good fun. Extreme heat like we’re experiencing is dangerous, especially for those without access to air conditioning and fans, the elderly and children. We certainly don’t want to make light of those situations and please, be careful in the heat.
With that said, here are nine types of people Cincinnatians transform into when the heat nears or cracks 100 degrees:
The Obsesser can’t wait to ask you, “How about this heat?” when they see you at work or in public. Not only do they think it’s a great common denominator than bonds us all, they don’t care if you’re a stranger, they must share heat stories with you.
They love the heat index because they can make the temperature sound scarier than it actually is (they do the same with wind-chill factor in the winter, which, by the way, why can’t wind chill be a factor in summer and heat index be one in the winter?).
The Obsesser won’t necessarily stay out of the heat, but they must make it a talking point.
The Shut-In is having none of this blistering hot nonsense and they will not be leaving the comfort of their air conditioning, unless it’s to go to a movie or the mall to find more AC.
You can’t really fault the Shut-In’s philosophy as it keeps them at maximum comfort. They might miss out on some of the fun of summer, but to them, no festival, sporting event or concert is worth the misery that comes with sweaty armpits and heat exhaustion. They make Netflix and chill a very literal thing rather than the euphemism it has become.
OK, it’s a very dated reference, but so what. Esther Williams is going to the pool and not leaving it when the mercury rises.
While not totally opposed to the heat like the Shut-In, Esther still wants cool relief nearby at all times and will park at an oasis, whether it be the community pool, Old Coney, their in-ground out back or even the kiddie pool they got from Target.
While Esther will hit the pool all summer, when temps crack 90, it’s mandatory: Esther will be there with no questions asked. Being an Esther Williams certainly isn’t the worst way to beat the heat.
If Esther Williams is heading toward the pool for relief, then the Forrest Gump is heading the other way for the most illogical way to deal with heat.
Forest must run, no matter how bad it gets. The hotter it gets, the more Forrest will let you know they ran in it, describing how their skimpy running clothes were soaked in sweat and the harrowing experience when their CamelBak began to dry up on mile 18. It's a constant struggle to prepare for the next Flying Pig, in which they will finish in 1,200th place. If you’re not a Gump, you’ll never understand it other than to know their lives are just a big old box of melted chocolates in the summertime.
The Desert Fox
Our winter list had the Northerner and the Southerner with unique perspectives on our Cincinnati winters, the former finding them laughable and the latter seeing them as new and magical.
Occasionally, that same effect can happen in the summer when we get someone who lived in an arid climate. OK, we get it, you lived in Phoenix and our 98 degrees is merely balmy to you. I know, when you lived in Tampa it was so humid that it was like dwelling on the surface of Venus. You win, Desert Fox, congratulations on your oven mitt-like imperviousness to high temperatures.
The Green Thumb
The Green Thumb loves their landscaping, painstakingly tending to it year-round and dropping as much money as is necessary to keep everything alive and vibrant. The heat is a major nemesis of The Green Thumb, sapping lawns of water and frying grass without mercy.
The Green Thumb won’t be deterred though. They will not only brave the temps to do any weed-whacking, edging or manicuring necessary, they will also drain the Ohio River if they must to ensure the grass doesn’t get brown and crispy. Their elaborate system of sprinklers and constant flow of H2O is all that matters come the dog days. The Green Thumb might hem and haw about it, but truthfully, they love this challenge as much as keeping deer from eating their hostas and eradicating grubs.
Master of Humidity
The Master of Humidity is a close relative of The Obsesser, but with a much more specific focus. The Master’s summer life is centered around the clichéd line, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”
It wouldn’t be so bad if we didn’t already know that humidity leads to a more uncomfortably hot day, but the Master tells you this like they got exclusive information from the World Dewpoint Federation declaring this to be truth. And they will tell you this without fail on a humid day. Heaven forbid if they ever take a trip to Las Vegas, because then they’ll add the, “it’s a dry heat” explanation to their arsenal. Sorry Master, but 115 still feels pretty darn hot, regardless of humidity.
The Skipper owns a boat and is ready for you to take a three-hour tour anytime things get too hot. Much like Esther Williams, The Skipper has a plan for beating the heat. The difference though is Esther is ready at anytime to hop into a chlorinated pool whereas Skip generally wants you to admire the boat while baking in the sun.
Sure, you could go tubing or swimming, but only among the driftwood, barges, sewage or whatever living things lurk in the body of water to which The Skipper has dragged you. It’s a crap shoot on how that experience will go. But you’re not there for heat relief, you’re there to talk about how cool the boat is and how great The Skipper is for letting you experience it. Make no mistake about it.
We all know a Shirtless McGee, that guy who can’t wait to show his body the first time a hint of sun and heat emerges. When it gets super hot, it only strengthens his argument that he must go sans top.
Unfortunately, this usually is not a good look, often showcasing questionable tattoo choices, dad bod bellies and uncomfortable hairiness. If he’s mowing a lawn or something, fine, but inevitably he’s sitting in front of you at a Reds game or posting you up in a pick-up basketball game. What you do is wrong, Shirtless McGee, and you should be ashamed of yourself.