Beating the heat with TV news

An open letter to local news programs sarcastically thanking them for their suggestions on tips to stay cool during a heat wave.

Dear local television news stations,

Thank you for your extremely dedicated coverage of Heat Wave 2013. I especially enjoy weather-related news stories because weathermen get super excited for this much air time. While people are passing out from heatstroke, they are smiling and thinking “Score one for ol’ Flip Sprinkle!”

The b-roll of the sun is a particularly nice touch to start this package. There it is! That nasty thing! Boo! What I like best is how the shot has an American flag in the foreground. I get what you’re subtly saying, “The sun is attacking us, but we, as Americans, will persevere.” Profound stuff. You didn’t win that Best Daytime News Program Emmy shooting shots of the sun over a stupid tree.

You give the story the proper gravitas it requires when the extended forecast has five sweating frowny faces. Those poor frowny faces! They don’t even have hands to wipe away all that sweat!

And speaking of high-quality graphics, kudos on the graphic of the sun wearing sunglasses next to the bursting thermometer. Putting aside the fact that placing plastic eyewear anywhere next to the sun would be vaporized instantly, is your entire graphics department a couple of 11 year olds from the 1990s? It looks like this was an assignment for your children and you just let them run with it. This is especially true when you get to your “Tips To Beat The Heat.”

News executive (to 8-year-old son): “Thurman? You’re not dead yet from this heat. What are some ways you stay cool?”

“UmI don’t go outside?”

“Brilliant! Johnson! Put that on the list!”

I’m not looking for CNN hologram technology that adds value to a story somehow I’m merely looking for creative solutions. Instead you tell me to:

– Stay indoors in the air conditioning. Wow. Innovative. I don’t want to jump ahead here and scoop your winter story, but would you recommend staying indoors in the heat during a blizzard?

Thankfully you got to me before I lay down naked in my driveway, ladling myself with boiling gravy, as per my normal routine. Maybe I don’t do that now?

– Drink plenty of water. Thank heavens you pointed that out. I was about to run a 5k and challenge my Facebook friends to a cinnamon-eating contest.

Sometimes, after excessive exercise or eating an entire sleeve of Ritz crackers, I get this sensation in my throat and I don’t know what to do. Eat MORE crackers? Hold my mouth open in front of a fan? Lick a parrot? I just don’t know.

– Wear light, loose-fitting clothing. OK, what are you trying to pull? You just want my shorts to fall off. Perverts. I’ll wear my summer scarf with the football on it if I want to. It’s slimming and sophisticated. Heatstroke won’t deter me from looking my best. I’m sure if/when the paramedics revive me, the first thing they’ll ask is where I got that scarf.

– Draw the blinds. What a worthless suggestion. I did this and I was just as hot as ever. However I did receive quite a few compliments from various members of my household on my sketch.

I would’ve suggested the following when trying to “beat the heat.”

1. Place a baseball bat in a pail of water. Freeze it. Then go outside and attack the heat with your ice club. Let the heat feel your cool vengeance.

2. Hug an Eskimo?

3. Live in an underground hut and start a race of Mole People.

4. Take cues from the animal kingdom. Toucans transfer blood vessels to their beaks to keep their body temperature down. Do that.

5. Grow a beak

6. Vultures urinate on their legs to keep cool. If you didn’t want to be covered in urine, maybe you shouldn’t be so hot.

7. Just, like, don’t be so hot or whatever.

8. DO something “cool” like buy a motorcycle or randomly kiss a lady on the street (note: do not combine with #6).

9. Run as fast as you can away from the sun!

Finally, your uncomfortable obligatory segue banter makes me feel more comfortable when talking to my wife’s work friends. Admittedly, you did surprise me with where you took the story.

“You know what would make this heat worse? Being covered in cat hair! Colonel Meow now holds the Guinness Record for longest cat hair at nine inches.”

I did not see that coming.

Kelly Van De Walle is the senior creative & marketing writer for Briscoe14 Communications ( He can be reached at or via hallucination. Follow Kelly on Twitter @pancake_bunny or he’ll join you inside your loose-fitting clothes.