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Letter From The Editor

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So, I guess it's safe to say 100-degree days are the new normal. As I write this, we've hit triple digits six days in a row, with no relief in sight — unless you call 99 degrees relief.

How hot is it? So hot that all over the country all-time high temperatures are being set — in June. It was 109 degrees in Columbia, South Carolina, Athens, Georgia, Paducah, Kentucky, and Nashville last week.

NBC meteorologist Bill Karins said last Friday, "We've never really seen a heat wave like this in the month of June." Sadly, most climate projections say that the global warming that has occurred over the past two decades will only get worse. And most climatologists say this kind of summer weather is here to stay for the forseeable future.

So what can we do? Unless we all decide to move north to balmy Minneapolis, we Memphians are simply going to have to adapt. How best to do that? In my opinion, we should take our cue from nature. What, for example, do desert creatures do to survive the blistering heat? They sleep. During the heat of the day, they are deep in their shady burrows — cool and comfy. When the sun goes down, they come out to eat and drink. It's a simple and sensible response to intolerable natural conditions. Mother Nature always finds a way.

To that end, I suggest a bold and innovative proposal: On June 1, 2013, Mayor Wharton should announce to the world that Memphis will become America's first official "Nocturnal City." Each summer, Memphis is simply going to reverse the clock. We will begin doing at "p.m." what most people normally do at "a.m."

Here's how it would work: We'd wake up after a long day's sleep around 7 p.m. We'd read the afternoon paper, have some coffee, maybe a bagel, and head off to work around 8:30 p.m. Around midnight, we'd take our lunch break, head back to work, then knock off for the day around 5 a.m.

As the sun begins to rise, we'd have a nice dinner with the family, maybe take a walk, watch some morning TV, and then hit the sack around 10:30 a.m. or so. When it's 109 outside, we'll be in cool, dark rooms, snoozing away.

Of course, on weekends, a lot of the young folks will want to party into the wee-afternoon hours — but that's on them. Most of us will be sound asleep by then. And those who stay out early will of course have to be more careful. Because, as we all know, nothing good happens after noon.

Bruce VanWyngarden

brucev@memphisflyer.com

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