Rather a lot has been written about beating the heat in summertime Phoenix. After a half-century of contributing to this pointless dialogue, I'm throwing in my tanning towel and offering instead a new suggestion: Lie.
Not about the heat — pretending it's not too hot for real happiness is as futile as tapping out another paragraph about fun things to do in July in Avondale. I'm recommending that you prevaricate like mad until October comes. Bullshit your way through August. Pretend you're somewhere else.
You can do it. Think mind over matter; Pennsylvania in November. Visualize ice clinging to tire chains and Santa Claus stuck in a snowdrift. Adopt a new mantra: "I am an Otter Pop . . . I am an Otter Pop . . ."
As long as you stay entirely away from the out-of-doors, most of your friends and workmates, and any doorways and windows for the next six months, you'll be fine. Here are some quick tips to faking your way through a sub-zero summer:
• Learn another language. Inuit is the native tongue of the North American Arctic, and is (according to the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology) among the most difficult languages for English-speakers to learn. You'll be so busy learning the 417 words for "snow," you won't notice that it's 127 degrees outside. Especially if you study while seated in a bathtub filled with ice and an oscillating fan pointed at your head.
• Pay your friends to lie to you. Offer 50 bucks to anyone you'll be forced to cross paths with between now and Christmastime in exchange for the pretense that you are both snowed in at the Russian Vostok Station in Antarctica. Costuming is everything — demand that they wear a wool scarf and a parka at all times. (Hey, you gave them 50 bucks!)
• Get hypnotized. Craigslist is crammed with ads for guys who will dangle a coin in front of your eyes until you believe you're in Helsinki on Christmas Eve. For 20 dollars less, most of them will trick you into thinking you're a chicken, which is just as good as pretending you're not in Phoenix, because birds aren't very bright and don't care about the weather.
• Check out this year's New Times Summer Guide.
Inside the Summer Guide:• "Taste the World While Never Leaving the Valley" by Dominique Chatterjee
• "You, Too, Can Play Tourist in Greater Phoenix" by Julie Peterson
• "Air-Cooled Athletic Endeavors Await" by Jason Franz
• "When the Sun Goes Down, Exotic Nightlife Locales Light Up" by Benjamin Leatherman
• "Spike Lee Goes Back to Indieland (and Brooklyn) for Red Hook Summer" by Aaron Hillis
• "Your Guide to Highly Anticipated Summer Films" by Aaron Hillis