The 5 Most Tense Decisions to Be Made in a Heat Wave

Summer is here in full force, with record days of triple-digit temperatures sapping your energy and baking your hide.

Hot temperatures bring with them a series of tense decisions that must be made, decisions where if you guess wrong, the circumstances can be dire. (Note: These do not include the existential question of whether life is worth living, asked in the parking lot when you've been forced into a distant spot.)

Like these five.

5. Crack that window? We all know what it's like to open the door of a car in an uncovered parking lot at the end of a 100-degree day if you've had the windows up -- the blast of hot air is enough to throw you back five feet. Then there's the idiocy of opening your windows to let some cooler air in -- when it's 98 degrees outside.

Of course, the other option is to crack your windows and discover that there's been a quick but intense gully-washer while you were stuck in that windowless-room meeting. Accept that when the meteorologist says there's a 20 percent chance of rain, if you crack your windows those odds increase to 90 percent in the area taken up by your car.

Roll the windows all the way up or crack? It's a tough decision, but you're playing with fire (and rain -- shout-out to all the James Taylor fans!)

4. For the women: How light a shirt? No one wants to walk into work a steaming mess of sweating misery; on the other hand, no one wants to spend the day freezing, exposing prominent nipples, in some cubicle where the temps are frosty.

What top will it be? Choose wisely, ma'am.

3. Go out for lunch or settle for the vending machine? Not everyone's on the tunnel system, and those that aren't curse those who are nearly every damn day of the summer. Head out into 103-degree sun-bakeage to walk a block for lunch? Normally a no-brainer, but when the temps hit triple digits, all of a sudden an energy bar from the break room seems good enough to get you to dinner.  

Coolio, dude
Coolio, dude

2. How forcefully do you passively-aggressively silently plead for someone to pick up lunch for you? If an energy bar isn't a vending option, and three-month-old Zingers don't sound appetizing, you'll have a moment of crisis when someone in your section of the cube farm groans about having to go out there in the heat to pick up some lunch. How hard do you work to get eye contact and then manipulate face and eyebrows into a convincing hang-dog look without actually being caught doing so? It's a tightwire, and you don't want to get caught in the act.

1. Dork it out with one of those windshield sunscreens? At the end of the day, your car, as we mentioned before, is going to be hot. Not just generally in the interior, but also across everything you have to touch to get it going.

One of the remedies, of course, is those aluminum-foil sunscreen things that you put up under your windshield.

Sure, they work, but the problem is this: No one has successfully pulled off the job of putting one up or taking one down without looking like a dork. You may think you look like a beret-and-racing-gloves-wearing cool Euro taking down the top on his 1965 MG, but in reality you look like Mr. Fussbudget putting on goggles and nose clips to go swimming, or like Dad struggling to fold back the world's largest and most unwieldy road map.

Ask yourself -- is it worth it?

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