And I’m very pleased with myself. Admittedly I have not seen many people – my neighbours in passing, the bank staff, the check out girls at Wilkinsons — but so far the streets remain quiet. The Four Horsemen are still feeding their beasts, the stench of paint and cleaning products not blood fills my home — all Quiet on the Western Front. As the temperature climbs towards 88 degrees, my friends have placed themselves in prison, buried themselves in basements and barricaded the doors, or flown off for a quick holiday in the Med. They know all too well what follows…
Now some of you may be thinking “not kill anyone? That is trivially easy, hardly a cause for celebration. I often go months without killing anyone.” Others may be wondering which War Zone I am in, and be wondering when I signed up to serve Queen & Country. Well the only front I am facing is a high pressure one, and it is the temperature that is my enemy.
Now admittedly not killing people is generally something I find very easy – up there with writing essays, critiquing academic papers, creating RPG supplements, making coffee, investigating spooks, not voting Conservative and seducing supermodels. Once the temperature climbs to close to 88 degrees however, all that goes out the window. I watch as my happy peaceful and rational faculties erode, and I become increasingly paranoid, tetchy, neurotic and annoyed with life. Usually I get annoyed with my girlfriends employers for some reason – or with friend’s bosses who are pushing them around. My innate anti-authoritarianism grows, and my mood passes from cool rational reflection to the kind of state Genghis was in when he fell upon Samarkand, and piled the 24,000 inhabitants skulls in a neat pyramid outside the gates. All rather OCD actually – a short course of Seroxat and the Mongols might have stayed on the steppe and devoted themselves to writing indignant letters to The Times.
I wonder if Alaric the goth would have laid waste to Rome if the weather had not been so unreasonably hot in Italy? The Goths were used to the civilized climate of Scandinavia – and mad dogs and Englishmen may go out in the midday sun, but us Scands should never try it.
The problem of course is Dave Syndrome. At least I think that is what it is called. This entirely fictitious disease forms a central part of the plot of Black Books, Series 2 Episode 3 – Fever – when Manny is desperately trying to avoid succumbing to it. I have been a martyr to it all my life, though I suspect I get it worse than Manny, judging by the scene at the end of Black Books – an uncannily accurate depiction of what I look like when suffering…
I found the episode here – if you are only interested in what I end up like, skip 23 minutes to the last minute. 🙂
Oh well, getting cooler now! I expect I can last till tomorrow now. Anyone else suffer from this terrible disorder?