As another summer blazes through the Magic City (a town which might just as well have been built directly on the face on the sun), your very own Scarlet has taken to the porch swing at the Villa to watch the neighborhood parade, thoroughly dumbfounded by the endless stream of runners, walkers, and southern ladies strolling about, oblivious to the 100+ degree heat in which they are baking (convection style), and considering the increasingly likely possibility that I am living in the bowels of Hell. Perhaps this solar convection oven coupled with the full moon is responsible for neuronal damage at the cellular level and creating personality disturbances this past week: As the temperatures have soared, tempers have flared, couples have held one another at gunpoint.
Among my many theories, speculations and hypotheses about this sweltering southern sauna, is the recurring, somewhat unscientific suspicion that the etiology of southern heat arose with the sole purpose being to kill any incoming Yankees before they are able to unpack and take up residence…God forbid they breed. “Biological terrorism-Southern Style.”
Sustained temperatures over 100 degrees for days on end cause my own curiosity to simmer and pique about our comical approach to summer, which in the Magic City means heading to the beach. While on the surface appearing to be rooted in logic, the theory of “getting away from it all” the reality is actually a caravan of all ones’ neighbors down 65 South, only to find one’s self seated next to them as they eavesdrop on your dinner conversation at Café 30A instead of the usual Bottega. I recently overheard the following at 30A : “Why, Minnie May! I couldn’t help but notice while peering through your dining room in Crestline that you cooked chicken three times last week—I assume you will all be ordering fish tonight?” “Why, yes, Lila Lou…I noticed while peering in your bedroom that Bucky has lost more weight! Good for him-make sure y’all try the bread pudding.”
The presence of this phenomenon suggests that the well-advised would-be beach traveler proceed with caution. The savvy Southern woman knows that traveling to the gulf is quite unlike a trip to Vegas, in which “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”. On the contrary: what happens at the beach is being broadcast in Mountain Brook before one can shake the sand out of one’s sandals. Rumored to be credited for this phenomenon is the former “Mayor of Mountain Brook,” Ms. Annabelle Ankleberger, whose investigative reporting has proven so lively and accurate that she is rumored to be putting the Birmingham News out of print. One such recent report included the Birmingham Smocking Club meeting in SanDestin,which was uncovered to be more like an episode of MTV’s “Girls Gone Wild”.Want to know which local honey bun your slithering-snake boyfriend took to the beach ? Ask Annabelle.
I first discovered Annabelle’s investigative talents years ago while trying to untangle myself from an increasingly unfortunate marital situation. On one particular evening in which my betrothed was at large in Birmingham in the wee hours of the morning, she determined that he had, in fact, stopped by her house to look for me, as evidenced by a large dent in her garage and the Christmas tree she had set out for pickup having been dragged into the street by a vehicle clearly possessed.
Had she led the charge, Bin Laden would have been found years ago. Her current charge is to keep your very own Scarlet from dating or marrying any more escapees from Bryce.
In fact, she’s calling me now…time to pour a glass of Anonymous’s Torreon de Paredes Carmenere and get the news of the day (some that’s fit to tell, but mostly all that isn’t) and let this hazy summer day fold into twighlight…
And so the sun sets once again over the magnolia trees in the Magic City…where the tea is sweeter…where some thing simply never change… And we like it that way.
Until next time, Scarlet
Ask Scarlet a question, and she will tell you how to navigate those stormy waters. Send your questions to email@example.com. Or go to www.bhamweekly.com and comment on her articles. In case you missed some before she was as popular in Birmingham as she was in high school, with many disappointed suitors, try these on for size: