How to be cool

It ain’t pretty but it works

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to be cool, but you do have to pay the price. If you’re not lucky enough to have an air-conditioned castle with an in-ground pool, you’re going to have to get creative. The following strategies have worked well for me in places like Austin, Phoenix and New Orleans, where it’s even hotter and wetter than here. You won’t look like a million bucks, but you’ll feel a million degrees cooler.

Fluids: As everyone knows, staying hydrated is important. The best liquids for beating the heat will also get you drunk and make your head hurt, so you should always have a glass of water or two while drinking away the dog days of summer.

My favorites: cheap beer in foam can coolers; Mudslides—non-dairy for the vegan lush; homemade sangria; mint juleps—use fresh mint and super-fine sugar.

Body heat: Adjusting to summer means adjusting your sense of style. For most people, this means nothing more than wearing shorts instead of long pants, which is good, but to be really cool, you need to wear a headband. I don’t care if it looks totally ‘70s and gives you zits on your forehead. Headbands, especially when soaked in ice water, keep your brain from overheating. Now they have these things called “Headbannas” that attach with Velcro and have skulls and flames and things printed on them. Get one of those.

Gold Bond Medicated Powder: Gold Bond has those commercials with old people and athletes putting the stuff on their feet. Who does that? It’s like they’re afraid of giving away the best secret on beating the heat since swimming. For those of you who don’t know about Gold Bond, it’s prime usage is the prevention of the dreaded summer affliction known as swamp crack. Get a little on your area and WAHOO! It’s like smoking a menthol cigarette atop an Alpine glacier. It doesn’t get much cooler that that.