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   August Heat

Ken Keller


I looked in the mirror. I was mesmerized by the little beads of sweat above my upper lip.  They just hung there, glistening.  They weren't running down into my mouth.  They just stayed put, kind of quivering at times as I looked around for the towel to wipe them away.  It was on the floor where I had left it after last night’s extra cool bath. 

Momma had me take one of those every night since she noticed the new electronic sign at the bank show 102* at 10:22 am last Monday.  Although the water felt cool again last night, it turned out to be special as she had even brought in one of those aluminum ice trays with the the built in handles and crunched the whole tray into the water.  That crank handle had enough leverage to break the cubes into many, many pieces of various sizes.  The cool bath was instantly lots more fun as I swirled the cubes around my legs.  Then I slid down in the water as it was about chin deep with me lying down.  But I got a real surprise as the retreating water splurged back over my face and a little chunk of ice went up my nose.  I rose up really quickly and gulped a mouthful of air and blew it out by holding the other nostril closed. 

Of course, Momma heard all the commotion, especially the water slosh over the edge of the tub.  The first thing she said was,  "Now you've got a real mess to clean up."  Then she congratulated me on my quick thinking about how to get the ice out of my nose.  I thanked her but explained I had learned that from my grandpa up at the farm when we were out in the barn, and he had to blow his nose and didn't have his handkerchief.

Grandpa got in more trouble than than I did.  I heard nothing more of the matter, and Grandpa never did it in front of me again.