North Mississippi in the middle of August is unlike anywhere else on earth.
The Colonel knows this because he has spent all or part of the month of August on every continent save Antarctica.
August, here at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere, is a dry, yet muggy, green-going-dusty brown, withering kudzu-clad hell.
It's the Colonel's favorite place on this big blue marble, but it is hell in August, nonetheless.
Holy scripture describes Hell as a place where "their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched."
Yep. That's Mississippi in August, alright.
There was a time, long ago, in the halcyon days of his not-so misspent youth, that the Colonel relished the sweat-soaked sauna of a long run in the noon-time heat of August.
Introduced to that running ritual whilst matriculating at the cultural center of the southern universe -- Ole Miss -- the Colonel sought, self-abusively, to recreate the endorphin rush that accompanies pushing the body to the edge of heat stroke in whatever locale he was presently, if not pleasantly, posted.
August in the piney hills of Quantico, Virginia is ugly with a heat and humidity combo that has driven generations of Marine officer, and FBI agent, candidates to the brink of dehydrated dementia.
But, it ain't Mississippi.
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina simmers in the summer.
But, it don't cook like Mississippi.
Macon, Georgia and Montgomery, Alabama are the twin sisters of August -- Misery and Agony.
But, their blues don't match Mississippi's.
North Africa is hot in August. Well, North Africa is hot in every month with a letter in it's name.
But, Tunisia and Morocco could take lessons in heat-induced listlessness from Mississippi.
Panama has two seasons -- hot and dry, and hot and wet. But, Panama wraps in you in constant, year-round blanket of skin and blood-thinning warmth.
North Mississippi whipsaws you from one extreme to another, with an oh-so-brief, tender, loving lull of glorious, worshipful weather between. One month it's winter, the next it's hell.
Thailand and the Philippines are just plain sticky. But, they're sticky all the time.
It gets so awfully hot in Mississippi in August that "sticky" would be a relief.
Hawaii? Okinawa? Seoul? Toulon? Perth? Diego Garcia? Denmark? Hong Kong? Singapore? Naples? Vieques?
Y'all ain't got nuthin'!
It is so hot, and miserable, and muggy, and oppressive, and stultifying (had to find a word to make the Colonel's Mississippi State grad brother break out his dictionary) this week in North Mississippi that the Colonel has suspended all outside operations, indefinitely.
Until the weather breaks, the Colonel is just going to stay inside and write bad things about it.