BY LATKA SPELLING
There’s something going on you should know about. It’s called “The Urban Heat Island Effect.” It involves Asphalt and Concrete. And it’s going on tonight in cities around the world.
Let me explain.
Asphalt and Concrete have been around a long time. Asphalt, a little more specialized than Concrete, is good at making roads and rooftops. Concrete, more well-rounded than Asphalt, seems to be everywhere you look. When I was young I loved watching the huge, gently spiraling cylindrical part of those concrete-mixing trucks. I’d point and shout, “Look! A concrete truck!” I had no reaction to asphalt, other than enjoying riding my bike a little more when there was a new layer on the street. Asphalt is crushed flat by a truck-type thing that really only crushes asphalt smooth. This "Asphalt truck" actually needs a much larger truck to transport it to the asphalt-laying site. I never pointed and shouted, “Look! Heavy machinery that crushes asphalt getting its ass hauled around by a bigger truck!” No one in my neighborhood did either.
I know you know all about Asphalt and Concrete. But did you know that Asphalt and Concrete store heat longer than farmland, woodland, suburban lawns, in-ground swimming pools, bogs, ponds, marshes, lakes, oceans, and dirtroads?
Let me explain.
During the day, sunlight blares down on the city. Sunlight makes things hot during the summer, as I know you know, and it makes people look hot when they walk in it, especially in the city. You can tell by looking at human faces when it’s hot. Skin is glazed and people wear blank expressions. You have been hot if you have been outside recently. I know you know how sunlight makes it hot in the summer. Basic information, I agree.
But do you know why it’s often HOTTER AT NIGHT, when there is no sunlight?!?
Let me explain.
Asphalt and Concrete, instead of fending off the heat’s very violent blows with equally valiant parries, accept the heat with open arms. They actually store it deep inside themselves, like a bank does with money. Think of heat as cash deposited by the sun. At night, Asphalt and Concrete gradually release into the moonlit air what the sun deposited during the day. If Asphalt and Concrete were a bank, expelling cash exactly where we all walk, particularly at night, would not make good business sense. Imagine what would happen if a bank started throwing money into the night air. No one would work in the summer. Everyone would take to the streets with pillowcases.
Asphalt and Concrete are more like a song-singing duo than a bank. Yet the heat they release is very dissimilar to songs we like to hear at night.
Let me explain.
Asphalt and Concrete’s songs are nothing like popular songs by popular duos. You will never confuse an Asphalt and Concrete song for The Sound of Silence by Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon, for example. Nor will you ever experience Asphalt and Concrete’s Urban Heat Island Effect and say, “It's actually a lot like Shake Your Groove Thing or Reunited by Peaches & Herb.”
Nevertheless, Asphalt and Concrete's "song" is rampant. It's all over the place. It's here. Tonight. Go experience it. The Urban Heat Island Effect will appear live where you live, even if your closest city is very residential.
You can see it at almost any club, particularly outdoor clubs. I hear it's very popular at raves. People like Asphalt and Concrete’s Urban Heat Island Effect because it makes them sweat. Also you can hear other music while it's going on. The sweating reminds people of Native American ceremonies. They then remember to use every part of the buffalo, deer, and elk. They may realize coyotes talk nonsense. The Urban Heat Island Effect makes it so people would prefer nothing more than to sit around in a circle and have visions while smoking stuff.
For those who don't enjoying sweating, or even sitting around at sweaty clubs with a bunch of people who think they're taking to dog-like animals that don't ever go to dance clubs, the Urban Heat Island Effect is best counteracted by air-conditioning, swimming pools, towels soaked in ice water, fans, or traveling to colder climes. That's the truth.
Victims of the Urban Heat Island Effect are not always initially in
a fatal situation. Typically, it will cause “only” a cardiac arrest that
can be corrected by proper resuscitation. Besides "drink plenty of fluids,"
all I can really say about Asphalt and Concrete and The Urban Heat Island
Effect is that the City of New York's Office of Emergency Management offers
B R A V E S O U L S R E C E I V E
READ THE FOLLOWING BEFORE PROCEEDING:
Zadie Smith's "On the Road:
American Writers And Their Hair"
The Plot Revealed: "The Others"
Tom Bradley's "Proving Grounds"
Interview With An Autofellator
Archive of Recent Activities