Heat Wave Casualties 

I finally realized this week why Idaho is shaped this way. You may have heard it has to do with a river and a continental something-or-other, but forget that jibber-jabber. Here's the truth: We're residing in Gawd's own sweat sock. Somewhere above the heel, specifically. And in case you haven't noticed, living here is currently an ordeal both sweaty and sucky. Just take a gander at the list of casualties the heat has inflicted upon me in the last 10 days:

Pink Floyd: A Nice Pair. I purchased this tape at the old Franklin Road Record Exchange for $3.99 in my sophomore year of high school. Now it sulks in my trashcan, a warped echo of its former self. In its day, my precious tapey contained two full freaking albums: The Piper At the Gates of Dawn on side A, and A Saucerful of Secrets on side B. That it passed on the same week as Floyd founder Syd Barrett makes the loss extra poignant ... ish.

Frank Herbert: Dune. For the last few weeks I've been propping open my bedroom window at night with a hardcover edition of this classic of drought-related literature. However, I discovered last Thursday that the whole "air conditioning during the day, open windows at dusk" system is better left to people who can remember... stuff. I left the house for a few hours with a sprinkler on in the yard, not realizing that my abode was still in night-mode. Today, the book is as round as Arrakis and twice as moist.

My Late Mother's Coconut Meltaway Fudge Recipe. I don't remember my mother ever making coconut meltaways, and I don't particularly care for coconut, but losing this hand-scrawled recipe on a pair of sticky notes hurts more than Dune and Floyd combined. When I recently transported it and a few other recipes from somewhere to somewhere else, well, mistakes were made. Something melted away, as it were. Something else--the sun, I suspect--baked the first something into the paper, and now I'm left with a strange-smelling, translucent document bearing only a few decipherable words: "Melt unsweetened ... beat until fluffy ... vanilla ... let stand 10 minutes ... scoop onto waxed ... roll in angel flake coconut." I could attempt to fill in the gaps, but since I'm already tittering naughtily after reading that list, I'm pretty sure whatever I come up with would be illegal in this state. So instead, I beg of you, pour a little out for my burnt belongings.

--Nicholas Collias

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