In the Heat of the Mo­ment

Asian Journal - - Editorial -

The nice warm spring that we have been en­joy­ing has slipped past, and in it’s wake, we are en­dur­ing the ex­treme heat, more typ­i­cal of those dusty days of Au­gust.

But as I sit here sweat­ing over my hot key­board, ac­tu­ally, the key­board is fine, it’s the tan I’m get­ting from my 27 inch mon­i­tor that has over­come the fee­ble ef­forts of my ro­tat­ing fan. I have been re­port­ing on the im­pact of the hot weather and it fired me up about do­ing my col­umn on the hot topic of… ID­IOMS OF HEAT (cue the echo cham­ber).

Hot off the Press. In to­day’s id­iom-speak it means the latest news, but many years ago, about 55 of them, as a young news­pa­per car­rier for the Van­cou­ver Sun, I re­mem­ber vis­it­ing a room in the Sun Tower, where the type­set­ters ac­tu­ally cre­ated each page of the pa­per by a process of “hot me­tal print­ing” where molten lead was poured into a mould to form a plate called a print­ing block. So the term de­rived from a print run that was so fresh that the pa­per was still hot from the lead type. It is amaz­ing to think that in that short of time we’ve come from pour­ing hot lead to com­puter driven presses – hot progress I’d say! The only hot lead in the pa­pers these days is that ex­pended on the streets in the fight­ing over drug turf.

Hot un­der the col­lar: an apt de­scrip­tion of many of the po­lice and civic of­fi­cials try­ing to end the “hot lead” gun vi­o­lence. When an in­di­vid­ual be­comes frus­trated or an­gry, their blood pres­sure rises. Of­ten it is ac­com­pa­nied by a very red com­plex­ion as blood rushes up to the face and ears. The eye­balls may bulge and steam is of­ten por­trayed by car­toon­ists as blast­ing out from the ears. De­scrip­tive enough?

If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen: This is easy to un­der­stand. If a per­son can’t han­dle the pres­sure of the job they shouldn’t be there. It’s at­trib­uted to U.S. Pres­i­dent Harry Tru­man, who used the phrase fre­quently in the 1940’s. I can re­late to that when I grad­u­ated from paper­boy to work­ing at the White Spot. The kitchen, par­tic­u­larly in sum­mer, could be a very warm place and when those fa­bled cars of the six­ties would fill the car lots ev­ery night, it be­came fran­tic han­dling all the or­ders. I opted in­stead to be a carhop where it was cooler, you got tips and you could show off for the girls. Oh, and of course, ef­fi­ciently de­liver those Chicken Pick­ins and Triple-O burgers.

Dropped like a hot potato: Any­one who has ever roasted pota­toes in a bon fire or an oven knows all to well the jug­gling act that en­sues when pick­ing up a spud that’s a lit­tle too hot to han­dle. The anal­ogy can ap­ply to le­gal cases, con­tracts, as­sign­ments, and for me, oc­ca­sion­ally a tray full of milk­shakes and fries when the me­tal end of the tray would snag a ra­dio an­tenna. Oh well, there went that tip!

So un­til next week, keep the home fires burn­ing (but not lit­er­ally)!


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