Marty Russell


It really, really pains me to say this but, for once, and probably only once, I can actually sympathize with Donald Trump. That’s because, like Trump, I was really feeling the heat last week.

Unlike the president, whose heat was coming from political pressure over his really stupid and self-incriminating calls for foreign entities to help him dig up dirt on a political opponent and using taxpayer money as leverage, my heat was real and coming from the solar and barometric pressure of stupidly believing human beings were meant to live in the American South in the summertime.

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, even if you were comfortably ensconced in your nicely air conditioned home or office, last week was one of the hottest on record and the entire month of September was the hottest – and driest – in the history of such records.

According to the National Weather Service, Tupelo set at least five new record high temperatures in September and that trend has continued into October where we set a record high low temperature Sunday night with a low of 73 topping the old record high low of 71 set back in 1998.

That’s a lot of heat and absolutely no rain, at least at my house, until some wet stuff that wasn’t bird poop actually fell out of the sky here late Sunday night and finally broke the heat wave.

I’m stating the obvious to remind you of what the weather was like a week ago Monday, on Sept. 30. I was sitting at my desk that morning pecking out another column as usual when I noticed it was really starting to get warm, especially for that early in the morning. The windows and doors were all closed and the air conditioner was running but there was no denying that the temperature was going up. Very quickly.

Being a good journalist I asked myself the obvious question: what the hell is going on?

But it wasn’t until I stuck my hand in front of one of the ceiling vents and felt nothing but warm air coming out that I realized the AC was apparently MIA. I called a specialist who poked around a little while on the heating and air conditioning system before officially declaring my 15-year-old central unit as deader than an impeachment bill in the U.S. Senate.

Not only was I facing a huge bill for a complete replacement of the system, I was informed it would be at least a week before that replacement could begin. One week, which just happened to be one of the hottest of the year.

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again with even more conviction. If it weren’t for air conditioning, the South would be uninhabitable. Surviving last week was hell, pun intended. It was a week of open windows, the constant hum of fans, lots of ice water, walking around in as few clothes as possible without getting arrested and waiting on the cat to spontaneously combust and the dog to melt.

Take my advice, go now and hug your air conditioner. Without it, we’d all be living up north.

MARTY RUSSELL writes a Tuesday column for the Daily Journal. Readers can contact him at

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