Diary of a Mad County

1) Keep water everywhere they'll be on a hot day.

2) Encourage them to drink water even if they don't seem thirsty.

3) Remove heavy winter coats.

4) Keep them out of direct sunlight on hot days.

5) Encourage them to rest during the hottest part of the day.

6) Look for slurred speech, disorientation and the possible onset of a stroke, which may mean they flipped on the heater instead of the air conditioner.

FRIDAY, July 12 South County residents battle a heavy case of the terrorism-inspired, media-fueled, oh-my-fucking-God-the-world's-about-to-end jitters when the Camp Pendleton Marines brass decides now's the time to blow 81mm medium-extended range mortars; 155mm, M198 Howitzers; and 500-pound bombs. If your overheated dogs and elderly folk didn't shit themselves on the Fourth, this 6 a.m.-to-midnight kah-booming surely does the trick. Remember: that's the sound of your former freedom!

ANSWERS: 1) B; 2) B; 3) B (put Gramps' heavy clothing in storage until fall; shave long-haired Fido down to an inch of coating); 4) B; 5) B; 6) E, unless you have a really talented D.

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