Everyone's talking about the weather: We're doing something about it. Beat the heat every Friday with "Hot Enough for You?" -- a weekly assortment of summertime stories and tips on surviving the swelter.
Water, water everywhere
Going for a TKO with the H20?
Take along the Super Soaker.
The high-powered water pistol, which holds up to 2 quarts, is being hailed as the next best thing to the garden hose when the neighborhood water battle breaks out.
Thanks to an onslaught of advertising and an unseasonably warm spring, all three Super Soaker models (priced between $6.99 and $29.99) have been selling out at stores in the state and around the country.
"It's been sensational," says Al Davis, executive vice president of Larami, the Philadelphia-based manufacturer of the toy. "It's been on Johnny Carson."
The secrets: a reserve tank that holds extra water and a pump that builds water pressure. The toy is destined to build the biceps, too; when full, the largest gun weighs close to 6 pounds.
Other water toys making waves this year: squirt gun necklaces shaped like animals (about $2 at the Toy Chest and Dallas Alice) and Blastos, a bellows that shoots water or bubbles ($15.95 at the Toy Chest).
There are two ways to treat the heat: Hide out in air conditioning whenever possible or embrace the warmth and luxuriate in the steam. Taking the latter approach is easier if done sitting still, preferably with a cool drink, so here's a list of some restaurants with outdoor tables:
Bay Cafe, 2809 Boston St., 522-3377.
The Cozy Restaurant at the Cozy Motel and Inn, 105 Frederick Road, Thurmont, (301) 271-4301.
Harborplace restaurants, Pratt and Light streets.
Harrison's Restaurant Pier 5, 711 Eastern Ave., 783-5553.
Henry & Jeff's, 1218-20 N. Charles St., 727-3322.
Luigi Petti's, 1002 Eastern Ave., 685-0055.
The Manor Tavern, 15819 Old York Road, Monkton, 771-8155.
Middleton Tavern, 2 Market Space, Annapolis, (301) 263-3323 or 269-1256.
River Watch Restaurant and Marina, 207 Nanticoke Road on Middle River, 687-1422.
Town Dock Restaurant, 125 Mulberry St., St. Michael's, (301) 745-5577.
May we clean your freezer?
Hoo, boy! We've been getting plenty of calls on how to avoid the summer sweats. Hot Enough's Cool Characters of the week include:
*Mindy Boyce of Hanover, who stole this idea from a friend in California: Put on a hat and a whole bunch of clothes and run around the house three times. Then take the clothes off and stand in your bathing suit for a sudden cool feeling.
*Stephanie Kalinich of Arnold has a fairly elaborate scheme: Take a cotton bandanna, wet it and roll it in a circle the size of your head or wrist. Freeze it, then wear it (with a dry bandanna underneath to catch drips).
*Stephen Potis of Parkville advises: "Go to a local restaurant and approach the chef and offer to clean out their walk-in freezer. If you walk in with sweaty clothes, quite often you'll walk out with frozen clothes.
What are your ideas on keeping cool? Using a touch-tone phone, call 783-1800 (or 268-7736 from Anne Arundel County). Once the system answers your call, enter code 4400. This is a local call from the Baltimore area. If you don't have a touch-tone phone,
send your ideas to: "Hot Enough," Features Department, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.