Lake Superior, the coldest of the Great Lakes, is warmer right now than many old timers can remember at the end of July. And it may set a record for high surface temperature yet this year.
Which turns tradition on its head.
But one thing remains the same. Longfellow’s “Song of Hiawatha” is still the easiest poem on Earth to parody.
By the shores of Gitchee Gummi
By the boiling big sea water
Wrapped in towels there stood the bathers
Wrapped so not to moon the neighbors
There to feel the heat of sauna
There to feel the water bubble
In the Summer of the hotness
Came they there to sweat together
Watched they as the waves came crashing
Crashing on the rocks of Tofte
Black rocks baking in the sunlight
Water turns to steam at contact
Clouds of steam like in a sauna
Ancient steamy wood enclosure
by the lake it sits, neglected
With an A/C in the window
Father Nature pours his waters
on the rocks and steam arises
Now the Lake itself so hot
that bathers cannot breathe beside it
Now they’ve cooked themselves completely
Now they look for cooling waters
Waters right for skinny dipping
What the Lake once gave them freely
Gitchee Gummi, boiling cauldron
is the sauna now, a devil!
So the bathers run instead
inside where it is air conditioned
Shrieking as their skin is shocked
by air from Kenmore in the window
Shrieking as they did before
when jumping in the lake of yore.
Will this be the hottest summer ever?