Most Southerners “love summer,” but our attitude changes the hotter it gets and the longer that heat lingers.

The South has its share of hot-blooded creatures who yearn for the dead of winter in June. They are likely in the minority. But even those of us who “just love summer” will turn on it eventually—especially when the mercury is still hitting 90 in September. That’s when our “too much of a good thing” attitude starts making some noise. We go into that whole “It’s not the heat—it’s the humidity” thing.

And so we have our summertime script that we turn to year after year, but it varies from month to month—or maybe we should say from temp to temp. Southern summers go from sunny and gorgeous to hot as blue blazes to relentless. And the longer that heat lingers, the grumpier we get.

Here’s the South’s summertime commentary, in our experience. Did we get it right?

Early Summer

Let’s put the top down!
Let’s go sit on the porch!
Let’s take the pontoon boat out for a cruise!
Walmart’s got grills on sale.
Walmart’s got outdoor cushions on sale.
Walmart’s got bug zappers on sale.
Nothing tastes better than a good watermelon.
Nothing tastes better than a good tomato.
I have GOT to get a pedicure.
I need some “good shorts” to wear on vacation.
Remind me to pick up some Jergen’s Natural Glow.

Mid-Summer

I’d rather pull for the Big Ten than try on swimsuits.
Piggly Wiggly’s got ribs on sale.
Publix just put butts on sale.
Winn Dixie’s running a BOGO on baby backs.
What time do the fireworks start?
I’d rather slap my Mama than wear pantyhose in this heat.
Stop EVERYTHING and help me find my condo supply list.
Put some sunscreen on your face or you’ll look 90 when you’re 30.
I smell Hawaiian Tropic.
Come here and let Mama put some sunscreen behind your ears.
Y’all going to South Padre next weekend?
Reckon Orange Beach/Wrightsville Beach/Nags Head will be crowded this weekend?
See anybody you knew on 30A last weekend?
Is it me, or have jet ski rentals gone through the roof?
Honey, either cut the grass or go out there and shoo the giraffes out of it.
Circle back around—Bo-Bo fell of his skis again. (He might need to stick with the tube, bless his heart.)

Late Summer

I could drink a Co-Cola as tall as a telephone pole.
Don’t even hand me that tea—just pour it over my head, ice and all.
Who told the kids they could go swimming in my garden tub?
This air conditioner must be low on Freon.
Turn on some air!
Just looking at polyester makes me want to pass out.
Whoever thought this conditioner was frizz-proof must live in Alaska.
It was so hot today that I didn’t poke my head out.
It’s your turn to water.
This time next year, we’re gonna have an irrigation system.
From now on, I’m not planting anything but lantana.
I’d kill for some homemade ice cream right now.
Who on earth planned this reunion for August?
I cannot WAIT for fall!
Bless Muffin’s heart! I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen a cat sweat.