In an office building somewhere behind the Pearly Gates...
Secretary: I'm sorry to disturb you, sir, but you have a call on Line 2.
God: (Sigh) Is it that Bush fellow again? I told him last time, even I don't know where bin Laden is.
Secretary: No, sir. This is about the weather.
God: Al Gore won an Oscar. What else does he want from me?
Secretary: No, sir, it's nothing like that. This is from a Nate McCullough. From Georgia.
God: Oh. Him again.
Secretary: Yes, sir. It seems he has a complaint about the heat.
God: Don't I have people to handle people like him? Where's Mother Nature?
Secretary: Um, making tornadoes in Brooklyn.
God: Brooklyn? New York? What's she mad about this time?
Secretary: I'm not sure, sir.
God: OK. Well, what about the siblings? El Nino and La Nina.
Secretary: Snuck across the American border for farm jobs, sir. But now I believe they're organizing a protest of some sort.
God: (Huff) So there's no one that can handle this?
Secretary: I'm afraid not, sir.
God: All right. Put him through.
God: God here.
Nate: Y-yes sir. It's an extreme hon-
God: Yeah, yeah, yeah. What's your beef, McCullough?
Nate: Well, sir, it's this heat.
God: Yeah? What about it? It's summer. You're in the Deep South.
Nate: Yes, sir, but it's 100 degrees outside.
God: It's August.
Nate: Yes, sir. But 100? And the heat index...
God: The heat index is something meteorologists made up to make it sound like it's hotter than it really is. Had to do something to make the weather report more interesting. But you didn't hear that from me.
Nate: Yes, sir. And we're used to hot summers. But with the drought and all, well, don't you think Mother Nature is being a bit harsh?
God: Mother Nature! That reminds me - can you hold on a sec?
Secretary: Yes, sir.
God: Can you get Ms. Nature on the horn for me? I don't know what bee is in her bonnet this week, but tornadoes in Brooklyn - that's going a bit far.
Secretary: Of course, sir.
God: You still there?
Nate: Yes, sir. As I was saying, it just seems like 100 is kind of extreme. It's like a desert around here.
God: It can't be that bad.
Nate: A camel walked through my yard yesterday, sir. My truck tires melted to the pavement. My mail caught fire in the mailbox. And don't get me started on the power bills.
Nate: My air conditioner hasn't cut off in three days. It runs at 4 o'clock in the morning.
God: It's really not my fault, you know. I don't meddle. Remember? I made a covenant. No more floods? Goes for heat waves, too.
Nate: I understand. I'm just angry, I guess. I mean, when it gets so hot that it makes you mad to go outside - just seems like there ought to be someone you can complain to. I started at the top.
God: OK. What do you have in mind?
Nate: You do miracles sometimes, right? How about a little cold front with some rain? Should be easy enough.
God: Just a cold front? That's all you want? No winning lottery ticket, no 'make me skinny' - none of that?
Nate: No, sir. Just cool it off a little.
God: Tell you what. I'll drop it back into the 90s next week. That'll at least get you back to near normal.
Nate: Every little bit helps, sir.
God: Remember that next time they pass the collection plate. When's the last time you went to church anyway?
Nate: Well, I, uh...
God: Never mind. I've got another call. Remember. Ten percent. It can get a lot hotter you know.
Nate: Yes, sir, I believe I get your drift.
God: Ms. Nature?
Mother Nature: Sir, I know you think I'm mad a lot, but just hear me out.
E-mail Nate McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Fridays.