Mad Dogs and Sun Stroked Squirrels

from “”
“In tropical climes there are certain times of day
When all the citizens retire, to tear their clothes off and perspire.
It’s one of those rules that the biggest fools obey,
Because the sun is far too sultry and one must avoid its ultry-violet ray —
Papalaka-papalaka-papalaka-boo. (That’s natives)
The natives grieve when the white men leave their huts,
Because they’re obviously, absolutely nuts —
Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.”  
(Noel Coward; 1931)

Mad dogs and Englishmen and so it would seem, stupid, sun stroked, squirrels.

Hi guys, sorry for the short absence.  I was recuperating.  Last Tuesday, I popped down to the neighboring island republic of Singapore and I had a few hours to kill.  So I decided to do a tour of the Marina Bay area including the Theaters on the Bay, Merlion Park, and along the Singapore River all the way to the Clarke Quay.  Basically a number of boat tours are available covering the same area but this skinflint squirrel was happy to walk the entire distance to save paying the USD 29 tour fees besides the entire distance could not have been more than about 4 inches as seen on the tourist map!

And so, in the company of a few mad dogs and a scattering of similarly mad tourists, I went out in the mid-day sun without even a hat or an umbrella.  I had a bottle of water in my backpack but somehow I failed to use it.  Three hours later,  overheated, exhausted and sweat soaked, I managed to stagger into an air-conditioned food court.  I thirstily and rapidly quaffed three large cups of icy cool sweetened  liquids.

That was another mistake.  Suddenly my core body temperature plummeted due to the cold drinks and the action of the air-conditioning on my sweat soaked clothing.  I began shivering and had to go back out it the sun to feel warm.

Basically, I got sun stroked and my body’s temperature regulation system was placed out of whack.  My head throbbed, my muscles ached, I developed a really bad cough and a mouth ulcer and I have been ill for the last few days.

The moral of the story is …..that mad dogs and Englishmen are bad influences on innocent squirrels.


26 thoughts on “Mad Dogs and Sun Stroked Squirrels”

  1. Hehehe Calvin … well, it’s good to know that your sense of humour didn’t suffer from the sunstroke.

    I’ve never been that badly affected by the sun but the way you describe it, it sure sounds scary and, I guess, could prove fatal?

    Glad you survived the ordeal – here’s wishing you a speedy recovery.

  2. Gee that sounds awful. Glad to hear you are feeling better. I would love to implement the afternoon siestahere in Canada but it isn’t catching on here. Not hot enough, I guess. 🙂

  3. Why was the Dog mad? His owner left him out sans water on a 100+ degree day. But Squirrels and humans are supposed to be smart enough to at least seek shade and hydration, it is at times harder to be smarter than a mad dog.

  4. you’re feeling much better and have learned your lesson! We have to be careful here too. It’s very easy to overheat or dehydrate when active outdoors in the middle of the day.

  5. OneStonedCrow,
    Well I had a serious misadventure with hypothermia many years ago, so I just had to make sure I had the opposite experience of heat stroke as well. Wouldn’t be balanced either wise. Now I can say with authority that hypothermia is a nicer way to go………at one point you don’t even feel the cold but feel that you can drift off……off….to sleep. Good to see you in the blogosphere, buddy.

    …..just 4 inches but so much misery! darn them deceiving inches! The silver lining is that I actually lost 4 kg from the experience and that I hope means lost inches around my equator.

  6. Laura,
    I fully support the siesta concept. Good luck with that.

    Why was the dog mad? Well, I think Noel Coward was thinking of rabid dogs but I think most psychologists today will point to childhood trauma ……separated from mother at birth and shunted from one kennel to another…etc. Why were the Englishmen mad? Well, not mad but jolly eccentric, eh wot! Why was the squirrel mad? Well, we are what we eat……nuts.

  7. Riot Kitty,
    95? Ummmm………say when are you guys switching over to Celsius and join the rest of the world? I ask cause the Fahrenheit scale seems like an excuse to boast. e.g. “You guys are sweltering in 40 deg Celsius? Why, on our scale, we are at 95. My scale is bigger than your scale!”

    Case of “penny wise and health foolish”. 🙂

  8. Good grief! That could have been much more serious! So glad it wasn’t.

    Is it just me, or is there something a little disturbing about the mimicking of the native language in that poem?

  9. Hello, i’m visiting from Graham’s, i’m also a friend of secret agent:) Hope you are better, it is raining nowadays so it is cooler. Thank you for the origin of mad dogs. Digariga, digariga.

  10. I think many people would be suprised at how easily sun stroke can creep up on them. I was walking back to the office from giving blood and it turned out to be a much hotter day then I realized. Obviously it was a bad combination. I nearly passed out when I felt the shock of the air conditioning in the building hit me.

    I’m glad you are better and did not need invasive medical treatment. I was also lucky in that respect. I think I stayed in bed for three days and drank lots of fluids.


  11. I’ve always wanted to live in a siesta culture. Not for the heat but for the nap. Come to think of it, I do enjoy an afternoon nap most days. But then on others, like the squirrel, I go out in the noonday sun. Even though I know better. Even though I know what’s going to happen. It’s like a buffet. You can’t stop even when you know you should. Oh well.

  12. geewits,
    Ah, actually I just pretend to be smart. 🙂

    secret agent,
    Indeed, it is a bit disturbing. Remember this was written way back when British colonialism was still at its peak and advice like “if you run down a chinaman, make sure he’s truly dead or else there will be a mountain of paperwork” was considered normal.

  13. Oceangirl,
    Hi and thanks for coming by and leaving a comment. It would seem that we are also neighbors as I am also from KL. Funny that we should meet via our mutual friends in Namibia and USA but such is the fun of blogging.

    I too was incapacitated for about 3 days. Both of us really ought to take better care of ourselves.

  14. Mr. Charleston,
    I think there is medical evidence that supports the siesta concept. So keep practicing it. Interesting that you use the buffet example cause I recently decided that I am also too old to really take advantage of buffets. Sad.

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