Heat equals crazy: What I learned buying cheese

Cultural conquistador Kate Turner has irrefutable proof that heat equals crazy. She’s seen it with her own peepers, whilst buying cheese.


Our Australian weather is known around the world as being hot. A reason for this stereotype is that…well, it’s bloody hot. Especially in these summer days; Yay to Hungry Jack’s $1 frozen drinks…am I right?

So yes, summer here can get brutal in a number of ways. From the scorching temperatures to the craziness that arrives when coming in contact with others. Heat doesn’t have a face to punch, but fellow victims do. Alongside a recent study which espoused the concept of “heat rage,” I can absolutely confirm that it is true. Heat equals crazy. Add that equation to a setting (a late night grocery shopping trip to downtown Parramatta), and you’ve got yourself some science.

Let me explain.

It was going on 9pm or so on a school night, and I was feeling a cheese toasty vibe coming on. After a quick look through the fridge, devoid of food, I realised I had no ingredients for this toasty. Actually I didn’t have any food apart from a questionable looking peach. Or apricot. I don’t know; time had done its thing.

So with this craving I drove off to the nearest grocery store, which was downtown Parramatta, parking down in the underground car park. Underground car parks in Summer are uncomfortably hot. You avoid them if you can.

But I had no choice…I wanted, no, I needed that cheese toasty. So I went in and got my goods, and in my opinion paid way too much money for so little stuff.

Upon my return to the car, armed with cheese…this is where the crazy saga really begins.

I started my car, and with beads of sweat dripping down my face and back, I reversed out and moved into the line of cars waiting their turn to head towards the boom gate; the only exit.

We were moving forward little by little then this happened. The car closest to the boom gate managed to drive up over the side of the gutters, moving his car across the boom, blocking the way for anyone to get out. Everyone including me in the line of 15-20 cars were like, “Huh?”

He turned off his car and just sat there, staring at all of us waiting to get out of this underground sauna.

For a moment, it was silent apart from running engines.

The guy in the car behind the blocker-jackass got out and walked towards the car with his arms in the air like, “wtf?”

And the guy blocking us all just sat there smiling.

That’s when everyone became scary versions of themselves, and gave themselves to the dark side.

Grace was gone and the heat took over.

Car horns were blasting with no break, people were out of their cars screaming for him to move, and everyone in their shorts, singlets and thongs looked tired and feral, like they were possessed by the summer heat demons.

A group of young twenty-somethings started fist fighting with each other; seriously, how’s that going to help?

Fists were being thrown all over the place, people getting their aggression out to whoever slipped into the range of their limbs. I was feeling like I was in an end of days film.

I quickly wound up my windows and locked the doors in my air-conditionless car. The girl in the car behind me did the same, but I could see her hair flowing in her conditioned car.

I envied and hated her all at once.

But we started this sign language thing through my reverse mirror. With my hands up I motioned, “What on earth is happening?” and with her hands up, “Man, I have no idea!” and we laughed half-arsed laughs, ’cause it was hot, and neither of us had the energy to put in too much effort.

I thought to myself a number of times why didn’t I go to the other grocery store? I never come to this store.

I just want my damn toasty.

The brawling group of twenty-somethings made peace, turning to the blocking car and surrounded it screaming expletives and were just about to start rocking the car when security finally showed up and tried to calm everyone down.

After a while of convincing from the guards, people started getting back in their cars. The security talked to the jerk blocking us all trying to get him to move, while waiting for the police to arrive.

I don’t know what the hell that guy was doing, or if the heat and maybe some questionable substances just made this seem like a really funny thing to do. I did laugh I’ll give him that; though probably more out of hysteria than anything else.

Finally after what felt like a lifetime spent in Psychoville, we were set free. Everyone drove out like they were fleeing for their lives, blasting their horns all the way down the street like hallelujah.

I tell you what, though; driving out of a sauna into the warm dry heat was heaven. I got home, told my housemates what happened, and finally made my cheese toasty.

Was it worth the trip to Crazy Town?

No, it was not.

What I learned from all this is the only way to navigate the heat wave days alive and sane is to keep hydrated! Seriously…dehydration affects the brain and our thought process. You become a more anxious, depressed version of yourself. And in really harsh heat, people are known to start hallucinating and show acts of aggression.

And maybe don’t be hungry at night when you have no food. And definitely don’t try out a different grocery store in a thuggish looking place for the first time on your own. Treat everyone like they’re a psycho who’s just escaped an asylum…meaning tread carefully with people’s feelings.

Or to sum up, don’t leave your house ’til Autumn comes.


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