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You’d be unkind, too, if you were this hot and bothered


“Hot enough for you?”

Let’s start with THAT guy, shall we? The one who, apparently void of anything else to say, resorts to the lowest common denominator of shared misery.

I mean, how exactly are we supposed to respond when confronted by that level of benign hostility? This devious passive-aggressiveness display of sadism masquerading as empathy is enough to boil the blood.

No, Capt. Obvious, actually I’d like it to be 11 degrees hotter. It’s bad enough that we’re learning about “heat domes” and other ominous weather terms this early in the summer; now, every Shecky-wannabe wants to jab us in the ribs as soon as we step out of the frying pan and into the air conditioning.

“You sound a little, for lack of a better word, steamed.”

Oh, I get it, very clever. So, you’re suggesting perhaps that I take a minute to sit down and cool off? Maybe just chill out? Heck, if Paul Fattig were here right now, we could throw puns at each other for a half-hour without breaking a sweat.

“Maybe instead of getting all hot and bothered, you should try a little kindness?’

Kindness? Do you know the state we’re in at the moment? And by that I don’t mean suffering under this heat dome … I literally mean “the state” where we reside.

Oregon, our Oregon, has been named the 46th-Kindest State in the country, according to a study conducted by the good folks at kindness.org.

On the one hand, at least the nonprofit found us to be nicer to our fellow humans that Florida, Arizona, Kansas and Maryland. On the other, Oregon suffers the indignity of being one spot lower than Massachusetts.

Massachusetts! Let me tell you something: I grew up with people from Massachusetts. I worked with people from Massachusetts. People from Massachusetts were friends of mine. And when it comes to being unkind, Oregon is no Massachusetts.

“Maybe if you moved back there, we’d switch places in the rankings.”

Excuse me while I sit down and take a minute to cool off.

“We surveyed thousands of people from all 50 states and from all walks of life on what kind acts they would do,” Dr. Oliver Scott Curry, research director for Kindness.org, said in a press release.

“The results across all the states were remarkably similar.”

Except, of course, for the part where 45 states — from No. 1 Kentucky to No. 45 Massachusetts — were found to be more magnanimous about helping others than Oregon.

Let’s play along with the kindness.org survey for a moment. Raise a hand for each of the top “kindest acts as ranked by Americans” that you could see yourself doing — be an organ donor for a family member, pull a stranger from a burning car, and adopt and raise a family member.

How many of us raised three hands?

Among the other findings of what was humbly called a “first of its kind, academic study,” were that the average American would “give up $6.40, if that meant a stranger got $10.”

Since to most of you I am a stranger, I had what I thought was a brilliant idea … until I remembered the pie to the face that Soupy Sales took when he acted upon a similar thought.

But when things really began sounding fishy about this kindness survey was the statement that “53% would donate their vacation time to a colleague.”

I’m smelling something here, and it isn’t a tin pan filled with a heat dome of shaving cream.

I mean, I have no doubt that more than half of the thousands surveyed from all 50 states said they’d give up their weeks on the coast to a co-worker — but methinks that more than a few of those who said so might be … what’s the kind way of saying this? … full of it.

And that started the wheels turning in the opposite direction. In a different study, Oregon was found to be the seventh-most dishonest state in America — with an “integrity grade” of F.

Massachusetts, meanwhile, was 41st in its level of dishonesty (oh, c’mon) as reported by the website BestLife on the study conducted by … well, lookee here … the University of Massachusetts.

Kentucky slipped a spot to No. 49 in this one, but regained the top spot by being called the Least Corrupt State in the country in yet another study, this one by Transparency International — whose Corruption Perception Index puts Oregon as the fourth most corrupt state, scoring 86.8 out of 100.

Want some good news? BestLife also found that we’re only the 32nd rudest state (Massachusetts is seventh which, while still too low, is more like it).

Of course, that relative lack of rudeness might stem from a questionable reliance on mind alteration — since Oregon is apparently the 12th Drunkest and 2nd Most Stoned state, according to other studies taken by people with far too much time on their hands.

So, what have you learned from surfing all these surveys?

Nothing really, except it took my mind off how hot it is out there. Well, that … and perhaps we should start a movement to become a part of Greater Kentucky.

Mail Tribune news editor Robert Galvin is always cool, calm and collected at rgalvin@rosebudmedia.com