You can protest that "it's just Charleston in the summer" all you want, but face it — it's really hot. Even by our muggy standards.

As the mercury climbed to about 98 on the peninsula Monday and the heat index flirted with a desert-like 110, we conducted a few very unscientific experiments around town to give you a snappy comeback for the next time some yahoo asks, "Hot enough for ya?"

95

That's how many seconds it took a random Charleston native to break out in a sweat Monday afternoon.

Ashlyn Stallings (left) of James Island was working at an Italian ice stand, living off the shade of an umbrella and a harbor breeze. After some coercing, she stepped into the sun and, after getting over her surprise that she didn't immediately melt, waited less than two minutes before perspiration poured down her face.

Or maybe she was just crying because it was so darned hot.

47

That's how many seconds it took a cone of Green Apple Gummy Bear ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery to melt on King Street.

Erin Colley held the cone as the fluorescent green mix quickly began to drip down her hand.

"I just moved here," Colley said, "and I thought Virginia was hot."

Circumstances being what they were, Colley chose to eat her ice cream inside. And, after a taste of Post and Courier-provided Green Apple Gummy Bear, she chose ... another flavor entirely.

13

That's how many minutes you have to wait before you're likely to see an adult join the kids in the Waterfront Park fountain.

While parents bring kids downtown to jump in the water, adults stand around stoically, as if they don't have a care in the world. But every one of them is thinking about how good it would feel to jump in with those kids. Kim Rose of Lumberton, N.C., did it.

"Stand in the sun long enough," he said, "and you'll make your way over here."

And then he waded off.

1

The amount of water, in pints, that a random Palmetto Carriage Works mule drank after a downtown tour Monday (he was offered an entire bucket). Although the mules and horses get as much water as they want, and never go more than one tour without a refill, most choose to drink only at the end of the day.

Guess you could say they don't like to drink and drive. But if that's the case, makes you wonder where all those puddles with the floaty balls and flags come from.

Between tours, the mules and horses hang out in the misting area, a shady place behind the Palmetto Carriage barn where giant fans blow a fine mist of cool water. When there are no mules in the spot, the tourists line up for a few seconds in the mist.

But the employees, well, the four-legged ones, have dibs.

0

That's how many eggs we were able to fry on hot surfaces outside.

Take an egg, pay some restaurant 82 cents — that'll make the expense report — and try to see if it's really hot enough, as the saying goes, to "fry an egg on the sidewalk."

But then we're told that it's illegal, not to mention messy, to do this. After considering testing the frying egg theory on the car of the editor who thought up this day's sweaty expedition, we opted instead for a Post and Courier box downtown.

After a few minutes, the egg had done nothing. So you know what that means.

We're gonna need a better cliche.