The doldrums are upon us. When it’s not raining, it’s hot. The only thing moving rapidly outside right now in my neck of the woods are hot weather plants and mosquitos. My beans, cucumbers, okra and peppers love it, but it’s very hard to anticipate the harvest given all the sweat involved.

Today is National Hot Dog Day, and not coincidentally, Dat Dog will be holding its annual fundraiser for the Son of a Saint this Saturday, July 23. It’s a “Top Chef” sort of competition, where three pairs of contestants compete to see whose recipe will be on Dat Dog’s menu.

Son of a Saint is a group that provides mentorship to boys, starting at ages 10 to 12, whose fathers have died or are incarcerated. It’s a literal lifesaver for some of these kids, and it is precisely the sort of community-based effort that ought to be supported.

The event will take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Magazine Street location of Dat Dog (3336 Magazine). Follow one of the links above for more information.

Here is the subject line of an email I received on July 18: “Interview Op. New TV Series Exposes The Myth of Teacup Pigs.” I was very tempted to open that email and see if there was a myth about teacup pigs, but I don’t really know what a teacup pig is, and I’m not sure I care about myths involving them.

Then I saw the subject line of another email, “HOTTIES | Hulu Blind Date Food Competition Premieres August 16” and I thought, “I wonder if the show is called ‘Hotties’ because that’s just terrible…” And so I opened that one, and sure enough it’s what it said on the label.

Here is how the show’s publicist describes it:

“HOTTIES” is a new dating competition series that pits pairs of blind dates against each other in a wild battle to cook up date-night worthy dishes, all while attempting to eat incredibly spicy food.

Set in food trucks in the desert heat, each 30-minute episode sees two pairs of sexy singles make a meal and choke down extreme spicy food challenges in a bid to fast forward the dating process and win a cash prize. Will battling the heat help them burn through first date facades to form a more authentic connection…or will it all just be a hilarious hot mess? Comedian Jade Catta-Preta serves as host, while also judging both what’s on the plate and each of the dates. Whichever couple has the best plate, best date, or both, wins a second date worth $2,500, or…they can split the cash, walk away, and promise to never see each other again! 

I suspect the people who are developing this show would admit that the primary focus is not culinary excellence. I have not seen the show, but the concept sounds like it was the result of several long afternoons in a conference room with access to YouTube and possibly some sort of kombucha-based alcohol. “OK, we know we want attractive people on the show, but what will they do?” said the first one. “What about cooking? That’s hot now,” said the second. “Yes! And let’s make them eat spicy food!” said the third, who at that moment was reading a story about spicy food. The rest is history, or rather, “Hotties,” which is a show on Hulu. If you’re not familiar with Hulu, it’s like Netflix, but not as much. I’m sure the folks at Hulu are fine people; all I’m saying is nobody says, “Hulu and chill.”

If you watch the show, would you do me a favor and give me a short recap? I don’t think there’s a universe in which I choose to devote any of the moments I have remaining on the planet to watching it myself, but I’d read a pithy summary if anyone’s up for it.

In parting, remember: if you can’t stay cool, at least wear clothing that won’t let everyone know what a sweaty animal you are.