Hot Stuff, by Charles Boorman

The red-faced man entered the darkened lounge and approached the lady behind the bar. The thermometer showed an outside temperature of 39 degrees; the radio station reported roads buckling in the heat.

Climbing out of his air-conditioned van in the carpark had seemed like stepping into the proverbial oven. He felt the heat from the pavement rising through his grey socks and sandals. Across the road, the sign hung still in the torrid air.

“What can I do for you, sir?” she asked.

“Pint of lager and a bacon butty, please, love,” he replied, “but go easy on the Tabasco.”

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