Woman in a park suffering heat stroke fanning herself with a red fan.

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We’re using this meme to cope with a scorching summer—and climate change

In short, we’re all not doing OK!


Tiffany Kelly

Internet Culture

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This Week On The Internet


It’s September, which means fall is imminent. But if you live in one of the areas currently experiencing high temperatures and excessive heat warnings, it probably feels like summer is never-ending.

I’ve survived temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit for the majority of the last three months, and now, I just want the weather to cool down so I can sit outside without sweating.

Feeling like you’re melting while trying to eat or drink on a patio is not fun. That’s the sentiment behind a meme I’ve seen the last few weeks across the internet. The format is simple: Someone is quoted as saying “let’s get a table outside” followed by a picture of what that looks like to you, usually a still from a TV show or film of a character drenched in sweat.

The Sweaty Elvis meme has appeared in several “let’s get a table outside” memes. Willem Dafoe and Real Housewives have also been used to illustrate what it feels like to sit outside in the heat. One TikToker uploaded a video himself covered in water to show his what it looks like when his wife wants to get a table outside.

In short, we’re all not doing OK!

Why it matters

After two years of patio-only dining options during the pandemic, a lot of people have returned to indoor dining. But that’s not the only reason that some are reluctant to dine outdoors—we’re also dealing with climate change.

Even with umbrellas and coverings, people can still be at risk for heat exhaustion and other health issues. There’s a lot of talk about the summer of 2022 being one of the coolest of the rest of our lives.”

That’s a grim reality that a lot of people have yet to fully comprehend.

The “let’s get a table outside” meme is a silly, but it also shows how the internet is continuing to use memes and humor to cope with our changing world.

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