Think of it as Summer: Unplugged. It’s still dang hot out, like living in The Long, Hot Summer, only without a flirting, shirtless young Paul Newman to keep us company (sniff, sniff). So while the latest French trend (at least in certain circles) is the cinq à sept –a quasi-magical after-work cocktail hour—Torontoist is all about the huit à huit. What’s that? Well, grasshopper, that means pulling the plug on unnecessary water and electricity consumption during the day. As in, not running the dishwasher or oven between the hours of 8am and 8pm, and saving that load of laundry for when the sun goes down. It also means watering plants, gardens and grass (on an as-needs basis) before 8am. More enthusiastic huit à huit-ers should patrol their neighborhoods and give the stink-eye to those who flout this common sense. Like the people who, obsessed with dirt-and-dust-free stonework, are too lazy to pick up a broom and instead meticulously hose down their paved front yards at the height of the heat. Or, convince them to comply by dispensing mint juleps.
Illustration by Earl Moran, circa 1940.