It's so hot your deodorant begged for mercy when you tried to apply it this morning, and you've got enough aggravation without everyone you meet asking, "Is it hot enough for you?"

Banality seems to rise with the temperature, and creativity flees with perspiration. Humor, however, is a natural cooler. Laughing won't make you sweat less, but you won't mind it as much.

So the next time someone greets you with the same tired hot talk, lower both your temperatures with a smile-sparking response. Washington humor instructor Art Gliner suggests these cool replies to the eternal question, "Hot enough for you?":

* "Almost. A few more degrees and I'll have to take off my long johns."

* "I like the heat because I had to return my goosebumps to my goose."

* "For sure. It keeps melting the ice in my water bed."

* "The real heat comes from the warmth you radiate sweetheart. (Or "The heat wave's from the fire in your eyes baby.")

* "The hotter the better. I'm making millions bottling perspiration and shipping it to Iceland."

* "It's perfect. I put a couple ice cubes in my mouth and a sprig of mint behind my ear and pretend I'm a mint julep."

* "It's actually cold, but it seems hot because the TV stations have been showing weather report re-runs from last summer."

* "The heat doesn't bother me since I started wearing asbestos underwear."

* "I'm so hot my boss told me I was fired."