It happened the other day, which didn't seem too warm or humid by most local standards. A man walked, on the far cusp of the noon hour, into a downtown watering hole. He wore two pieces of a three-piece suit, with the jacket slung over his shoulder. Sweating profusely, he gasped toward the bar and ordered a rum and cola.

"My lord, the Washington humidity!" he exclaimed to his stoolside neighbor.

"It isn't so bad today," replied the neighbor, who noted that he -- an outlander originally from a cooler clime -- had just walked a couple of blocks from the subway without problems.

Well, the newcomer said, he wasn't accustomed to all this: He had just come from the cool breezes of Sarasota, on Florida's west coast, on a sales trip for his employer.

The local pointed out that it's all a matter of getting acclimated and that, in the end, air conditioning has made all this possible. Did the visitor always live on the breezy Florida coast, the local asked, and -- if not -- where was he from?

"Oh," replied the visitor, wiping the last of the perspiration from his brow, "I grew up in the Brookland area of Northeast Washington -- I used to play basketball, or at least, be on the same playground court with John Thompson," now the Georgetown University coach.

So much for an "oldtimer" lecturing a "newcomer" on the perils of Washington's summer climate.