When the asphalt is so hot your shoes start sinking into the street and the Popsicle in your hand melts before it makes it to your mouth, you know it's time to plop in front of the television, turn on MTV and watch Real World.
For the past five summers, MTV has brought us "seven strangers picked to live in a house and have their lives taped to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real," as the show's introduction says.
This year's Real World cast is required to develop a business and work together. Maybe last year's lack of action was the impetus for this addition.
We don't know for sure what the Real World business venture is, but we've heard that it might be a dessert catering service. We'll have to keep watching to find out for sure.
Last year's London Real World turned out to be a disappointment. Though Neil, one of the two British cast members, got his tongue bitten off at a concert, not much else happened.
We're expecting bigger and better things from the Miami cast. Already, conflicts and clashes are occuring.
After watching only three episodes, we at X-Press are boldly submitting our predictions for "Most Likely to" honors:
Get kicked out of house or give up and leave: Flora.
Be the cast member we want to leave: Flora.
Break up with a girl/boy back home: Joe.
Cry on camera: Melissa.
Become arch enemies a la Puck and Pedro: Mike and Dan.
Destroy the business venture: Sarah.
Win our hearts: Cynthia and Dan.
Calling all you
If you're not just good at eating hot dogs but can sing about them too, you may want to check out the Oscar Mayer Talent Search II.
Today through Aug. 11, Oscar Mayer is holding singing auditions at grocery stores throughout the Tampa Bay area.
Kids ages 3 to 12 can perform one of two commercial tunes: the Wiener Jingle or Bologna Song.
Last year, Largo resident Brittany Keiffer beat out more than 1,000 kids in the Tampa Bay area to win the first level of competition, but Brittany didn't make it to Top Dog status.
The Wiener winner of 1995 was Trent South, a 7-year-old from Texas. He appeared in last year's Oscar Mayer Super Bowl commercial.
Trent said he practiced about an hour a day for a week in preparation for the auditions. His advice for the kids who participate in this year's contest: "Sing well and smile," he said from his home in Tom Bean, Texas. "You gotta be cute."
His favorite part about winning the contest was the day the Wienermobile, a hot dog-shaped car, picked him up at school and drove him to a fair. Though Trent said he liked making the TV commercial, "I would rather have been at home watching cartoons."
One child from each of the 90 regional areas Oscar Mayer visits will become a local winner and receive a karaoke machine and a chance to compete on the national level. Locally, Oscar Mayer will visit Tampa, Temple Terrace, Lutz and Brandon.
Twenty national winners will get a family vacation in Orlando. The grand prize winner will star in an Oscar Mayer television commercial.
Auditions are limited to the first 150 children, but kids also can compete with a videotaped performance.
For information and audition locations, call (800) 672-2754 or visit the company's Web site at http://www.oscar-mayer.com/.
DO be silly _ and
maybe win a prize
Maybe there's a reason all your friends are laughing at you instead of with you. Maybe you're really silly.
But, silly doesn't necessarily mean funny. If you are 14 or younger and are the type of kid who likes to imitate wild animal noises or sing through your nose, you might qualify as a candidate for silliness.
On Wednesday the Trix rabbit will be at Lowry Park Zoo (outside the front gate entrance, 7530 North Blvd., Tampa) hosting the Trix Silliest Kid in America II contest.
Registration starts at 9 a.m., and the contest begins at 10 a.m. The first 100 kids to register can compete.
Those who don't make the group of 100 will get a free T-shirt and can have the Trix folks videotape their performance after the contest.
Kids also can send in a photograph, video or audiotape of their silly performance along with their name, address, phone and age. Send the entry to: Trix Silliest Kid in America II, P.O. Box 5416, Minneapolis, MN 55460-5416.
Entries must be submitted by Aug. 15.
Each local winner will receive $300 and a case of Trix cereal. Two runners-up will receive a case of Trix.
The local winners then go on to compete for the national title of Silliest Kid in America and win a trip to Disney World in Orlando or Disneyland in California.
Call (800) 556-8749 for more information.