This is the weekend of our community’s music festival, Athfest…three days of great bands ranging from jazz to folk to rap to power rock. And I’ll be damned, but it’s mostly free and a great reason to live in Athens, Georgia. The festival takes place mostly on Washington Street one of the large streets in our four by six block downtown of mostly late 19th and early 20th century buildings. We close off the street so everyone can wander through artist’s booths, eat food from street vendors, and pick up some locally crafted earrings for the Mr. or Ms. depending on your orientation. But today the heat index is going to be a bone frying, skin cracking 117F! Well fuckkkkkkk me. Which brings me to today’s subject, dehydration. Heat indices of 117F, dehydration, and eventual heat prostration go hand in hand like the circle of demonic children in your first-born’s kindergarten class.

Of course this is the era of CAT scans, MRIs and robotic surgery, which are as expensive as their proper names are long. Now I’ve learned that any medical technique that has three capital letters simply is a synonym for expensive. We are quite lucky; however, because there is an inexpensive and totally organic way to estimate your level of dehydration: The Pee Index.

Full Disclosure: So I am a doctor, but a doctor of aquatic ecology, not medicine… so follow this advice at your own risk.

The Pee Index: simply monitor the color of your urine as it exits your urethra. Stop looking at the picture above the toilet or the shower across the room, just look down at your vijayjay or John Thomas and match the color to commonly known foods.

You are okay if the color is:

Authentic Southern: banana pudding, key lime pie, white peach flesh or fresh squeezed lemonade.

You need to drink some water:

Ripe whole spaghetti squash, lemon rind, or banana peel.

You need to drink a quart of water:

Ripe spaghetti squash, fresh mango, apricot flesh.

You need to drink water until you start peeing:

Satsumas, Mexican papaya flesh, garden carrots.

Darker than the above:

Call your medical professional.

Please have a safe and cool day!

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