It’s July. It’s Dallas. It’s hot and humid.

If you’re not absolutely miserable at this very moment, you were either miserable moments ago or will be by the time you finish reading this column – at least that’s what some of my readers tell me.

When the Metroplex becomes the Sweatroplex, there’s only one solution: permission from your boss to wear shorts on casual day. Sure, some people such as Monica Lewinsky will abuse the privilege. But for every dozen Lewinskys, there might be a Kathy Ireland, so I think it would all work out.

My own response to the dog days of Dallas is the ancient and annual escape to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. So many Texans spend their vacations in Colorado that Coloradans actually leave and spend their vacation in Des Moines, Iowa. Iowans go to North Dakota. There are no North Dakotans, so they don’t go anywhere; and so goes the circle of life. Personally, I think we get the best deal.

An integral part of any family summer vacation is the traditional car trip. I know that most of you “cellulears” (i.e., people with mobile phones that have been surgically connected to their ears) fly everywhere now because you’re soooo busy.

I, however, consider it sacrilegious to bypass the hours of family fun and fellowship in a car that is crammed with suitcases, swimsuits and dirty clothes. In fact, we actually start out our trip with a big bag of dirty clothes just to get the full effect coming and going.

Less mature kids find it difficult to treat each other respectfully during a long car ride. That’s why we have figured out how to convert our seat belts into straitjackets whenever someone says “he touched me” one too many times.

I’ve also determined, after years of experience, that I can actually replace one stop for snacks for every three stops by instructing the kids to eat whatever they have dropped on the floor or between the seats.

That concept doesn’t work, however, for potty stops.

Here’s another handy piece of advice. Whenever your wife starts salivating at signs advertising an approaching outlet mall and sweetly asks to stop at only one store – usually Neiman-Marcus or Gucci – tell her that the only outlet she needs is a romantic outlet and that the Holiday Inn where you’ll be staying that night has a Jacuzzi.

She will either laugh hysterically or be caught off guard long enough to allow you to pass the exit.

Without family car trips, you would deprive yourself of hearing the question that has been asked more often than “did you really vote for Clinton?”

That question, of course, is “are we there yet?”

No, but Mommy’s drooling again. Lock the doors…we’ve got an outlet mall alert.