Finding loopholes in anti-torture law is a full-time job. Most people don't have time for two full-time jobs, so in place of lawful genital-tasering, they resort to small talk about the weather. It scratches the torture itch while keeping them out of jail.
Summer is when the serious INQUISITORS come out. You won't read this in your New York City guidebook, but congregating around street vendors this time of year is the surest way to experience the weather-talk version of the rack. Here's the torment you'll encounter each time two strangers meet:
Meathead-eorologist #1: "Phew, another hot one!"
Meathead-eorologist #2: "Yeah, humid too."
Meathead-eorologist #1: "Phew, what's it supposed to be like tomorrow?"
Meathead-eorologist #2: "I hear it's going to be even hotter."
Meathead-eorologist #1: "Will it be humid too?"
Meathead-eorologist #2: (Eyes bulge) "Gee, I don't know! This looks like a job for Weatherman!"
[Meathead-eorologist #2 steadies his trembling hands just long enough to flick on the Weatherman-Signal; flooding the muggy sky with a W-shaped distress sign. Will our hero respond in time?]
Weatherman heroically answers the call.
Weatherman: "YES, IT WILL BE HUMID TOMORROW."
Repeat after me: It's summer. In New York City. It's going to be hot. What's that, you're feeling the heat? So is everyone else. No need to mention it. If it were 95 in January, we'd have something to talk about.
Do you spend every December 23rd telling strangers how Christmasy it is?
Meathead-eorologist #1: "Phew, it's really Christmasy out here!"
Meathead-eorologist #2: "Yeah, tomorrow's gonna be even merrier."
My Twitter feed is partly funny with a chance of haze: http://twitter.com/#!/greatMikePayne