The Sheltered Islander On Getting By in the Summer Heat

It’s funny how we change our attitudes towards summer heat throughout our lives.

I remember as kids summer heat never bothered us at all. Even as teenagers, the girls would lie in the sun on the beach all day, our bodies slathered with baby oil—this was before sun damage existed—and still be full of energy to go out that night.

In our 20s, beach parties were still a blast. And the worst day boating beat the best day working. There is no feeling like cutting through the waves with the spray in your face on a beautiful day. Experimenting with what fish will accept as bait was always fun. I remember catching blowfish with mini marshmallows. Rotten raw chicken was the best crab bait. I always thought that was odd because under what circumstances does a crab meet and eat a chicken to know it tastes good? And the best feeling was after you showered at home and put on your clothes and they felt so incredibly soft and cozy on slightly burned skin.

I don’t know whether it was the event of entering my 30s or the addition of children that began to sour my love of summer. I started out with great plans of all the water parks we could take the kids to, and all the idyllic family fun we’d have, just like in the commercials. Maybe it was waiting in long lines that I began to really feel the heat. Maybe it was chasing cranky and unruly kids who didn’t act at all like the happy children in the commercials that did it to me. But somewhere in that decade, the heat became my nemesis. My concept of a water park became letting the kids jump off of lawn chairs into a kiddie pool in the backyard. I just kept the ice pops and Kool Aid flowing until it was dark and I had to let them in.

Quantum physics postulates that there are more than the four dimensions we know. I propose that the fifth dimension is humidity. Humidity slows down time and uses more energy. For example, taking groceries out of the car. On a cool, dry day, the task is fast and easy. On a hot, humid day, it takes longer to unload the groceries because you have to stop and stand near an air conditioning vent for five minutes between each trip to the car, and when you’re through, you only have enough energy left to grab a cold soda, make it to your chair, and yell at the kids to come put these groceries away. On a cool, dry day, most women are agreeable to sex. But on a hot, humid day, she will look at you with laser beams in her eyes that sear the message, “If you touch me, I will kill you,” into your frontal lobe.

In our 40s and beyond, anything that requires going out in the heat has to be accomplished by 11 a.m. After that, we go into our air conditioned homes and bolt the door. We know that humidity sucks the life out of us, our only hope is air conditioning. People wonder, how did we cope before air conditioners? I say, look at the homicide rates before and after the invention of air conditioning.

In Greek mythology, Prometheus took pity on man and gave him fire, for which we have been ever grateful. I think we should give equal stature and thanks to Carrier (William Carrier) the one who gave us air conditioning…

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