Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hotter Than a Match Head

From the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood: 
Younger Caro: Ugh. There's not a single goddamn breeze in Lousiana. 
Younger Necie Kelleher: Someone please wring me out? 
Younger Vivi: We cannot just sit here and puddle. We have to make our own goddamn breeze. 
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love summer—heat and all—and those who live for air conditioning. It's definitely been a hot town this summer in the city of Chicago. But am I complaining? No I am not. You see, I like to complain about the cold in February and it seems to me more than just a bit hypocritical to also complain about summer heat.

Don't get me wrong. When the the power went out for a good part of the day on Wednesday with the thermometer popping over the 100° mark, I wasn't thrilled to be without even a bedroom airconditioner (or the idea of losing a couple of hundred dollars worth of groceries). But the ComEd guys came to the rescue, working well past 9:00 p.m. on the 4th of July to replace one of the transformers in our alley and getting us back on the grid by the time the fireworks were over. We gave them a standing ovation (the linemen, not the fireworks, although those were good, too).

Despite the anomaly of the 2011-2012 winter, November through mid March tends to be long and cold here in the midwest (my brother would say October through May, but he's turned into a California weather wimp). And I know mild winters and hot, dry summers are sure signs that Al Gore is right and that we should be way passed panicking about Global Warming, because it's already upon us. But I still like long, hot summer days.

I usually boil myself in the shower or bath until I'm lobster red, but on a hot, hot day, there's nothing like washing the dirt and grit off the back of your neck in a cold (OK, cool) shower. Or diving into a pool or lake. Or running through a sprinkler. Or getting caught is a flash thundershower. These are pleasures that can't be replicated on those temperate days so touted by San Franciscans and San Diegons. Sometimes you just need hot, hot to wring the joy out of cold, cold.

Cold, cold movie theaters.
Cold, cold lemonade.
Cold, cold popsicles that drip down your chin.

In regular summers, most airconditioned spaces are just too cold. Why would I want to wear a sweater in the middle of July?

In regular summers, lemonade is just a sugary-sweet drink that makes my teeth feel fuzzy.

In regular summers, a plain old popsicle just doesn't compare to Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Crunch®. But on a hot, hot day, a popsicle wins hands down.

And to those of you howling about the dog days of summer, don't just sit there and puddle. Go out and make your own goddamn breeze. Or come February, don't come crying to me.

What's your favorite summer cooler? Tell me in a comment.