Reluctant Townie: OMG ITS WAY 2 HOT U GUYZZ!!
Last week it was simply too hot to think. The break from thinking was a welcome respite — I had caught myself thinking too many times this year already — and I might have actually enjoyed my vacation from mind processes if it weren't for the fact I had to stop not-thinking every five minutes to wring the moob sweat out of my shirt.
Have I ever lived through a more sustained period of oppressive humidity in my life? I am hard-pressed to think of an example.
Have I been locked inside a sauna in Louisiana on a warm July afternoon? I cannot recall such an occasion, but I have experienced inland Florida in the summer, where, as the saying goes, it's not the bloodthirsty pythons that'll get you — it's the humidity plus the bloodthirsty pythons.
I prefer heat to cold, summer to winter, and I am about 80 percent sure that I prefer dry to wet. (Except in the cases of cereal, swimming pools and municipalities.)
There are precious few conditions under which it is not entirely miserable to exist in a state of total wetness. (I believe that was the original idea behind water baptisms: "There's nowhere to go from here but up.")
We can all agree that being cold and wet is a bad thing. But I propose that being hot and wet is worse. I submit last week as evidence.
My apartment does not have central air — something I pride myself on most of the year (it builds a more realistic relationship with the elements while saving on the energy bill) except for the few days in late July or early August when the humidity is 125 percent.
And that is when I begin to ask myself why I have not made better choices in life.
I knew things had gotten out of control this year when two things happened:
— I left an empty glass on the kitchen table and came back an hour later to find it half full.
— My smartphone stopped responding to my touch due to interference from the unrelenting amount of sweat on my fingertips.
Try to not think for a week straight without the aide of your smartphone. It is more difficult than it sounds, I can assure you. Unfortunately, I have put some thought into the subject.
To make matters worse, my daughter has recently taken to pushing the family's buttons. Like, literally all of the buttons everywhere in the house. This includes the high-powered fans and window A/C unit — our only line of defense between relative comfort and chronic Swamp Crack.
Whenever I turn a fan on, she runs up behind me and turns it off. Every. Single. Time.
If I then turn it back on, she turns it back off. The largest number of consecutive volleys I have counted between us during a single battle was 12 — and that was before I lost hope and collapsed in the small body of water that had pooled underneath me.
I am without a clear understanding of her motivation. Given all of the evidence presented to me thus far, I can only deduce that my child is a human being of flesh and blood and not a robot — so then, I ask you, what the Effingham is her deal?
I see her sweating, too. It cannot be comfortable for her, and seeking comfort is an instinct, correct? Not something I am failing to teach her?
Of course, there is a thing or two I could be teaching myself about comfort in the heat. Annually, I find myself relearning the lesson that I should be vigilant with my baby powder application — for the season of chafe is upon us, lads!
I worked outside the other afternoon and discovered, in the most brutal fashion, that there is too much shake in my McFlurry. Is there a "10-Minute Thunder Thighs" video on YouTube? Either way, I could not access it though my finger sweats.
About this time every year, I write a column like this, where I complain about how it was too hot to wear clothes in my office, but I couldn't write naked because the heat caused the flypaper strip to come undone from the window and fall into my office chair and I sat down on it naked (because I'm not ABOVE trying to write this column in the nude if the situation requires it) and now as a result, I have half a Brazilian wax and an indefinitely sticky chair.
But that's what makes it all so universal, right?
Of course, as I sit here putting the finishing touches (OK, touch — singular) on this year's "OMG ITS SO HOTT U GUYZ!!!" column, I am shivering because a cold front came down from the north and liberated me from my prison of sweat. My daughter is wearing flannel pants, and there are currently no buttons for her to push — except for the metaphorical.
She's getting better at finding those.
Ryan Jackson wrote no part of this column in the nude, and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.