Heat wave survival guide

July 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Let’s say you live on the 6th floor of a 6th floor walk-up and your only source of cooling is a wheezy fan with dust bunnies the size of chicken nuggets. Let’s also say that the smog is lung-cloggingly thick and the heat index is at like 120. Guess what? This is not a hypothetical situation! Follow me to the land of sweaty shoulders and indoor sunburn!

The name of the game is Keep Your Body Temperature Down Colon Chasing A/C And Ice. Your first stop after your restless night of sleep is your shower, which you will make frigid cold. Brr! Maybe lukewarm is what you want after all. Slime yourself up with some unnecessary moisturizer, worry about the mosquito bite on your chin, admire your hair as it frizzes. Now you’re ready for action!

Next up: the coffee paradox. You need coffee. You need water. You will also need to pee soon. Here’s the technique: chug a bottle of water before leaving home, then purchase iced coffee. If you’re fancy and not forgetful, you can also drink home-brewed cold coffee, but you’ve probably forgotten to buy more preground stuff, so $3 at Ninth Street Espresso it is! Enjoy your beverage while fretting about the burgeoning heat rash on your neck. How does that even happen? Not that it matters, however, because you’re about to get to the best part of your day…

…sort of. The movies! They are always Way Too Cold and if you choose wisely you can get cold air at a rate of around $3/hour. Remember that movies that start before 11:30 are only $6 bucks, so hustle on over to the theater and plunk down your credit card for Friends With Benefits. Enjoy all the previews you already enjoyed once when you saw Horrible Bosses two days ago. Realize that if it hadn’t been so punishingly humid you might still be asleep now. And don’t forget to overcome social stigmata about seeing movies alone. It’s New York. No one cares about you.

At this point, your options are more or less exhausted, unless you want to sneak into another movie (which is hard because the standard “go to the bathroom and then slip into the theater next door” technique doesn’t work when they segregate bathrooms and screening rooms by floor). If you’ve played your cards right, it’s about 2:30 PM, which is a little early to start drinking, but see above re: options and exhaustion. Convince yourself that alcohol has water in it. If you’re dehydrated, it means it’ll be even easier to get to the “curled up surrounded by Cookbooks on the floor of Barnes & Noble” stage, at which point you can get some well-deserved sleep.

Bonus points if you can answer the question: “What’s the paper say about tomorrow?

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