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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Remind Me of This in February; or Don’t Make Me Write About Swamp Butt Again!

I am, I fear, only hours away from either bursting into hot, public tears, or from active hallucinations.

Honestly, I can’t tell which one I’m rooting for.  They both have their draws.

Temperatures in the Great State of Minnesota, ladies and gentlemen, the part of the country that brought you the forecast for “wind chill”, snowfall that will collapse a domed football stadium, and Prince, is in the damp, red-faced embrace of a heat wave.

Mid- to upper-90s for two weeks.

Sales of talcum powder are booming.

I cannot, however, afford the amount of talcum powder required to make the nights bearable.

You see, I have no centralized air conditioning.

Oh, I can hear you now, you cool, comfortable people. 

Horrifying!  My dear, how DO you live?

You should get Central Air!  Dude!  It makes sleeping totes easier!

and

No Central Air?  Whadda youse?  Crazy?

That’s right.  I have reached the point where the people in my head with access to centralized air conditioning have taken on distinctive voices. 

I rationalize, of course.  Tough it out, lady, I say to myself.  You grew up without air.  Don’t be a baby. 

The things I say to myself in response, however, are horrible.

Really.  You should hear me. 

The truth is that I am not completely without technology.  There is a window unit being used, an appliance called upon to struggle valiantly against the odds of cooling even the rooms that have not been closed off; and while the second floor of the 110-year-old house I live in is cooler than, say, the street, one finds oneself getting two, three hours of sleep a night.

One finds that that is not enough.

Look.  I enjoy the way I can close my eyes and actually nod off in the cool, fluorescently lit confines of my cubicle as much as the next guy.  I’ve become fascinated with what I believe may be the sound of my hair growing and have, even, a fascination for the imaginary bug bites that I insist on scratching.

Heck.  I think I may even be developing a facial tic.

Anyway, I thought you should know.


You know.  Before the hallucinations set in.  

34 comments:

Daisy said...

I don't have an air conditioner either Pearl. I feel your pain. Take lots of ice cold showers and drink lots of ice water. Winter is coming!

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

A couple of years ago, I blogged about the fact that I think one of the reasons "kids these days" (especially my lazy kids) don't go outside much in the summer is because they're so used to A/C. "It's too hot out there-uhh!"
Kids. What a bunch of amateurs.

jabblog said...

Air conditioning? What's that? We've only just got used to central heating in this little island.

Pearl said...

Daisy, winter is coming! :-)

Dawn, you probably have a point there. Little buggers.

jabblog, ha! And I thought I was the last one without the mod cons!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Okay, call me weird (go on, join the queue), but I consider air-con to be one or the modern evils. Not just the carbon footprint.

It weakens the adaptation to climate change and also the resistance to bugs; very often said bugs are propagated within such systems...and don't even get me started on THE SPINNING THINGS.

Am willing to concede that the sleep deprivation stinks though. As a chronic insomniac I don't have answers. So I'll shut up now..#~<

Leenie said...

Heat is such a stranger to us. AC? Ha! who needs such frills--we're made to grin in the teeth of blizzards, surely we can handle a little heat. NOT. My sincere sympathies while I hug up to my little window unit. Just try and put all this into the muscle memories to draw upon in about five months from now.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I have to admit I am spoiled by the AC. I get hot very easily and I much prefer cooler and cold temps. Don't care much for summer. My papaw used to loathe air conditioning. Never used it his entire life haha.

Murr Brewster said...

No AC here, but we don't need it but once a year or so. And then I get a big fan on me (don't go there) and a spray bottle of water.

vanilla said...

. . .have their draws. And their drawbacks, too, don't forget.

Delores said...

Hot tears, hallucinations, voices in the head...yes....it's been that kind of summer. Still...I'll take this over winter any day.

jenny_o said...

I feel your pain. I NEVER (well, hardly ever) complain about our deep-freeze winters; I prefer to save it all up for summertime. A second unit, if it's in the budget (a portable one if there's no accomodating window), will do wonders. How about a chilled rice bag to take to bed? And like Murr said, a fan can do a lot of good. Lack of sleep is the pits.

Pearl said...

Hello, everyone. I enjoy the commiseration. Yes, it's been very hot here, and very humid, with little breeze. The birds are walking -- even the kitties lie sprawled on the hardwood floor, their eyes shut against the heat.

I'm actually OK with the heat/humidity for three, maybe four days. After that...

A chilled bag of rice, though. :-) That sounds wonderful...

Pearl said...

As an aside, the AC has been on a total of five days this summer. Not bad for how hot/wet Mpls can be!

Shelly said...

Our central AC is on for all but about two months of the whole year. I know well of the heat you speak~

lowandslow said...

Summertime here in Texas without A/C is considered a legitimate defense for murder. On the other hand, as you pointed out, we don't have to shovel sunshine in the winter. ;)

S

Jono said...

If you don't mind a five and a half hour commute, come up here and stay with us. It's cooler by the lake!

Buttons said...

No AC here either Pearl but in the country the least little breeze will still find its way to you. Good luck and stay at work sleep under your desk.:) B

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Okay, I had to come to meet Pearl from Shelly when she filled us all in of the library riff-raff and then I read your blog.

LOLOLOLOL

First I'd like to know just one thing...you say "I rationalize, of course. Tough it out, lady, I say to myself. You grew up without air. Don’t be a baby. I say: "If you can figure out how to can this 'non-air', you're soon a Billionaire and give Trump a run for his money.

And that tic, I think I have a remedy for this.

Joanne Noragon said...

Sleep deprivation from several days of hot nights yields, in the end, one blissful night's sleep that begins in passing out and ends ten hours later, when the bird's are chirping their best wake up notes.

bill lisleman said...

first off I'm glad you have the energy to post. Since having only this bit of cooling results in hallucinations, I can only imagine what a few of those bus riders are becoming.

Elephant's Child said...

Swamp butt is a terrifying and far too evocative image. I am not thanking you for putting this concept (or the memories) into my head.
Your wordsmithery is positively dangerous...

Gigi said...

Normally, I would scoff at the two weeks of mid-90's and tell you to come down here to see what hot is all about (or even better go to Texas) - but then we've had some kind of weird "summer" that has been cooler temps and a lot of rain.

Then I read that you are dealing with it WITHOUT A/C - and I wept. You poor thing, how ARE you surviving? I would have killed off everyone on my "list" if I had to live without A/C. Really.

Lin said...

Oh, my poor, poor Pearl! We grew up without air conditioning and we'd use a window unit for just the bedrooms for sleeping. My mom hung a shower curtain at the end of the hall so the cool air would just stay in the 3 bedrooms and it worked great.

I hope you find some bit of cool so you don't overheat and explode.

Can you sleep at the office? Perhaps under your desk? The boss couldn't complain that you were late or anything, right?

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Wine. Enough of it and you'll sleep just fine.

HermanTurnip said...

When I hear that there's a "power alert" in San Diego, and we're asked to conserve energy, I crank my AC down to 74 in protest to the corrupt nature of our local gas and electric company.

Geo. said...

Swampbutt. Heehee.

Rosemarie Blackthorn said...

As it tops 30'C maybe 3 times a year over here, a fan is considered the height of luxury.

When I lived in Trinidad though - to sleep without AC was torture.

I feel your pain.

the walking man said...

You don't need central A/C. You need a personal dehumidifier. I suggest two cabana boys with palm leaf woven fans.

Sioux said...

Kwitcherbellyakin. How long does the spring-summer combo last in Minnesota last, anyway? Two, three weeks tops?

Take solace in the fact that they're predicting a "bitter" winter.

Oh. Sorry. I guess that's not the thing I should mention as a possible "upside."

(Seriously, every part of my body would need "Anti-Monkeybutt" powder.)

River said...

Cooling Method 1- half fill a hot water bottle with cold water, expel the air, place bottle in freezer, use at night to cool your bed and keep it near your feet.

Cooling Method 2- lay a damp large towel over or under you to fall asleep on.

Cooling Method 3-wear a damp t-shirt to bed and have a pedestal fan aimed at the bed.

Cooling Method 4- buy an aircon unit. Or book into a hotel for the heatwave.

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Pearl! Air con? Pfft, I say you're a weedy pigeon. Roth x

Kathleen McCoy said...

Trying to sleep with heat is the worst! I hope the wave is over for you soon -- and glad that at least you work in a cool environment. I never lived in air conditioned comfort until I was well into my thirties and remember very well the long, sleepless, sweaty nights. Hope the misery ends soon.

Eva Gallant said...

Oh, Pearl! We have a huge window air conditioner which pretty much cools our entire living space with the help of a couple of overhead fans. I would channel some of that cool air in your direction, if I could!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

We don't turn ours on except for that 5 day stretch every July...using A/C seems ungrateful when you live in the tundra.