August 03, 2006

Gratuitous Heat Wave Kvetching

One more lousy day of this miserable weather and then it's supposed to break. Hope I can last that long - I got in about an hour ago and my lungs still hurt from breathing hot air soup.

It may just be my parboiled imagination, but I've been musing on the different effects of cold and hot weather on people, especially on my fellow commuters.

In the middle of winter, when it's well below freezing and there's a howling north wind, people just bundle up and turn in on themselves. As you make your way up and down the streets, you feel this sense of isolation, even when there are a lot of other people about.

Not now, though. The heat brings our worst qualities right up to the surface, where we almost can't help directing them at those around us. The rude get that much ruder. The angry get that much angrier. The clueless get that much cluelesser.

And let's not forget the smell of hot and sweaty humanity.

Yesterday afternoon, I dragged myself into the Metro only to discover that the air-conditioning in my (jampacked) car wasn't working properly. I had a window seat and my book and, for once, a 300 pound touron was not sitting next to and on top of me. Nevertheless, we hadn't gone two stops before I was having fantasies of running amok with a tomahawk.

As I say, one more lousy day of this and then the temperature is supposed to drop back down to the upper 80's. Aaaaaand, I just checked the forecast for when I arrive in Maine next week. High in the lower 70's.

That's something worth hanging on for.

Posted by Robert at August 3, 2006 08:30 AM | TrackBack

A cousin of mine married a guy who is in the Air Force reserve. His job is as an HVAC installer.

He got sent to Iraq a couple of years back, and spent about 6 months there putting in air conditioning on some AF bases.

When he got back, I joked with him that he must have been treated like a rock star everywhere he went. He just laughed.

Posted by: The Colossus at August 3, 2006 08:53 AM

The thing that's killing me is that my office building, I guess to compensate for the disgustingness that's outside, has turned the temp on the AC so low that I have no choice but to walk around bundled in a sweater - looking like a moron. But it's that or goosebumps.

And yes, I'm developing a head cold from going back and forth between extremes. Joy.

Posted by: beth at August 3, 2006 09:21 AM

Our office is very cold, too. Fortunately, they didn't touch the temp in my specific office because that is comfortable and it's where I hide all day.

Posted by: jen at August 3, 2006 10:05 AM

Imagine the smell in 1906, and then try and imagine the smell if members of Congress were on the train with you...Ack!

Posted by: Basil Seal at August 3, 2006 11:45 AM