Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Heat and Human Nature

It has reached or exceeded 100 degrees (F) here in Puddle-town for the last two days, and the forecast high for today is 102. Like most Portlanders, I am an utter weather wimp, especially when it comes to heat -- all the native Oklahoman heat tolerance left me years ago -- so I'll be spending as much time as possible in the lower level of my house, stirring as little as possible, checking the thermometer now and then, and providing scintillating weather reports such as this one on my precious, precious blog.*

Not so yesterday. Whether to test my levels of heat tolerance, or just to try for a footnote somewhere in the back pages of the annals of the Darwin Awards, I decided yesterday at 4pm was a really good time to take a mile-long walk. In the sun. Wearing jeans, a black shirt, and a black undershirt. Carrying ~30lbs of duffle bag filled with sweat-laden workout clothes, and another ~15lbs of man-purse.

It really wasn't so terrible; I didn't lose consciousness even once. By my own standards, I was not very sweaty by the time I arrived at the MAX stop, but I suspect my fellow riders didn't see it that way. "You should see how sweaty I get when I run!" probably wouldn't have allayed their disgust.

In my defense, everyone was sweaty. The MAX needs a cooler lower level.

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* The truth is, I have air-conditioning in my house. I am reluctant to mention it because most people around here don't have it, and on days such as these (few though they are in this climate), A/C-having Oregonians are the targets of petty resentments if not outright hate crimes. To them I say: suck it! I'm typing this in long sleeves, fleece sweatpants, and slippers because it's downright cold in my house's lower level!**

**Geez, heat really brings out the worst in people.

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