Thursday, June 24, 2021

Life & Style

If You Can’t Stand the Heat

They say if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. I beg to differ.

It’s a Triple H Tuesday. Yes, the classic hazy, hot, and humid. I get home from work and my apartment, which is a little hot box anyway, is really stifling. This is unavoidable. I get all sun all day with not even a leaf of shade. Most of the time, it’s okay. On those days when the temperature soars into the 90s and the dew point is ridiculously high, however, it’s like living in the Amazon. My window-unit air conditioner tries like The Little Engine That Could to cool things off. I-think-I-can, I-think-I-can. But guess what? It can’t.

As I go inside my apartment from the wet-wool-blanket feel of the outdoors I realize that it’s not much better inside than out. It’s jungle hot in here. There should be howler monkeys swinging from the shower curtain rod and an anaconda sunning itself in the middle of the living room. I could grow orchids and giant, mutant palms in here. I could start my own equatorial ecosystem.

Wolfgang, my long-haired Russian blue cat, is sprawled directly in front of the biggest fan. His fur blows crazily as he rolls onto his back to get the cool breeze on his belly. He’s made for the snows of Siberia, not the heat of my apartment/greenhouse.

It’s on days like this that I find a place to go until the sun retreats and the apartment cools so that it’s merely balmy rather than baking. Thankfully, I’ve signed up to go to a Taste of Latin America Night at a favorite restaurant. This means sitting in central air conditioning eating great food that someone else has spent time in the heat cooking. Perfect.

I need to refresh my lipstick and change out of work clothes into something cooler and more festive. My bathroom, which is the farthest room from the air conditioner, is the hottest room of all. Can I put lipstick on or will it simply melt and slide off my face? What happens if I put it on and it ends up on my shoe before I even get out of the door? What happens if I have an epic deodorant fail because no deodorant was invented yet that will cover one in conditions that more resemble the climate of Mercury than that of Earth? I reapply liberally and hope for the best.

I meet The King of Crass early at a local pub before going to the event. This lets me leave my apartment as soon as I refresh myself and feed Wolfgang, who, no matter how hot it is, always wants to eat. Food doesn’t interest me right now. I want something to drink. Something cold with a lot of ice. I order a dark n’ stormy and it comes to me in a tall glass. It’s dark, all right. Dark as the Devil’s pupils. Ice cubes float in it like happy little bergs, though, ready to cool me from the inside out.

The King of Crass and I have our drinks and then go to the restaurant. There we meet up with more friends and we all eat our weight in wonderful food. What would I be doing on a Tuesday in February? I know exactly what I’d be doing. I’d be curled up with Wolfgang on the couch, wearing a sweatshirt and big socks, reading a book.

Nice, but boring.

The food at the Taste of Latin America Night is delicious. After it’s all put away, everyone dances to salsa music in the middle of the restaurant.

Is this really a Tuesday?

Tuesday in summer. Dark ‘n stormy. Someone else’s cooking. Dancing to salsa.

There’s only one rule I follow when it comes to this time of year: If I can’t stand the heat, I stay in the kitchen. I just make sure it’s someone else’s kitchen.

Juliana Gribbins is a writer who believes that absurdity is the spice of life. Her book Date Expectations is winner of the 2016 IPPY silver medal for humor. Write to her at Read more of her columns at

Juliana Gribbins is the Columnist for Zip06. Email Juliana at .

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