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  • Writer's pictureJim Pfiffer

I Hate Hot Weather

Written by Jim Pfiffer and illustrated by Filomena Jack



I hate hot weather.



This past week has made me a hateful hater (yes, I know that’s a redundant statement, but the only thing I hate more than hot weather is nitpicking readers).



According to the weather experts, we’re suffering under a “heat dome.” What the hell is that? Isn’t that where the Miami NBA team plays its home games? We didn’t have heat domes when I was young. We had heat waves. How did they morph into geometric domes? Will climate change soon give us heat trapezoids, parallelograms and rhombuses?




I get irritable when it’s hot. I lose my patience, especially with idiots who laugh and ask, “Hot enough for ya?”



I just want to slap them and say, “Does this hurt enough for ya?” but that would only make me hotter.



I want to share with you the progression of staying cool when I was growing up.



It started in first grade when we made notepaper fans by folding accordion-like pleats into a fan-shaped sheet of note paper that we used to rapidly fan ourselves like Victorian-era-ladies suffering with the vapors.



My teacher claimed that by fanning ourselves, we were making ourselves hotter because of the fanning motion.



I didn’t believe her, stood up and told her so while fanning myself into a lather.



That’s probably one of the reasons they made me repeat first grade.



At home, we kids cooled ourselves by opening the fridge door, and standing there and using our hands to waft the cold air over our hot bodies.



This resulted in Dad scolding us with, “Close the damn door! You’re letting all the cold air out. You think I own stock in the electric company?



When Dad wasn’t around, I took it a step further and opened the freezer door and stuck my sweaty head inside. One time, I kept my head in there so long that a frozen bag of Birds Eye green beans stuck to the side of my face.



My seven sibs and I ran through lawn sprinklers to cool off. They were simple rotating models attached to a garden hose. We turned the water on full and ran, leaped, skipped and tumbled through the squirting water.



Sometimes, we would put the sprinkler down our pants, for laughs. I didn’t. But I did put it down my sibs’ pants for fun. That’s why my younger brother, Steve, still has a morbid fear of sprinklers and fountains.



In 1961 the Wham-O toy company introduced the Slip-N-Slide, a 25-foot-long double-sheet of nylon peppered with tiny holes. We unrolled the ribbon of plastic and hooked it to the hose causing water to squirt from the holes and provide us with a sliding surface slipperier than baby oil-covered ice.



We would get a running start, dive on the plastic – belly first, rump-first and back-first -- and hydroplane along it like seals at Sea World.



It was a fun, but hazardous toy. You get eight wet and wild Pfiffer kids running, sliding, slipping and running into one another and you get repeated trips to the ER.



In fifth grade, we got our first above-ground pool, a standard circular model with the standard useless pump and filter that made a lot of noise, barely pumped and didn’t filter squat.



As the family grew, so too did our pools with bigger pumps and filters that made even more noise and did less filtering.



It was my job to vacuum the pool. But the water pumps never had enough suction to create vacuums.



All it did was stir up the dirt, leaves, gum wads and Band-Aids on the pool bottom.



The summer of the ’72 Flood, my buddies and I would load into my friend’s Chevy pickup truck and drive to the homes of girls we knew that had pools, hoping they would invite us in for a swim.



We subtly encouraged their decision-making by wearing swimsuits, slinging towels over our shoulders, sweating and feigning fainting.



It wasn’t until the mid-‘70s that we got our first air-conditioner. A small window model probably manufactured by the same company that made our pool pumps, because it made a lot of noise and only cooled the air a few inches in front of it.



We kids crowded around the AC, pushing, shoving and thrashing about trying to get our dripping foreheads as close to the unit as possible.



Today my home, vehicles and most businesses are air-conditioned. We’ve come a long way in cooling technology.



Still, when I open the fridge on a hot day, I smile and reminisce back to the days of using it to be cool.



The same thing goes for the freezer.



Except, now I keep an eye out for frozen bags of green beans.



Jim Pfiffer’s humor columns and Filomena Jack’s, of Filomena Jack Studio’s, funny illustrations can be found on their Facebook pages, nextdoor.com, southerntierlife.com, “Full of Wit” blog https://fullofwitblog.wordpress.com/ and “Outlook By the Bay,” magazine, outlookbythebay.com. These columns are posted weekly unless Pfiffer gets lazy and then who knows when they will be posted. He’s very irresponsible. Stay tuned.

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