How to Be a Dad

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Beating the Heat, Beating it with a Stick Until it Stops Moving

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Beating the Heat in Mordor

I can’t stand it when it’s hot. I hate it. I get irritable, weak, headachy, swampy and dumb. Ironically, I was born and raised in L.A. (not exactly one of the chilliest parts of the world), but I’m half English and half Russian body-wise. Genes definitely trump “where you grew up.” Toss a penguin egg into the Sahara desert and tell me it’s not going to have problems for the rest of its life.

Add to this the fact that my dad gave me sweat glands that seem to piss sweat if someone just waves a glow stick at me. So, I wondered when I had kids if they’d be the same. As it turned out, they sure do sweat like me but luckily don’t seem to have my hatred for high heat and its debilitating effect. Yet.

Lord of the Rings Mordor iPhone Weather App Hot Day 
When it’s really bad, the sun seems like an evil, fiery eye, like the inescapable eye of Sauron in the Lord of the Rings.

Water, a/c, electrolytes, supplements, none of them seem to save me from my fate. It’s bad. If I was Frodo, bearing the Ring across Middle Earth, it would not have gone well. The moment that I made it to the dry, hot desert wasteland of Mordor, I would have killed Sam and covered myself in his blood to cool off. Yeah, that bad.

For all of you heat lovers, yes, I would rather have extreme cold. Your stories of spending three hours trying to detach a necktie frozen to a windshield or something will only make me sigh longingly. Look, you can always put on more clothes, but you can only get so naked. And covering your body in Vicks VapoRub is oily and gross. And you can only get so oily, gross and naked before you make a serious mess or get arrested. Or both.

But I discovered there are other things one can do to beat the heat…

The Beginning

One day, Lizzie shouts to me from the kitchen, “What is this!?!” She comes into the living room holding a bulging Ziplock baggie away from her as if it was a stranger’s previously-owned snot rag. Seeing what she was holding and remembering what it was, I said, “Oh, yeah! I forgot!” and explained. A few days before, when it was punishingly hot, I had wet my socks, bagged ’em and threw them in the freezer. Her expression remained a frown of disturbed confusion. I asked her if she could pretty please put them back. And I then proceeded to forget about them again.

…Two Weeks Later, The Re-Beginning

Again Lizzie called to me from the kitchen, this time threatening to throw them away. Reminded of my experimental remedy, I leapt up from my own puddle of sweat and raced to the kitchen in excitement. She looked slightly concerned when I took them from her, but I continued on and just ignored the raised eyebrows and head shakes.

frozen sock experiment photos

The Results

Br-r-r-r-r. Can an experiment be too much of a success? One tip if you should try this yourself: a little water goes a looooooong way. When moistening socks or whichever article of clothing you plan on freezing, think small squirt gun, not Galactic-grade super soaker. Otherwise, they’re hard to pry apart let alone put on.

I’m pretty sure my kids will grow up to dislike extreme heat, maybe not quite as bad as I do, but they can rest assured that I’ll be able give them some outside-the-box pointers. Even though they’ll probably look at me like Lizzie did, when I’m explaining.


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42 Responses to “Beating the Heat, Beating it with a Stick Until it Stops Moving”

  1. Tad says:

    Look at the bright side – your forecast says it’s only 90Β°F at night in Mordor. That’s at least cooler than it is here in DC!

  2. Amit says:

    Thats brilliant! (my precious)
    Here in Israel it can be hot! Its around 35C outside now..
    My tip is to freeze a bunch of grapes and eat them all day long to keep the inside of your body cold, unfortunately it’s not working at all, but it tastes good.

  3. Wendy says:

    Omg..I’m am such a sweat-er! Why does everyone around me look so fresh and dry?

  4. QuicksilverNHS says:

    Its hot as hell here. I regularly freeze wash cloths and hand-towels to drape over me (especially in times like now when I am suffering morning sickness AND dying of a heat stroke at once). My son likes taking off his diaper and sitting on the frozen towels. But, then again, he’s 2. 2 year olds are freaks. πŸ˜€

    • andy says:

      Morning sickness + high heat = awful. You win. I’ll pour some STFU juice over ice and glug.

      Ha ha ha ha ha! “2 year olds are freaks” is amazing.

      • QuicksilverNHS says:

        My husband keeps saying “Just go barf, you’ll feel better” —there’s no way to explain to a man that when the nausea is hormonal barfing doesn’t make it go away at all. You just have a worse taste in your mouth, a sore throat, and lost your lunch. And you are more evil for having experienced it. FUN!

        As for toddlers being freaks—how else do you explain someone who enjoys the feel of spaghettios on his manhood, likes to pop fart-bubbles in the tub, would happily never ever ever put on pants again, and who loves to look in a woman’s shirt and say “boobs!” and get very excited???

        Oh yeah…the fact that he has a penis explains all that.

        I change my mind—MEN ARE FREAKS πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

        • andy says:

          Ha ha! Yeah, morning sickness isn’t food poisoning! Fun with a capital EVIL.

          We are freaks. I submit to you that you are correct and will testify to this in a court of law. Unless its my trial, of course. πŸ˜‰

  5. Socks!! I never thought of doing that. I have put washcloths and a shirt in a freezer but never socks. I’ll have to try that. Oh wait, what about underpants?

    • andy says:

      I gave the undies some thought, but after I put those socks on… yeah, I didn’t think about it after that.

      Remember, it’s not just how cold the frozen [whichever article of clothing] is, it’s also the temperature difference between your own overheated, sweaty body. You know how weird it feels to jam a cold hand into hot water? Reverse that and add in ice coming into contact with genitals. Oh man!

  6. Josh says:

    That’s awesome! Personally, I prefer cold to hot, but extreme’s either way turn my in to a whiny b… Well anyway. Mostly, I don’t sweat, which makes heat bearable, but there’s. Threshold, though… No sweat, no sweat, bam, fat sweaty guy and nothing turns it off.

    • andy says:

      I just stay a whiny b… it cuts down on the transformation process. Also, I don’t have a threshold for sweating, it’s just varying degrees of soddenness.

      My scale goes from: “sweating but the atmosphere is evaporating it quickly enough” to “fire hoses are shooting out of every pore of my body.”

      It’s almost like a super hero power, except its lame, gross and non-beneficial.

  7. Daniel says:

    When I grew up, we didn’t have AC, save for our attic fan, but that didn’t really help. On really hot days we would either wet our shirts in cold water, wring them out and put them back on or we’d fill up one of those blue toddler “pools” and sit on the back patio with our feet in the water.

    • andy says:

      Good thinking. I remember doing that too. I could tolerate the heat better when I was a kid for some reason.

      We had a “swamp cooler” which even as a little kid I always though was a hilarious name for any contraption that was at all modern or mechanical. I think of it as fake a/c now.

  8. I would say that I’m not ever letting my kids see this, but my youngest boy has already done this. He freezes everything.

    • andy says:

      You’ve got yourself a winner there! And count your lucky stars, because I was into fire and explosives when I was a kid. In the 80s or what I like to call, the last decade kids could do crazy illegal stuff and get away with it.

      (Don’t get upset, anyone. I never did any damage and it was more like homemade firecrackers. And, yes, I have sight in both my eyes and all my fingers.)

  9. Ruth says:

    Hey sweetie,
    Yes, it’s hot here in Texas, just as hot if not hotter than L.A. I have another neeto way of cooling off. Take your t-shirt, get it sopping wet, wring it out mostly leaving it damp. Then put it on. Cools you the hell out if you are inside in air conditioning. As the wet t-shirt evaporates, it cools you. Plus, you’re only going to completely soak your shirt with sweat anyway, might as well get a jump on it.

    My hubbie does this a lot and it’s surprisingly refreshing. I don’t recommend doing this to your shorts as it makes the couches wet and wives hate that because we’re certain you pissed yourself, or the dog ruined the couch. Plus, you might get crotch rot.

  10. heidi says:

    I thought I was the only person alive that hates the heat. I say bring on winter! I would consider living in Alaska except I strongly dislike giant mosquitoes as well. I think 65ish is the best temp but haven’t found that perfect place yet……

  11. Sage says:

    OMG… this is hysterical and so me! I live in South Florida and it sucks. I hate the heat and my skin doesn’t like the sun at all. I’m stuck inside for months on end. I can’t wait to move. I’ll take the ice and snow boots any day.

    • andy says:

      Ugh! I feel your pain. Or rather your sweat, I feel your sweat. Uhhh… that sounds gross, but you get my point.

      I’ve visited Florida and it made me want to stop being alive. Enjoy the move!

  12. Marie says:

    I have totally done this! I usually save it for going to sleep because I cannot sleep when it is unbarebly hot (read: above 76 degrees). It also also have a corn hot/cold bag I leave in the freezer in the summer. Lay it under my neck wearin my sockcicles and cooled bliss.

  13. Elana says:

    Just freeze the undies, but don’t wet them first. They’ll feel refreshingly cool for a good 15 seconds. Hell, throw your entire wardrobe in the freezer to chill, it’s a good excuse to eat the ice cream — “There’s just no room for it with all my clothes in here!

  14. Emily says:

    OMG… you said EXACTLY what I say to my kids every summer… You can always put on more clothes to warm up, but you can only take off so many to cool down before the cops come. And my sweat glands pour when it’s over 75 degrees out. Horrible.

    • Andy says:

      Ha ha! Birds of a feather sweat like pigs together! Or something… that doesn’t sound so inappropriate. :/ Yeah when I heard that the average ideal temperature was 72, I thought “Yeah, right! In the Sahara maybe!”

  15. Drew says:

    I’m with you on preferring cold over hot. Your experiment reminded me of the time I spent a night out in a tent on the Long Trail in VT one winter. It got down to -24F overnight, and my leather boots froze solid. I had a hell of a time getting them back on the next morning.

  16. Lauren (@unxpctdblessing) says:

    Today, driving from the Jersey Shore back home to PA, we had the windows down instead of the AC. I thought I was staying cool but apparently I wasn’t. I had sweat stains when we stopped for drinks at Dunkin Donuts.

    i had a BRILLIANT idea when I was in the bathroom to use the dryer to clear up the sweat spots.

    Turns out that my ENTIRE shirt was drenched, just those spots were more noticeable than the others.

    So instead of making things BETTER, I made them worse.

    Windows were up and AC was cranked for the remainder of the trip.

    I may even be typing this to you from the freezer.

  17. Tessie says:

    Something that could help a bit if you can’t avoid going outside:

    Thinking of making a few since I’m not due until November 4th and run errands on foot. I use a folding cart, have no car, and rarely afford bus fare.

    Making an insulated water bottle holder as well, as I either run out of liquids, or they cook in the sun while I am out.

  18. Karen says:

    My son and I have the exact opposite problem. We don’t sweat. Well, he doesn’t sweat at all, I have minimally functioning sweat glands. It makes living in Texas in the summer almost unbearable. Neither one of us can handle temps above 90 without getting pretty seriously sick. So yes, I too look at pics of snow and tongues frozen to lamps with longing. Sigh…

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