Thursday 21 July 2011

My Sweaty Eastern Friends

My heart goes out to the friends and family of mine that live in eastern Canada and are suffering through this heat wave. I know, there are a lot of people that just love the heat and would take it over the ice and snow any day. I guess that is true, but I would bet all the money you have in your pocket those people don’t work outside or live without an air conditioner.

I can remember playing work-up baseball on a hot summer day in Toronto. When you ran from base to base each time your foot touched down a little puff of dust would shoot up. The grass was so dry that it felt that it were breaking when you walked on it. No one wore shorts that I can remember, or had a water bottle with them. We would just sweat and if we were lucky they would be watering the school yard.

The sprinklers were the type that shot out a stream of water at close to the speed of light and would continuously rotate covering a huge area. No one would even run through the stream of these things for fear of broken bones or being blown around like a piece of paper.

Only the very bravest would dare to try and drink from these man killers! When I say bravest, I really mean the stupidest. I often attempted to quench my thirst. The problem was that the water came out at such a speed you couldn’t capture any in your mouth or even your hands. Thinking back, it is a wonder someone didn’t put out an eye.

Maybe that is one of the reasons our moms would tell us to “be careful or you will put out an eye.” Moms were a little single minded when it came to bodily injuries. They thought nothing of it when we were swinging to the top of the arc at the school swing set and jumping off so that we could feel for just a minute what it was to be Superman. The Superman part was over too quickly, but just as in the comic books we would definitely “SPLAT”.

I remember taking lessons at outdoor pools at around and standing at the edge just shivering with my lips turning blue. I can’t imagine it would be cold at all, probably about 24ยบ C. We had the lessons early so that the pool would be open for the public at a reasonable time.

We seemed to spend the whole summer outside, and every day we would return from play with sweat streaks in the dirt on our skin.

You know, back then no one had air conditioning. Maybe some theatres had it, but AC was unheard of in homes. I can remember my dad would go to work every day in a suit coat to an office downtown and there was no AC. It must have been hell! I worked in more than a few warehouses and the only air conditioning that we had was to leave the doors open, and at break time we could sit outside in the shade. I don’t think we were tougher back then, but there just wasn’t any other option. What is that saying? “Everybody complains about the weather, but no one does anything about it.” It is nice to know that someone did do something and invented central air conditioning. I checked, and whoever it was didn’t win the Nobel Prize. Okay, I just checked, his name was Willis Haviland Carrier and if he weren’t dead I would kiss him.

So my sweaty eastern friends, I guess my advice to you is to stay cool and seek out shade and air conditioning. Be tolerant of each other, use lots of deodorant, drink plenty of fluids, if you can avoid strenuous activity then do so and for the love of God keep that awful weather out east!

1 comment:

  1. Are you sure we didn't live and play on the same street in Winnipeg in the 50's and 60's. I guess us boomers all tell the same story over and over. But your right shade was a looked for area that you and your friends would spend many a hour under with a RC Cola in hand! B