Monday, September 5, 2011

Africa Hot: The Prequel

Fifteen years ago, our son moved out of his dorm room and into his first apartment.  For some reason, he expected us to help him move - and we did.  In honor of all the parents sending their children off to college, here's that story:

People who live in air conditioning are pansies.  Our son is a perfect example.  Josh lives in a fancy apartment in Indianapolis.  He is a student and I remember the weekend we helped him move from his dorm room into his new apartment.

"Wow!" my husband Jerry said.  "This is a nice complex.  How can he afford this place?"

I tried to allow a respectful moment of silence (after all, the man is my husband) but instead I burst out laughing.

"Oh," said Jerry.  "We're paying for it."

That night we stayed in the new apartment.  I slept in flannel pajamas in a goose down sleeping bag.  Still I dreamed of Arctic winds and woke up in the dead of the night freezing.  It was mid-August.

The next day we worked moving more furniture until noon when we decided to go out for lunch.  We found a quaint little pizza parlor with outdoor seating.  I noticed our son looking around.  "Isn't there anywhere inside to sit?"


He hesitated like he was going to say something else, then allowed the waiter to lead the way to our table.  August in Indiana is like August most everywhere else in this country:  hot.  This day was no different, but we were sitting on a covered patio and a pleasant, warm breeze was blowing.  You might have thought we were in the middle of the Sahara Desert with the sun beating relentlessly down upon us.

"Are you sure you want to stay here and eat?" Josh said.

Now Jerry is not a patient man and when he gets hungry he wants to eat and he wants to eat right now.  He'd been working hard doing heavy lifting all morning and he was hungry.  "This is fine."

The waiter came and asked us for our drink orders.

"Ice water," said Josh.

While we were waiting for the drinks to come, Josh fanned himself and remarked about how hot he was. When the waiter reappeared with the drinks, he served Josh first.  Before all of us at the table had even gotten our drinks, Josh was finished.  "Could I get some more water?"

"Sure.  Are you ready to order?"

We had an interesting lunch.  The pizza was excellent and before the meal was over, the waiter brought an entire pitcher of water over and set it in front of Josh.  Beads of sweat were trickling down his forehead and he had intensified his fanning efforts.  The entire conversation consisted of him grumbling about the heat.  Then he started chewing the ice cubes.  "When we're done here, want to go get ice cream?" he said.

We stopped at one of those designer ice cream saloons where a thimble full of the flavor-of-the-month costs slightly less than a house payment.  We were licking our cones on the way back to the car.  I glanced over at Josh.  Melting ice cream was running down the side of the cone, onto his arm and dripping off his elbow.  Only he was having this problem.  The rest of us had rock-solid ice cream.  I was beginning to wonder if his internal thermostat was out of whack.

When we got back to the apartment, it was like stepping into the freezer section of the grocery store.  "Thank God we're home!" said Josh.

I went to search for a sweater.

No comments: