I thought for sure these 100° days would be gone by now–but Chicago is still as hot as heck. And if there is a hell, I’d better shape up quick because I sure don’t want to be there (of course, the existence of Hell is highly debatable–and assuming its existence creates further debates as to whether it is something hot and nasty or cold and nasty or just completely lacking in a god’s grace . . . we could go on forever).
Thank goodness that we have central air, right? Well, we do and we don’t. We technically have central air. The kids’ rooms on the second floor are generally comfortable (especially DD’s). But our room (up a half flight) and our office (up another half flight), each in possession of one small 6 x 9 register, do not seem to receive more than a tiny thread of air conditioning.
The first few years that we lived here, I refused to believe that we had bought a house that lacked the idyllic quality of air conditioning that my folks always had. Having a house meant two things to me: Central Air and a Garbage Disposal. Finally, though, I gave in. Each May (or June if we are lucky), we (meaning my husband, who possesses the strength of Hercules) install the window units in both our bedroom and our office. And they have functioned well until this summer. The poor things just can’t keep up with the abysmal heat. Somewhere around 95°, they become ineffective.
If I’m not cool, or ideally cold, then I don’t sleep and everyone suffers the next day. So last night, after another 100° day, I dreaded having to go upstairs to the sweltering heat. DH and I had spent dinner with the kids talking about “earworms” versus those “earwigs,” which everyone seems to be battling this summer. The earworm topic, as one would suspect, demanded some examples. So, my loving husband and I tortured each other with the following leading Earworms:
- Start Me Up (The Rolling Stones)
- We Built this City (on Rock n Roll) – (Jefferson Airplane, Starship or whatever)
- I Got a Brand New Pair of Roller Skates (?)
- It’s a Small World (Yikes!)
- I Melt with You (Modern English)
- The Lion Sleeps Tonight (The Lion King)
- And the Rain Rain Rain Came Down Down Down (Winnie the Pooh movie)
- I Ran (Flock of Seagulls)
- Take On Me (A-Ha)
- Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash)
- Pumped Up Kicks (Foster the People)
- I Gotta Feeling (Black Eyed Peas)
- Smoke on the Water (Deep Purple)
- I Love Rock n Roll (Joan Jett)
Local morning-ride personality, WXRT’s Lin Brehmer, claims that They Might Be Giants’ “Robot Parade” might be the most insidious earworm. My husband also claims that any song that Weird Al does is an earworm. Of course, earworms are very subjective. Some people, including me, can get TV theme songs and commercials stuck in their heads (“Three’s Company,” “Cheers,” “Happy Days”, and Oscar Meyer bologna are common earworms).
So, with “Ring of Fire” stuck in my head, I climbed the stairs to our own little ring of fire. The ceiling fan tried heartily to move that wonderful A/C air from the window to my body. But it just wasn’t working. On the other hand, my dear husband was falling into a blissful sleep. I lay there, sweating and miserable and hearing over and over and over:
“I fell into a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down and the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire
The ring of fire”
DH murmured, “I don’t understand why you are so over-heated. I’m almost cold.” After fending off the irresistible urge to punch him, I sat up. Lo and behold, about midway into a sitting position, there was a slightly cool breeze. I sat all the way up. It went away. I put my hand out. The cool air seemed to orient over the center of my beloved’s cold back. I flopped over. Ahhhhh.*According to British scholars, earworms affect at least 90% of the population. Obviously, they are mostly subjective. What are YOUR earworms?