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Humidity Dampens My Spirit

face sweatI admit it. I am a humidity wuss. Others soldier on when it’s 90 degrees and 90% humidity, while I, on the other hand, simply wilt. A forecast of hot and sticky, warm and muggy, or hight temps and humidity --- or the favorite of smartass weather forecasters everywhere, the triple Hs -- hazy, hot and humid. It’s all the same to me. It means I’m doomed.

If there was a “I HATE HUMIDITY” bumper sticker, I would be the first one to slap it on my back bumper, and I hate bumper stickers. chest sweatHumidity dampens my spirit. It presses down on my psyche like a man-sized safe. Sticky weather makes me immobile. Why would I want to move when I’m covered with sweat and my shirt is stuck to my back in the most annoying way? Even the slightest movement - lifting an ice-cold drink - produces that uncomfortable feeling that my body is melting. The sensation of being a chocolate bar left out in the sun would be bad enough, but imagine the chocolate bar is sweating while it’s melting. Oh, the horror. And to think, some people regard sweat as sexy -- I don't think so.

Is shvitzing a real word or a figment of someone’s Yiddish imagination? I don’t know and I don’t care, because I’ve been using it for 50 years, so that automatically makes it a word. There’s the adverb -- I’m feeling all shvitzy. And the noun gerund -- don’t touch me, I’m shvitzing. Plus the noun -- I am covered in shvitz.

Bottom line, you don’t want to be around me when it’s humid, because I can be very surly. All I can do under these conditions, if I have no access to a bit of refrigerated air, is to stay very still, preferably under a small patch of shade. No unneccessary movement, no arm waving, sweaty brownot even a finger wag - just very still. All that moves are the drops of sweat from my brow that fall on my cheeks and chin, and roll down my sides from my armpits.

What to do? Listen to the experts. According to them, “Heat-related conditions may be prevented. Humans may avoid heat stroke or heat exhaustion by drinking fluids such as water and Gatorade and avoiding alcoholic beverages, coffee, and tea. Wearing hats and light, loose clothing also may help prevent heat-generated conditions. Those who do not have to remain outdoors for prolonged periods should seek cool, interior spaces. Physical exertion should be kept to a minimum or avoided.”

You can laugh, but I’m off to my cave, which I have stocked with Gatorade and loose clothing. And I’m not coming back until October.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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