Combat Heat: The Poor Mans AC

Combat Heat by vagabond ©
Combat Heat by vagabond ©

 “It’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity” – vagabond

This is a Public Service Announcement! WITH ICE! You have a right to be cool. These are your rights! All three of ’em!

The atmosphere is so thick with moisture in New York Shitty that you can cut it with a butter knife. These are the dog days of summer when the humidity builds a wall of stifling confining air and on a lucky day it breaks into a late afternoon early evening thunderstorm for 20 minutes, so that the moisture that clung to your skin in a thin layer is now a full on soaking. And for maybe 10 of those 20 minutes the air cools down and you can almost feel relief. But just when you start to feel that respite – it stops raining and the humidity that was waiting on the outskirts of that storm closes in around you like a noose. This cycle of heat and humidity punctured by thunderstorms every other day goes on for July, August and part of September and it’s the reason why everyone in New York Shitty welcomes the cool fall weather that follows.

Most of my life i’ve spent without air conditioning. When i was growing up we didn’t have it because the air conditioners were to expensive, then when we could finally afford one we rarely used it because it made the light bill so high. Even to this day i only have one air conditioner in the bedroom. Over the years i’ve found three ways to stay cool, three ways to Combat Heat, i call them the Poor Mans AC.

1 – This one came from my grandfather. When things got really bad he would get a bucket or a pan or a foot soaker and fill it with ice and cold water sit on the couch and stick his feet into the bucket or pan or foot soaker and make his feet cold. When your feet get cold the rest of you is sure to follow.

2 – This next trick i learned while working as a production assistant in the film biz-mess. Get a bowl or empty water bottle fill it with ice water and ice. Take a facial skin astringent like Sea Breeze and pour some into the bowl or bottle with the ice and water and mix it together. Take a bandana or a dish towel and soak it into the mixture. Take the bandana or dish towel and wrap around the back of your neck. You’ll go from overheating to deep freeze in a few seconds. The Sea Breeze opens the pores of your skin and the ice water seeps into your pores and cools you down immediately. Whenever you feel hot, wet the bandana or dish towel and wrap it around your neck or tie it around your head. (WARNING: This works so fast it might give you brain freeze like when you drank a cold drink too fast.)

3 – When i was a kid i learned about pressure points on the body and when all else failed and you needed to get cool before you got heat stroke we would get some ice and put it on the inside of our wrist, which is a pressure point and it would immediately cool you down. Other pressure points are the temples, the jugular, the inside of your elbow, behind your knee and of course your feet. If your feet are cold the rest of you is cold, just think about navigating the deep corner snow ice slush puddles of February when you wanted to wear those boots that lack the necessary insulation but looked really cute with that outfit.

The heat is serious business. It’s life or death out here in the heat and the stupidity. People die from prolonged exposure to this kind of heat and it can be prevented. These three tips or tricks will not only keep you cool but they could also save your life. It’s also a green alternative to running the AC all the time. This has been a Public Service Announcement of Nothing To Be Gained Here and it has been suggested in some quarters that this is not enough. Well then GET OFF THE STREET and into somebody else’s AC!

Props to The Clash for the inspiration…



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