I’d wear sandals to suppers, grunge flannel to church weddings, and ripped up old Molly Hatchet concert Ts to class.
And I was the teacher.
Then about seven years ago I entered a period lush with loot. The house and the car were paid off and I had disposable income.
I became for however briefly a man of means and decided I ought to look the part.
I went out and spent a lot of money on nice clothes and accessories.
It was some of the best money I’ve ever spent. I can appear by turns dapper, dashing or debonaire. It’s all there on the mahogany hangers.
I have a closet full of really cool clothes right at my fingertips.
So how come I’m sitting here sweating like a pig? How come with all these cool clothes I can’t find something that’ll give me a welcome little chill?
The nation is in the grips of a killer heatwave. We’re scorched from coast to toasty coast.
Yet the most comfortable garment anyone has to offer in this awful heat is the birthday suit.
But going pantsless in public comes, ironically enough, with its own pocketfuls of complications.
In winter, we have Gortex, heat packs for boots and gloves and thermal underwear that’ll keep all our chestnuts roasting in even the worst blizzards.
How come no one’s invented a self-cooling body suit for the masses?
Winter gives even notorious cheapskates like me soulful options for warmth. We have cozy fireplaces, hearty soups and drawers and drawers of thick sweaters to layer on up.
And if the wife’s not too angry over setting the thermostat 1 degree Fahrenheit above what’ll freeze aquarium water, she’ll even agree to some heat-generating body-on-body friction.
It’s not at all like that in these dog days of summer where you don’t want any part of your own body touching another let alone someone else’s.
Right now my damp armpits are about 18 inches from a Frigidaire window unit air conditioner. Set on “high cool” for the last 90 minutes, it’s incapable of providing any satisfying climatic comfort.
Worse, it’s trying valiantly to reduce the temperature of about 200-square-feet of office where I’m not.
It’s one of the world’s most inefficient machines trying in vain to cool its human counterpart.
I don’t need it blowing cool air all over the office. I just need a cone of cool around myself.
I hope this won’t hurt your feelings, but I suspect you could use a cone of cool all your own, right?
It’s bound to be hot where you are and, come on, you’re reading a blog on a Friday afternoon. That might -- might -- be worse than actually authoring one.
It’s safe to say we could both use multiple cones of cool.
Think of the efficiency.
What the Frigidaire has been doing for 90 minutes could be accomplished in about four. That’s all I need.
And it’s happening all over America. Air conditioners are expending tremendous amounts of precious natural resources to cool places where people aren’t.
First things first: someone needs to develop the summer equivalent of Gortex. It needs to be thin, it needs to be stylish and it needs to resale with a 40 percent proprietary cut that goes directly to me.
It’ll be such a grand success fashion models will have cat walk catfights just to see who gets to spend time within my cone of cool.
Just thinking about it makes me incredibly hot.
And that’s as good a place as any to stop because we’re right about back where we started.