Get Out of the Kitchen

In the few years since I’ve begun riding a bike for pleasure, I have found a curious thing to hold true: if you want to experience deafening, post-apocalypse-like solitude, there is no place quite like small town or suburban streets in the middle of summer.

Let me state this again: when it gets hot out, the streets of your local neighborhood are always empty.  Eerily so.

OK so, people don’t like the heat, so what?  That’s certainly fine with me.  Go wherever you want and like whatever you want; I’m always glad everyone doesn’t like the same stuff I like (you’d all be making me wait in line for shit)!  But as I was riding my bike around a sweltering small town today, glorying in the sweat on the inside of my cap and the buzzing of relentless insects and the lively way sound has of travelling through active, hot air, I couldn’t help but ponder the many conversations I’ve had with people about their aversion to heat.

I’m pretty into summer, and most people aren’t, so I’ve had lots of these conversations.

Very close to 100% of people give a form of this argument for an anti-summer stance:

At least in the winter, you can go somewhere and warm up, maybe throw a blanket over yourself.  In the summer, sometimes you just get real hot and there’s nothing you can do about it. Give me a blanket any day!

What a load of steaming bullshit.  It is certainly possible that you think that way, and if so, may I suggest that you’re a wanker?  You mean to tell me the foremost thing you base your human happiness on is your level of physical comfort in relation to the atmospheric temperature?  How dreadfully boring, how devoid of active thought or action, how painfully insipid of a way to think about your life.  So, more than anything, you just want to be comfortable, eh?

You know, in many instances, comfort is a synonym for complacency.  That means not giving a shit.

(I have a few readers in parts of the world that are not “four season” areas; this rant applies very little to them)

Curling up under a blanket, while certainly a nice escape from the death season which is Winter, is certainly no valid recompense for losing the ability to partake in just about any meaningful outdoor activity (please, if you’re contemplating commenting about snowboarding, making snowmen, snowball fights, etc, please read this old entry of mine, and then take a flying leap).  It is inherent in the very reasons you give for liking “cold over hot” that these activities revolve around escaping from life, withdrawing from action, focusing on comfort and the absence of the cold from your living room, rather than anything that is celebratory, life-affirming, or satisfying of your human curiosity.

I reject your argument about blankets, fireplaces, and Christmas.  It is invalid.  You don’t like cold more than you like heat.  You like comfort more than you like living.

6 Responses to “Get Out of the Kitchen”

  1. Kyle Sundgren Says:

    I’m sure you wouldn’t disagree with the blanket theory and it’s comfort. You and I prefer the heat, but we also like warming up when it’s cold. I don’t write off the blanket argument, but no one seems to bring up the AC argument. If you’ve been out in the heat for a bit, nothing beats stepping into a well air conditioned house. That blanket will feel good, but it’s going to take a few minutes before your body reaches a comfortable temperature. The AC relief is instant. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

    Us West Coasters will always top you with our heat (it’s 112 out as I write this) but you will always top our cold. In the desert it does get pretty chilly, but there ain’t no snow! The usual one day a year that it does snow we go bat shit crazy! We don’t know how to drive in it. I imagine for East Coasters snow is fun for a solid three days and then it’s just a nuisance that won’t go away for many months. I’d love four days of snow here, but then it should go away. Why anyone in your neck of the woods would complain about the heat, even with the humidity we don’t really get here, is bonkers.

    • sethdellinger Says:

      I certainly recognize that blankets in cold weather are comfortable. But I am absolutely ASTOUNDED that so many people use that simple and inconsequential fact to PRETEND to like winter more than summer. So they can be lazy, and complainey, and boring.

      I often think about bringing up AC in this argument, but it seems pointless. Also (and seriously, try to imagine this): for the VAST majority of human history, there was no AC or even electric fans! And an even cursory examination of literature and art throughout world history EASILY suggests summer has always been the preferred season. Imagine that!

      Snow just becomes a way of life for us, but it certainly adds to the misery. You can go WEEKS without seeing the ground. It’s astonishing what that can do to your mindset.

  2. I agree with the points Kyle made. There is no reason not to like what Pennsylvania offers during the summer. Everyone should be out and about enjoying it in the best way they can because all too soon winter comes back and that is the death. I also echo Kyle’s statement that there is nothing like sweating your balls off and then walking into the sweet relief of air conditioning. Enjoy those bike rides.

  3. as a human, I don’t know that I agree or disagree with either side of this rant. there are aspects of both seasons I like and dislike, and openly admit to being pretty chronically against whichever of these two seasons are, um, in season. which says more about me and my malcontent than it does about winter or summer. for me, i’ll take 12 months of fall, but this is fun to think and talk about.

    however, as a person who runs, I prefer winter third (after fall and spring) and summer fourth. your comfort argument cannot apply to the runner – in fact, in the summer heat, we runners can apply it to those who go about on bikes (coasting down your hills! phooey!) – but the idea that you get hot and cannot cool down absolutely does apply, during the act of running. also, a person can run better times in the cold than the extreme heat. and running fast is fun!

    one other thing that certainly applies to me and many (but not all) others is allergies. allergies can really be just the pits.

    one final thought – I’ve heard it said that since A/C has replaced the need for people to weather exceptionally hot evenings out of the house on their porches, that it’s really destroying the fabric of previously close neighbors and neighborhoods. I don’t know any of my neighbors – we’re never outside b/c it’s too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.

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