Beating the Heat | Year In Review | Chicago Reader

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Beating the Heat

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You won't find me complaining about the cold this winter--I swore not to this summer during the heat wave. The heat wave changed all of our lives. My boss, Erma, fled her Sandburg Terrace condo for the coolness of the lake, but there she was met with a new problem.

You never really know who your friends are until a time of crisis. During the heat emergency, Mo, one of my few friends with air-conditioning, found herself hosting a three-day-long all-girl pajama party, which was two days more than she could stand.

And let me tell you about this "friend" of mine. His apartment lost power. Without his little fan blowing, his place was too hot for life to survive. The cat slept behind the toilet, but this was not an option for, um, "David." It was the middle of the night, and "David" was beginning to convulse from the high temperature of his room. Reluctantly, he decided to go to a nearby bathhouse and rent a room. "It's air-conditioned, and I'll be able to sleep," he reasoned, promising himself he'd do nothing more.

But when he got to the bathhouse, all the rooms were rented. With further reluctance, he resolved to rent a locker and to sleep in the "orgy room." At this point, what choice did he have? When the options are air-conditioning or certain death, there's no choice at all. The orgy room was quiet and "David" was able to sleep--until a stranger came courting. Though all "David" wanted was a peaceful night of rest, he had long before been taught to share. When in Rome...

Though "David" was among the lucky ones who escaped the heat wave with his life, he was not completely unscathed. A week later, he was diagnosed with scabies.

During the time that "David"'s neighborhood was without power, Wrigley Field, just down the street, somehow found enough electricity to have a night game. Next time "David" or I call ComEd to report a power outage, we're giving "Tribune Company" as our name.

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