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Why It IS The Heat And Not The Humidity

Updated on July 28, 2009


I live in Las Vegas. I grew up in Arizona so I know more than a little something about heat. I also lived in Delaware for eleven years so I know something about humidity as well. The old cliché that it’s not the heat it’s the humidity is a load of crap, especially when it’s 110 degrees outside. So while some people may subscribe to the humidity argument, I do not. Why it IS the heat and not the humidity – Don’t Get Me Started!

I just love it when people say, “Yeah but it’s a dry heat there in the desert, not like we have here on the east coast.” You’re absolutely right. It IS a dry heat but do me a favor and turn your oven up to about 100 degrees and wait for the buzzer to go off to let you know that it’s reached the correct temperature. Next, I want you to stick your head in said oven. As your hair and eyebrows singe off I want you to remember that this is a dry heat too. Then tell me about how a dry heat isn’t so bad. (Disclaimer: placing your head in anything including an oven is stupid. Don’t do it because I said so, if I told you to jump off a bridge would you do that too?)

I’ll admit that I have a very low tolerance for humidity myself. I have no idea for example how people live in places like Florida. I know that there are Jews and every other ethnic group that swear by it but to me you constantly feel as though you’re sitting on a damp washcloth the entire time you’re there, your body feels so bloated that you wish for a “squeezing room” like the one they sent the girl blueberry to in Willy Wonka and forget doing business or having to hold onto a piece of paper because every piece of paper is as slimy as if it came out of someone’s sweaty butt crack. I remember the first time I was in Florida on business and I had to use two hands to hold up two corners of the fax because the paper was falling limp within my grasp.

On the other end of the spectrum is the heat that you experience in Arizona and Nevada. I remember growing up as a kid that you would wait every year until the newspaper carried the story that someone had actually been able to fry an egg on the sidewalk. (Incidentally they never told you if anyone ever ate the fried egg but I guess that wasn’t an important part of the story.) Back in my early childhood the cars didn’t have fancy “clickers” that would allow you to lock or unlock a car from a distance. No, you had to put the key in to unlock the car and then put your hand on the car door and open the door. This was a metal handle that would get so hot in the summer that people actually would tie pot holders to their door handles so as to be able to open them without third degree burns. And while a kid might think it funny to see a car driving down the road with pot holders flapping in the breeze, adults knew it was better for your car to look a little ridiculous than to have your skin as a detail on the handle of the car.

I don’t know if it’s because my mother and her mother used Aqua Net, completely depleting the ozone layer for the sake of their beehive hairdos or if it’s simply a matter of my age but I can’t take the heat anymore be it humid or dry. It’s sort of like when I figured out that smoking pot just made me really sleepy. No real high, just a need to find a couch somewhere so that I could fall asleep with the overturned Pringles can over my mouth and the crumbs falling where they may. Heat makes me really tired. I don’t get excited about getting a “healthy glow” or tan, I just feel as though I need to find somewhere inside to crash and have myself hooked up to an IV for hydration. This past weekend was crazy hot and when a friend asked me what I did my response was more than they had bargained for, “I lived the life of my cats today. I didn’t go outside, I didn’t even open the drapes, I just slept, ate and shit. That was about it.”  So you see, it’s not always about the humidity, sometimes it’s about the heat. Why it IS the heat and not the humidity – Don’t Get Me Started!

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    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 8 years ago from Las Vegas

      Stacie - OMG yes!!! I remember constantly trying to adjust the cheap beach towel under my ass so as to not have my naked legs from my shorts touch the leather seats that were like a griddle! Thanks for reminding me!

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 8 years ago from Seattle

      Remember how the car seats would get super hot too? I remember having to put towels down on the seats in my mom's car so that we didn't burn ourselves.