(WaPo) – It’s time to come out of the closet. Or, more precisely, the sweat lodge. My family lives without air conditioning, except for one antique, semi-comatose window unit that “cools” the bedroom to approximately the same temperature as Dallas at dusk. Our house in Philadelphia was built in the 1920s, when people were tough and resourceful. For most of the year, the house is cool and pleasant, as long as there isn’t a mash-up of continuously scorching days and epic humidity, when the air is putrid, stagnant and, if it were a color, would definitely be mustard. Which would be this summer. Which, so far, is the fourth-hottest summer on record in the Washington area. Emphasis on so far. NASA reports that July was the Earth’s hottest in recorded history. Cheer up, people say to those of us without air conditioning, September’s coming. Except people forget that most of September is still summer. There are people among you, friends even, who live without artificial cooling during what are affectionately known as the dog days of summer. One-third of American households don’t have air conditioning, according to the Energy Department. Many of those, of course, can’t afford it, but people don’t like AC for a variety of reasons beyond cost: environmental, aesthetic, nostalgic, social and cultural. And, yes, to humble-brag, which I may be doing right now, about our greater tolerance, lower carbon footprint and puny electric bills, which are half the temperature outside.There are positive aspects of going without. Fewer house guests. More dinner invitations. That humble-bragging business. Showers. I can’t tell you how rewarding showers feel. And ice cream tastes way better.Air conditioning made Americans greedy and silly. Once the country got hooked on central air, strange things materialized: windows that don’t open, the office sweater in August, summer colds, Las Vegas, football in Phoenix.
I don’t know if I’ve been as irrationally angry as I was when I read the headline, “I Don’t Need Air Conditioning And Neither Do You,” to this piece of nonsense. I’ve lived in houses without air conditioning and I can assure you that everyone needs it. Ever taken a shit and been swearing so bad your ass slides off the toilet seat? Ever gotten swamp ass not by walking through a hot city, but by watching television? Ever had to actually peel yourself off the couch? You need air conditioning. The kind I have while I write this blog in sweatpants and a sweatshirt in August. Fuck you, Mother Nature. I’ve defeated you.
The thing that pisses me off the most about this, aside from denouncing air conditioning, one of history’s all-time greatest inventions, are her stupid fucking excuses. You want to brag about your ability to withstand and tolerate extremely uncomfortable temperature? Cool, you’re torturing yourself so you can tell friends that it’s not that bad. That’s summers version of the guy wearing shorts in a blizzard, saying his legs don’t get cold, and fucking NO ONE likes that guy. Less people want to come over so you get invited out more? Cool, you’re a cheap bitch who doesn’t pay for air conditioning so you don’t have to pay for food. NO ONE likes a mooch. Humble-bragging? This isn’t even humble-bragging, it’s being a moron and thinking it’s bragging. Showers feel rewarding because your body is overheating? Big deal. Freedom would be more reewarding if I decided to check myself into prison every once in a while, but I’ll just go about enjoying it 100% of the time. Just as I enjoy being comfortable and refreshed 100% of the time in my air conditioning. They’re the dumbest explanations ever.
If air conditioning has made Americans greedy and silly then I’ll happily be the greediest, silliest little boy for the rest of my life. People like greed and silliness a lot more than they like oppressive heat, sweat, and genitals that stick to their legs. 66 degrees or bust. Sorry, lady. Some of ice like being comfortable in their home and sleeping with so many blankets that people would think they’re nestled up in the Arcitc.