As I write this I’m sitting in a hotel lobby in downtown San Francisco simply because they have air conditioning. I normally work from home but my apartment is untenable at the moment. I live on the third floor of a building constructed back when Russia still had a tsar and the normal temperature for May 10 in San Francisco was 66 degrees.
I’m sorry, did I say untenable? I meant nightmarish. My place is hotter than the devil’s undercarriage. The ancient carpet of unknown provenance smells like the dirty socks of the scores of people who’ve have lived there over the decades, and the mostly empty trashcan reeks like it’s an extra from “CSI.”
Global climate change is really messing with me at the moment. And if you still don’t believe in climate change, you shouldn’t be allowed to publicly opine about anything. Your stupidity is criminal.
Really though, San Franciscans simply don’t know what to do with themselves when it gets this hot. If warm days are our version of snow days – since people call out of work to go enjoy themselves – hot days are our version of hurricane weather. The difference being that, instead of hunkering down somewhere with strong walls, we camp out anywhere that has AC.
We’re just not equipped for this. By the third day of a heat wave we’ve already worn every single article of warm weather clothing we have, Walgreens has sold out of all their fans, and CVS has sold out of all its baby powder…fellas, you know what I’m talking about.
There are a few good things that come from this extreme weather, though. With all the skin showing, everyone gets 70 percent more attractive…even if they look exasperated. And the paleta guys selling ice cream from their little carts make hella money for once…if they haven’t already died from heat stroke. Then there are the fantastic tan lines you get to see. A couple days into the heat wave, people suddenly have cubist artwork splashed across awkward parts of their bodies because they forgot they were San Franciscans, i.e. people who have no concept how to be in the sun for more than a few minutes.
Which leads to the one really great thing about unconscionably hot days in San Francisco: You can actually go to the beach. The “California lifestyle” that’s been sold around the world by movies and advertising does not actually exist here. We all know this. Outside of a few days a year, the beach in San Francisco is foggy and cold, but during freak heat waves like we’ve been experiencing, we finally get the best of both Southern California and Northern California all in the same place. Just expect to find sand in the strangest of places around your apartment for three months afterwards.
Hopefully by the time you read this the coconut oil in your kitchen has resolidified, MUNI and BART are no longer having heat-related technical difficulties, and we can all sleep through the night like normal humans again. Until then, you can find me in this hotel lobby.
Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, TV host and poet. Follow him at BrokeAssStuart.com and join his mailing list http://bit.ly/BrokeAssList. He is an opinion guest columnist and his point of view is not necessarily that of the Examiner.