Sunday, July 10, 2011

If you Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out from Under the Hairdryer

Dear Helen Hartman,
      Can you help a suffering girl out? My part of the country is in the worst drought in recorded history. Three weeks and counting of over 100 degree days here in Oklahoma. I sweat just brushing my teeth. You are always so cool and collected.
                          Love to know how you keep cool in this miserable heat.

Dear Sweaty-Loved One,
          Your note did not fool me one bit, I know it’s you, cousin Patje, I’d recognize your name and Facebook photo anywhere! Helen’s formula for beating the Oklahoma heat is simple. Move to Kentucky.  Since I know you are unlikely to do that I will try to come up with some suggestions, but not very hard because I really like the idea of you moving close to me. Hmmm, let’s see, keeping cool.
Some say the old ways are the best and since we ourselves are old AND quite clearly the best (at what I am not saying but it rhymes with twitchin’ and it’s usually about our husbands), let’s start there – with the old ways, not twitchin’.
“Everyone says I’m frigid, that’s the same as being cool, right?”

One of my favorite things coming to my cousin's house as a kid was getting the best seat in front of one of these:
The Kid Finger Chop-O-Matic!

When that failed to do the trick we went swimming… usually ending up looking like this:

Not cool. So Very NOT COOL.

Speaking of not cool…. I have to share this, though I doubt it will help.
These are popsicles made out of soup. Yes, they are soupsicles.
I have no further explanation for this. I have tried but really, don’t the herbs and cucumbers speak for themselves? I believe this is what the kids today call Epic Fail.

The truth is in heat like this it’s impossible to look cool so why not do as Helen does? (No, not attach half a dozen drinking straws together so that you can lie in a hammock without moving and still drink your Long Island Iced Tea on the table beside you – though do try that, it’s not half bad) No, the edict Helen follows when the heat is on is this – never let them see you sweat.
Let them see down your shirt, yes. Sweat? NEVER!

Looking cool is the next best thing to being cool. (This is not sound advice, of course, but as Helen is in a lovely air conditioned café where you can’t get her and flick her upside the head for saying something so lame, she is sticking with it) And where does looking cool start?
With Furniture Polish!
No. Put that stuff down and back away from the fumes. 

Let’s try again.  That’s right… with the hair!
She doesn’t.                   She doesn’t either.       But I do… and I don’t care who knows it!”

Great hair begins with great products… Debutante by Rival!
Normally I wouldn’t let my rival anywhere near my hair but how could I resist the implied promise of Paris in my hair?

And to complete the illusion of cool? A nail dryer with a pretty flower pattern screen! (It will probably be fall before I try to convert this into a lamp – Kentucky may not be as hot as Oklahoma but it is HUMID… and not even Helen can fake looking cool with drooping hair and pores gasping for air!)

In the meantime my favorite way to cool off is both an old way and something I look forward to doing soon with Cousin Patje.

Doesn’t just looking at it makes you feel cool? Now you know how Helen feels ALL the time. (BTW Helen can’t hear you laughing at that as she has her head under the dryer…. Ahhhhh peace, lovely, all exterior noise drowning out peace.)  


  1. Oh, how I remember those sun burns & that oscillating fan. Yikes! Love your share.

    Have a great week ~
    TTFN ~

  2. I found recipes for some grown-up popsicles I want to make...watermelon margarita, tangerine rum, and Havana mojito. If I had enough of those, I could sit under the hairdryer all day.

  3. LOL! You are probably too young to remember these, but when I was a kid we had a hairdryer that had a long hose (looked like an elephants trunk) that blew hot air into a plastic cap which we would put over our head. So much fun to sit there with that thing on our head for 20 minutes, trying to get our hair to dry. And when we emerged, the mark from the elastic would be imprinted in our forehead.

  4. Hello Helen:
    Wonderfully witty but totally impractical advice as laughing just simply makes one hotter, and sweatier and....!

    Iced soup lollies. Now that has to be a first.

  5. Great tips! My kids are getting soupsicles when they get in from school!

  6. Y'all make me laugh so much! Marydon - the best was the sit in front of the fan and talk so your voice was choppy.

    Dana - !!!! Margarita? I thought you couldn't freeze alcohol. Hmmm. I'll take pina colada and a Hair dryer any day!

  7. Gayle - we had one of those! Somewhere there is a photo of me as a kid with it on. I still recall the way the heat smelled in those - sort of plastic-y (meaning probably toxic or in danger of catching fire).

    Lance and Jane - perhaps you can make your own soupscicles to offer to naked cyclists that pass your way!

  8. Lakota - you are such a good mom. I hope your kids appreciate you.

  9. Hilarious! I would pass on the soup popsicles, but I would love to find an old fan like that! Display purposes only... I get such a kick out of the old ads. Some that I have read I am surprised that there are even any men still alive, they were so condesending to women! What a hoot! Thanks for stopping by with your sweet comment about Danielle, she is really enjoying reading them! t. xoxoxo

  10. Central air conditioning does the trick for me :)

  11. Seeing that fan makes me regret selling off two of mine. One was a table fan and the other was a pedestal one! Soupsicles...ewww...:))Thanks for the laughs.

  12. Can't wait to see your hairdryer/lamp...What will the naildryer become???

  13. Thanks for the comments, y'all. Sherry - the naildryer will just look pretty, I think. Will see when I get into it.

    Harumph - looks like the followers are being cloaked today all over. What's that about?

  14. What a fun post...HOT STUFF! And I remember having to use those hair dryers! One time my boyfriend came by while I was under my little portable one...I almost died of embarrassment! And a cold coke out on an ice chest full of crushed ice? Nothing better! ♥

  15. Great post and I definitely relate to a lot of it. I also understand the heat problem. We are under the worst draught in years and no relief in sight.

  16. Nothing says summer like the slam of a screen door, the drone of metal fans, and soup popsicles???

    Hahaha We'll skip that last one, won't we? ;)

    Always, always blistering hot where I live. I live parked by the small window a/c until November!! Yes it stays hot until then!!

  17. I get your blog in my email. I look forward to it! Always so funny and clever!

  18. What no reference to gin/tonic in a tumbler to stay cool? My grandparents had several of those fans (which I swear is a kid-magnet) and my mother had one of those lovely hairdryers. I think I might even be able to find myself underneath one of those dryers sporting curlers and a magazine in an old photo album. Memories.

  19. Thanks Lynn!
    Those fans were kids magnets! I recall laying on my stomach in front of one with cousin Patje, probably, and taking turns shouting into it as it oscillated toward each of us. It was better than TV!

  20. Soupsicles - yuck. I am picturing tomato soup ones and that is not something I'll be trying anytime soon. Love the hairdryer. Brings back memories.

  21. I feel cooler already! Thanks for a great laugh and a walk down memory lane to boot. Yes, those fans were dangerous, I can't believe our parents let us anywhere near them! kid finger chop o matic, what a hoot!
    Think I'll pass on the soupsicles too......

  22. I have a cute vintage turquoise fan,you know, because it's cute and all? Anyway we live in Vegas where it is hotter than blazes here. So,my girls wanted to fire up my fan yikes! I said "no,I am way to hot to clean up a bunch of bloody little stumps."


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