The Heat Makes Us Disgusting

War On Heat
Photo: iStockphoto

On days like today and yesterday, we have a special little ritual. As we trudge through the subway and along the sidewalk to work, we devote all of our energy to thinking of a creative way to describe how butt-puckeringly hot it is outside. We're never the first people to the office, so we know the "Holy Fucking Shit It's Like Being in an Oven" shtick has been repeated over and over. Instead, we have to think of an original way to describe the horror that is the outside world in New York. It's always worthy of comment, but to repeat the obvious is beneath us. So we'll stride into our cubicle area and declare, "I'm so greasy I could go down an entire Slip 'n Slide right now — without the water." Or, "If my crotch was a geographical feature from The Princess Bride, right now it would be the Fire Swamp!"

But all of that bluster masks what we're really thinking about, which is that not only does the heat make us feel disgusting — it makes us disgusting, period. There is no way to endure this kind of sweltering monstrosity with grace. In fact, we are practically obligated to take up some really gross habits. Your Daily Intel editor Chris, for example, likes to press as much of his naked skin as possible up against the revolting (but deliciously cool) metal supports inside air-conditioned subway cars, exposing his entire arm (and sometimes portions of his belly and even face) to countless germs, bugs, and bits of spattered poop. Jessica has been known to hold open the ice-cream freezer at the bodega until she is yelled at by the owner. Other editors here will stand naked, sopping wet, in front of a blasting air conditioner after a shower or forgo all forms of underwear all day long.

We assume we're not alone in this, but we've been wrong before. Readers, fill us in. Are we the only ones who become subhuman at times like these? Or are there some of you who sweat more out of one armpit than the other and walk down the street with one hand on your hip, hoping to air out the offending crevice? Who among you smells his or her socks at the end of the day to really appreciate how bad it was? Who have forced his or her significant other to make out sans the obligatory post-commute shower? Tell us, or just judge us, in the comments.