Thursday, July 21, 2011

How to Stay Cool on Metro

Now that we’re in a three-day cone of thermodynamical torture, here are tips on staying cool while riding Metro. None of these tips will work when you’re on a packed train, but then again, it’s your fault for not waiting all of three minutes for the much emptier train behind it.

1. Stuff your bladder. Guzzle the coldest water you can find before heading into the station to cool your core. If your platform is outside when temperatures are more than 100 degrees and humidity is off the charts, well then, it sucks to be you now doesn’t it?

2. Cannonball run. Find the nearest community pool and do a wicked cannonball splash entry. Now that you’re soaking wet, you’ll be nice and cool for the walk to the station.


3. Find your vents. As indoor stations allow, go as far to the end of the platform as possible and find vents in station sign columns and underneath escalators. The vents should be pumping out cool air. I don’t know if the air is all that clean for your lungs, but it sure feels good. Best of all, broken escalators don’t guarantee broken vents.

4. Gatorade shower. Have two friends follow you around with a Gatorade jug. After you achieve a high score in Angry Birds, have them douse you with it like a football coach. You’ll be sticky, cool, and all sorts of lemon-lime awesome.

Bill Parcells and the 1986 New York Giants knew the secret to sticky coolness.

5. Remain still. While standing next to a vent, it helps if you don’t move. Nothing raises your sweat rate faster than burning calories. Remember, fanning yourself actually makes you said “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”!

6. Find that fire hose. Open valves to the Metro station fire hose and douse yourself. Spray water on everyone else too. Trust me, they’ll appreciate it.  The hose should have enough pressure that you don't have to place your thumb on the end to make a stronger stream like your garden hose.

7. Enter the first car. This will be air conditioned because the operator’s in there.  The 2nd car may also be an option because Metro cars are air-conditioned in pairs, but that’s assuming a lot about Metro’s mechanical reliability.

8. Freon immunization. Unhook the Freon tubing from the train and start drinking. If Freon keeps cars, trains, and refrigerators cool, just think what it’ll do for your intestines!

When I want to cool down, I drink dichlorodifluoromethane.

9. Find a seat. Save energy and calories by sitting because it’s easier than standing.  Surely your feet hurt from sitting in a cubicle all day. If you'll be going above ground, pick seats on the side of the train away from the sun.  If there are no seats, then enjoy Metro’s summertime eau de toilette, “Those Without Deodorant”.

9a. Avoid hot thighs.  If two seats are open together, grab the aisle seat and remain there until someone else wants to sit. Then take the window seat whose cushion will be cooler because nobody’s thighs were heating it up in the meantime.  I might be overthinking this.

9b. Back off. Try sitting forward so that your back isn’t pressed to the cushion. This will give it just a little more space to breathe and sweat itself out. Though, if you’re like me, your back sweats in perpetuity no matter what you do. Anybody invented back antiperspirant yet?

10. Pray. Remember that hell will never be as bad as standing armpit-to-armpit in a Metro train that’s stopped above ground for a schedule adjustment in July and August.

This is hell...stuck in a booth with sweaty Dick Vitale at a duke game.

11. Grab some metal. When you’re in an air-conditioned car with metal handlebars, grab any free handlebar space. The bar should be cool to the touch. Better yet, place the bottom of your wrists or entire forearm along a bar to better cool your blood. It’s biology, trust me, I’m a doctor. Keep touching other bars that feel cool, but be sure to shower in Purell when you get home.

12. Drive. Why are you taking Metro when it’s so freakin’ hot outside?! Instead, drive around in a motorized air conditioned metal box. It won’t be cheaper, better for the environment, easier, or safer, but it’s cool.

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