The Papa Files
by VINCENT CARDEGIN
Award Winning Columnist
Twenty weeks ago I wrote about using my wife’s hair blower to finish drying myself off after showering. About three weeks later I discovered another use for that amazing device.
One chilly morning (chilly not just because it was cold outside, it was, but because my wife likes it cold inside) I took off my bed-and-body-warmed jammies and shivered as I pulled on a fresh t-shirt and shorts from the cold, cold drawer. Socks don’t bother me, nor do pants, though I feel the chilliness on my legs. I also feel the cool cloth of my shirts against my upper arms and back, though that isn’t too bad. But that morning when I went to button the front, I ripped the shirt off and flung it over the bed onto the floor in front of the closet. Something that felt like an ice pack had touched the back of my neck!
I have one white shirt, and it didn’t take long before that horror of embarrassment for the 70’s housewife appeared: ring around the collar. Great commercial, guys! Were there any women on your ‘Mad Men’ team? All my other shirts are patterned with many colors, except for a couple of long-sleeves, and they’re solid gray and blue. But I did start noticing a darkening around the neck-side collar of those short-sleeve shirts. Anyone else would really have to look for it, but it’s there, an accumulation of dead neck skin and the salty oil of sweat. Apparently in sufficient concentration such a stain can retain enough cold to send goosebumps prickling everywhere. I’m pretty sure I felt the follicles of my eyebrows contract.
I wondered what to do, standing there next to my bed. My PJ top was now stone cold, I was sure, and even my robe would take a while to warm up with body heat. Then suddenly it dawned on me. Shiveringly I picked up the shirt, took it into the bathroom, and used my wife’s blower to heat the collar. Seconds into it I realized I could heat the whole thing, so I ran the blower across the back and fronts and into both sleeves, and switched the setting to high-heat for a second run across the collar. When I put the shirt on, oh it felt so good. All my follicles relaxed.
From then on I use my wife’s blower to warm my jammies before I get in bed, and blow-warm my clothes before I put them on in the morning, mainly underwear and the ring around the collar of shirts. And now I’m thinking about using the blower to heat the bed before I get in. That, or some version of what folks did long ago before AC and even before radiators. Back then, with only fireplaces in the house, people used long-handled, flip-top containers, like deep metal dinner plates, in which they put glowing coals and circled it between the sheets and blankets. What I want is an electric version of that. But no one makes it, I’ve checked online. And no, an electric blanket won’t do. I’ve used those before, and I always wake up during the night sweaty. No, no, I just want to prewarm the bed, and my wife and I will provide the heat for the rest of the night.
Now I need to figure out how to prewarm my stick deodorant.