As life-affirming as summer vacation is, some days the heat slams into your chest and all you can do is repeat the words “so hot” while fantasizing about diving headfirst into a snowcone. Even those lucky people with air conditioned houses are in a pickle; a person can only spend so much time sitting on the couch and staring at his dog.
So go somewhere! We’ve compiled a list of the top public air conditioned hideaways, along with tips on how to waste hours in these bastions of frigid pleasure.
Little-known fact: Libraries are the government’s solution to oppressive heat waves and boredom. We’re not going to feed you some line about how the library is exciting because each book is a passport to a world of adventure or whatever. No, one of the best things about the library is that it's not just full of classics—it's also home to some of the most embarrassing writing ever put to paper.
Pick a genre like sci-fi or romance and compete with friends to locate the lamest paperback possible—for a reference point, try to find a book that makes A Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian look like a work of art. It’s easy to lose yourself in stacks of books like Slave Raiders from Mercury or Planet of the Damned Beast. And keep your debating skills sharp by arguing about whether Pleasure Prolonged or Sex Lounge is the most barf-inducing title for a romance novel.
No matter how hot it is outside, the movie theater is somehow always too cold. Sure, movie ticket prices aren’t a bargain these days—you can drop $12+ for two hours of entertainment. But then again, you could drop $12 and get four to six hours of Hollywood entertainment. How? Well, stealing is wrong, but sneaking is a whole different matter, right? Right?!
We'd never tell you to theater jump, but look at it this way: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is probably not worth the full ticket price, but that flick PLUS Up PLUS Terminator Salvation? We're just sayin'.
One of the best places to escape from sunstroke meditate upon the arts is an art museum. If the heat gets so bad that moving your legs seems like a tragedy, walk in, collapse on a bench in front of a Matisse or Renoir, and space out. When the guard asks you why you’ve been curled in a fetal position for twenty minutes, just tell him you’re studying the subtle brush strokes of the masters. It takes time to truly appreciate a work of genius.
How many places allow you to buy something for two or three bucks and then sit around for hours? What do you do there, you ask? Well, if you don’t have an unpublished but brilliant novel to work on like everyone else there, bring a laptop, headphones, and DVD. If you sit in the corner and occasionally touch the keyboard, people will think you’re intently focusing on some very important artistic work. In actuality, you’re watching Superbad, but you still get indie cred.
What are your strategies for dealing with the summer heat? Where do you go when walking outside means producing two gallons of sweat?