Last week, New York City had the distinct pleasure of its first heatwave. We had three days in a row of 97º temperatures. For those of you living in Texas and Arizona, I realize that 97º is what you look forward to after a day of 115º, but here in New York City, that is freakin' hot. And at two of my three jobs, our air conditioning is having challenges. (In corporate speak, "challenges" means "big fucking problems.")
On one of those hot days, I was at the restaurant where the A/C is weak even on a day when the sun isn't reaching through the ozone layer and molesting me. When I got to work, I knew that I had better set up the patio because despite the heat, some masochistic would think it would be nice to sit out there. Three hours into the shift, it seemed I had wasted my time and roll-ups because nobody was interested. And then it happened. A woman came in from the street eyeballing the patio.
"Is the backyard open?" she asked.
"Yes it is. Would you like to sit outside?"
"Is it hot out there?"
Okay. This lady just stepped in from the heat outside and wanted to know if it was hot outside. My nerves were already short because of the lack of A/C and my brain was a bit frozen from spending every spare moment in the walk-in cooler.
"It's the same heat back there that you just came in from." I smiled at her to make it seem like I was trying to be funny, but really, I thought she was a fucking idiot.
"Well, can we go back and see if it feels any different?"
"Yes, ma'am, sure we can." I grabbed a menu and lead her to the depths of hell we call a patio.
I opened the French doors and stepped outside. I was surprised at how different it felt from when I had last been out there three hours before. The air was crisp; almost chilly. I looked around and noticed a thin layer of frost on the metallic table tops. As I stood there, I felt the temperature dip twenty degrees and then another ten. In the back corner of the patio, the evergreen tree was decorated like a Christmas tree and two partridges were making a nest in it, obviously confusing it for a pear tree. Sitting at one of the tables was Santa Claus and Jack Frost each with a steaming cup of hot chocolate from Starbuck's.
"You're not allowed to bring outside food and beverages here, sir," I said to Santa.
"Ho, ho, ho," he laughed. "We didn't see a server so we brought our own. I do apologize." He touched the side of his nose with his stubby mitten-covered thumb and the two paper cups disappeared. "We are waiting for two more friends. Could we get menus, young man?"
"I'm just drinking," said Jack Frost. "Bring me a hot toddy."
"Can you say "please?"" said Santa.
Jack Frost rolled his eyes. "Please."
Two figures brushed passed us and I recognized Frosty the Snowman and Mrs. Claus. They pulled up two chairs and joined the table.
Frosty had an icicle hanging off his ass and Mrs. Claus was wrapped up in a scarf that had images of children sledding down a hill.
"Dear," she said to her husband. "Frosty is warm. Can't you do something about this heat? It must be 40º out here. Look at him; poor thing's starting to melt. That icicle wasn't there ten minutes ago."
Santa again touched his nose with his thumb and immediately, the wind blew in from the north bringing with it snowflakes. The roll-ups on the table began to get soggy.
"Where's my fucking hot toddy" yelled Jack Frost.
I was so mesmerized by what was happening on the patio that I had forgotten I was at work. I looked at the woman who had wanted to sit outside and her cheeks were red with the cold air and a tiny bit of snot was slipping out of her nose. I handed her a tissue and she shivered as she wiped the snot away. I heard jingle bells overhead and looked up to see Rudolph flying above us pulling a sleigh along with eight flying pigs who had just flown out of my fucking asshole.
"Oh God, it's hot out here too," said the lady. " I'll just sit inside, I guess."
"Good idea," I replied.
Dumb bitch. We ain't got no micro-climate. It's 97 fucking degrees. I hate people.
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