Monday, August 07, 2006

No Rest for the Sweaty

Sun WeaverI love North Carolina - the mountains, the beach, the fact that so many people I know live here. But if I could change one thing about the land in which I reside, it would be the insufferable heat and humidity that sucks the very breath from my lungs each summer. I know, I know, I’m tilting at windmills here - but the supercharged heat molecules currently suffocating my native state are making it hard to focus on anything else. And I focus for a living - a tricky feat when the viewfinder before you is a shimmering curtain of falling forehead water. Perhaps I’d feel differently if I earned my paycheck inside, scribbling figures or pushing units while ensconced in the splendor of modern-day air conditioning. But that, dear readers, simply ain’t the case. I, like many others, venture out into the sweltering thicket on a daily basis, often leaving puddles of photog sweat in my wake. For irrefutable evidence, refer back to that picture of me and the lion. Then remember, I’m a lot better looking in my mind’s eye. Hey, who ain’t?

But I didn’t log in to mine the depths of my own vanity, I came to bitch about the heat! Let’s get started, shall we? I grew up in Eastern North Carolina, a region known for it’s scrub pines, lack of hills and triple digit temps come summertime. Funny thing, though - I don’t ever remember succumbing to the scorching conditions as a kid. Guess I was too busy reading, daydreaming or being ostracized by my peers to ever notice. Boy has that changed (the noticing, not the ostracizing). These days I can soak through the finest in cabana wear just by thinking about the heat. By the time I actually step outside, I’m sweatin’ like an escaped convict at a prison guard convention. And that’s before I even get out the parking lot! Maybe I’m just getting old, that or my interior thermometer is stuck on perma-sweat. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I’m a furry mammal pushing forty who still slings an oversized fancy-cam in an ugly shirt. Mom was right... I should’ve tried harder in school.

Oh well, too late for that now. The best I can do is slather on the deodorant and keep an eye on the calendar. Pretty soon, the seasons will change and I’ll find myself huddling with others in shiny logo-wear as the crime tape flutters in the clutch of a delightful Autumn breeze. I’m pretty sure I’ll find something to whine about then, but it damn sure won’t be the weather. Not that my brethren will mind. You see, those of us who squint for a living are intimate with unease - bouncing along in a cramped police car cockpits, jockeying for shots in a swirling press-pack, backpedaling down stairs with twenty five pounds on your shoulder and one eye glued to a tiny screen. It can be a blast, but it’s not without it’s bumps, bruises and unfortunate pit-stains. All of which should serve as a warning to those considering my career path. Unless you’re a restless gadget-freak with attention-deficit disorder, a student of the moving image who‘s not afraid to get smelly, and a well-balanced contortionist with an elevated threshold for discomfort, you might wanna reconsider taking up the lens.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I hafta go towel off...


spcoon said...

i thought new york city was bad... i had no idea.

in-gun-ear said...


The grass is NOT always greener on the other side, particularly when it is just as sweltering!

But I am with you Stew, having grown up not far from you, if the mercury DIDN'T reach 100 and stay there a few days each year, we thought nuclear winter had set in. And for those triple digit days, we were no worse the wear for it, but I think it has all to do with the aging process.

Maybe the Snowbirds have it right. The older I get, I really begin to wonder. but too many people in Florida so I guess I stay here and sweat!

Carolyn said...

Hey...let's list the hottest and sweatiest places we've had to "cover news" in:
For me, it is:
Tobacco field in August
Inside a non-air-conditioned shirt factory
house fires in the summer (a double whammy)

I've lived here 16 years and I still haven't gotten used to this. Though stu, I have to say, the only photog I knew that sweated more than you was Paul.

Anonymous said...

Oh you Kids! You don't know the half of it yet. It is aging that messes up your internal thermometer. I have lived all over the South for 40 some years and the bod keeps getting hotter and sweatier though the temperatures stay relatively the same. Same thing goes for cold weather. Moral of story, Be sure to save enough to be able to invest in a good air conditioner and a good furnace when you retire. BB

jimcaserta said...

I grew up in south florida, 5 miles from the everglads, where the humidity always seemed to be above 80% throughout the summer, so I don't mind sweating. I drove from NC to Jacksonville, FL for the 4th and FL is definitely hotter and sweatier.

I'm closing in on 30, but I still love being outside in the summer heat. Nothing beats soaking a uniform completely through to let you know you gave it your all.

Stay hydrated and you'll be ok.

turdpolisher said...

Your bretheren on the Gulf Coast have been sweating like that since late April. Maybe we'll get a break come October...It's still better than freezing the beans and franks up north.