Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sending warm thoughts your way

Since it is predicted to be one of the coldest days in several years in Chicago— I thought I would tell the story of how I fared during the heat wave of 1995.

By the time Friday, July 14th rolled around I was used to the routine of having to deal with the heat. I always tried to be resourceful and stay in any air conditioned places as much as I could. That Friday, I decided to go to Jewel and do some grocery shopping, then perhaps catch a movie at the nearby Davis theater. By the time I got home I noticed that the power was out. Thinking quickly, I put the meat I just bought into the freezer in hopes that it will remain cold— then proceeded to go see a movie.

On my way over to the movie theater I noticed the Daily Bar & Grill and decided that I would go there for dinner after I saw the movie. I do not remember what I saw… I guess it doesn't matter what you watch— if only for that few hours of cool. After the movie I went to the Daily to get a bite to eat. I was worried that the power wouldn't be on there as well, but I did not have to worry. I bellied up to the bar and ordered my usual drink combination of a glass of beer and a shot of Amaretto— I do this as a gauge to myself to determine how much drinks cost… besides, if you pour the shot into the beer it tastes like Dr. Pepper. I also ordered a burger— then proceeded to finish all of it and went home.

You have to realize that I lived on the third floor of a three story walk up and I did not have air conditioning in my apartment. Because of this, there was never a day that my apartment was cooler inside than out— EVER. Luckily the power was back on and I could take a quick bath, lay out some bedding on the floor in the living room, adjust the clip-on fan to point towards my feet, and call it a night.

Sometime around 3 am I woke in a sweat and realized that the power went out again. Without my cooling system I was dying and couldn't sleep. The only place that was cooler was out on the back porch— so I grabbed a pillow and proceeded to sleep on the porch.

I was gently awakened around 5 am by the rattling of the El train as it curved by where I lived. Suddenly a light bulb went on and I realized I could sleep on the train. The train line that is by my apartment goes all the way downtown and around the loop and comes back. I then proceeded to catch the train and sleep for the entire round trip.

I stopped by Jewel before I got home to just walk the aisles and delay the inevitable. By the time I got back to my apartment I noticed that the power was still not on. Being concerned I called a friend to see if I could store my newly bought meat in their freezer until my power got back. They were shocked that I was without power and offered for me to stay the day at their place so that both me and my groceries could get cool.

By the time I got back to the apartment in the evening the power was restored. I called my friend to let them know the power was back and to bring the meat by on Sunday— (I didn't want them to eat my meat). I then proceeded with my typical evening routine and went to bed.

Sunday afternoon I went back to the Daily to see what it is like when it is not so crowded. The same bartender was working that day and he immediately asked if I wanted a glass of beer and a shot of Amaretto. I must admit that this is the sign of a great bartender— to be able to remember a drink that a customer ordered two days afterwords is pretty amazing.

From what I understand the power was out for 18 hours strait— thank goodness I had my backup plans. All in all I think I was pretty resourceful and managed to make it through one of the deadliest weekends in Chicago History.


Deb said...

a fine story, but do tell! whatever became of the meat?
also, i need more info on these drinks. in order for it to taste like dr. pepper, do you need to pour the amaretto INTO the beer? chug the beer and immediately down the shot? shot BEFORE beer?

Cajoh said...

I went ahead and modified the story to account for those details.

Thanks for the suggestions,

The Wife O Riley said...

I came by your blog by way of Angi's.

I also live in Chicago and I remember that heat wave very well. I had gotten married that May and never living on my own (read paid utility bills) we left the air on all the time. We got a $400 electric bill for the month of August alone. We lived in a 5 room apartment at the time.

Stay warm, it should be better this weekend.

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