Humidity collects on your tongue. It fills up your ear drums and waters your eyes.
Deep in Massachusetts, a week or so ago, it was almost unbearable and the wind screaming through both open windows did absolutely nothing except blow the dead, lifeless air around in pointless circles.
It was a ploy, it was a plan, it was an attempt to save money. Just another good old fashioned rope-a-dope-, another dodgy attempt to beat the system. I would use the air conditioning only at specific times and for the rest of the trip- this applied to the trip up as well- I would go windows down, thus saving some fuel and yes, saving some money.
But do you know what drafting is?
I do. But I didn't, not at the time. Or if anything, I definitely didn't think about. Really, the only time I've even heard the word drafting in the last few months was on The Office when Ed Helms was using Kevin for drafting.
Just crossing into Connecticut, Dad called up. His news was quick, right to the point. Here's the thing, drafting causes a car to get worst gas mileage and using the air conditioner is actually better.
This flew directly in the face of every dirty little thing I had been told about driving with the air conditioner on...for my entire life. It had always been preached- the message simple- using the air conditioner uses gas. Therefore, if you wanted to save gas, you leave the windows open and turn the air conditioner off. But now, Dad was singing a different tune, one that would increase my comfort level exponentially.
Use the air conditioner and travel with the windows up.
I asked him what was the difference, what was the...er...cost differential between driving with the windows up and the a/c on and driving with the a/c off and the windows down?
- Well, you can keep the air conditioner on low, he said. You don't have to blast it. You get it nice and cold and then turn it down to one or two. That's not using much gas.
So for the rest of the trip, I rode not only in comfort, but while watching as the needle for the gas tank didn't move nearly as fast as it had been earlier. I couldn't help but think of those trips down to Baltimore in the summer, seeing the temperature go over a hundred, but being too cheap to use the air conditioner. So I just sweat, sweated it out like the dumb, bull headed American I was. Not the smooth, well-versed American I am now. A chilled off American with better gas mileage and a non-messed up head of hair. Whipping through New York and into Dirty Jerz, I bombed in and out of traffic, smiling as I passed foolish bastards cruising with their windows down.
- Don't you foolish bastards know anything about drafting? I'd almost yell to them.
To hell with drafting. I've got a/c, baby.
It should be noted that while Dad's change of heart is suspect in regards to timing, it should not at all be considered any kind of flip flopping, even though he did suddenly change his stance on ways to save gas mileage and staying cool. I know this is America and flip flopping is not something that we tend to side with. But really, it's just my Dad tailoring his message to the shifting demographic in his principle audience (i.e. Erin and me.) We're older now- we're dumb. We drive fast. He knows that and so he also knew that drafting was going to become a problem. So naturally we were going to have abandon the late 90's pro-windows open rhetoric and go with the more updated, pro-air conditioning stance he was taking now.
It is times exactly like this when I truly believe my Dad is a genius.
But then I hear how he watched Hairspray again with my Mom and I think, well nobody's perfect.
Some are just closer than others.
Sidenote 1: Roommate search is over. There is now the promise of multiple fish tanks in the apartment. This is something I'm pretty stoked about.