"No sweat"? You gotta be kidding

(CBS News) We've all heard the phrase "bitter cold." Can there be such a thing as "bitter hot"? Here's our contributor Nancy Giles:


I know that some of you may think there's no such thing as global warming, but can I just say that this part of the globe feels pretty darn warm right now?

They call these "Triple-H" days on the East Coast: hazy, hot and humid. We've had a solid week of this, with warnings to use our air conditioners sparingly and keep our eyes on pets and the elderly -- in that order.

This heat is kicking my butt. By eight o'clock every morning, I am drenched in sweat. I take a shower, put on clothes, and am drenched in sweat.

I have a little breakfast, wash a couple of dishes, and am drenched in sweat.

I put the leash on my dog, open the front door, and am drenched in sweat.

I feel like I need to carry a garment bag wherever I go with fresh clothes and a towel. I'm sweating so much that I look ill. People look at me with concern. It's not pleasant.

According to the National Institutes of Health, a person is born with more than two million sweat glands, and in my case, it feels like every one of them is working, much like they were for Albert Brooks in that hilarious scene from "Broadcast News."

The weather has been nutty. On the East Coast, we broke records for the most rainfall in June. Add to that this month's crazy heat, and most of us are dealing with sweat sensors that are on the fritz.

According to MIT's Patricia Christie, who teaches "The Chemistry of Sports," on dry days when our bodies sweat, our pores open and release water and salts onto our skin, and as the sweat evaporates it transfers our body heat into the air. It happens pretty quickly, and we cool down.

But when the air is saturated with water, thick with humidity, like it has been every day for what seems like years, that sweat has nowhere to go.

It just sits there. And you can't cool down. It's a nightmare. Woo!

Who was it that said, "Horses sweat, men perspire, and women glow?" They were wrong! I'm so not "glowing" that the only way I'll socialize is after sundown in some dimly-lit, air-conditioned space, in close proximity to a ladies room with lots of mirrors and paper towels. That way I won't be too visible, and can run for a quick mop-up when necessary.

I realize that sounds like I'm a dripping, conceited vampire. You know what? Forget socializing. Just call me when the summer's over.

In October.

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