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I experienced a childhood flashback yesterday afternoon and it wasn’t exactly a pleasant one.

Yesterday I helped a friend move (without the benefit of air-conditioning on a sunny 30+ degrees day because I’m just “that” kind of friend). By the time everything was unloaded, we were both hot, sticky messes. We heaved our aching bodies into the moving van…and then I sat down. That’s when I had the flashback – an old car, windows rolled down in the car door, the sound of flies buzzing in the back window…and the black vinyl car seat repeatedly searing the backs of my legs. No amount of wiggling in my seat (because hot or cold, skin sticks to vinyl) or pulling on my clothes for protection, made a difference. We were fortunate if we happened to be wearing wet bathing suits (there were no change stations and the bathrooms were usually best avoided), because it meant that we had a wet towel to sit on. I’m surprised I never saw steam rising from it…Those vinyl seats were dangerous!

Little Guy has complained a few times this summer about a hot seat, but he has no idea what car torture is really all about. He has never experienced fingers blistered by fiery hot chrome on the seatbelt clips, and so has never mastered the art of buckling by handling only the fabric straps. He’s also never clipped himself in the searing hot seatbelt…Little Guy has never driven in a car without air-conditioning… especially for hours on end, with your knees up your nose (because Dad has the driver seat pushed all the way back) and the deafening impact of the wind beating against your face and head like dragon’s breath in the open window… I didn’t have cds, DVD players, hand-held video games, cup holders, or air bags. It’s a wonder I survived!

I yelped, of course, when I sat down in the moving van – and tugged on the back of my shorts just like I did many years ago. My friend laughed and made a comment, something about getting my “keester cooked” before saying the same thing my mother said to me a million times – “just sit down; it’ll cool off soon”. Those sage words were little comfort then and they were little comfort now.

Vinyl seats and short shorts do not mix!