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John Lamb, Published July 23 2011

Lamb: Sweating with the cool kids

During my weekly Wednesday appearance on the Christopher Gabriel Program on WDAY 970 AM, the jovial host noted I was “glistening.”

It was an apt observation of the stifling weather that day and a nod of appreciation for my undaunted 23-step trudge from the cozy confines of my air-conditioned car to the cool WDAY studios.

No question, I was sweating up the studio. The guest chair would need to be rung out, and the headphones I was wearing would need to be run through the dryer.

I openly and shamelessly admit that I am a sweater. Like a pig. Like a dog. Like Matthew McConaughey in “A Time to Kill.”

I remember watching a soap opera (when it’s too hot to be outside, there is no shame in watching daytime melodramas) and a properly uptight matriarch correcting a youngin’ who claimed to be sweating: “Women feel the heat, men perspire and horses sweat.”

It’s a good summation, but I sweat like a Mississippi thoroughbred in a July race and look nowhere near as pretty and graceful doing it.

I don’t perspire, secrete, or seep. I sweat. I gush. I ooze.

This is not said with any pride, just a desire to call it what it is. To dress it up would be like saying I’m “husky” rather than “fat,” or as my doctor clinically puts it, “morbidly obese.”

But I’m OK with sweating because sweating is what the cool kids are doing.

There was a time when bandanas were acceptably worn only by pirates, mechanics, chain gangs and Vietnam vets like Rambo.

Now any hipster in skinny jeans, an ironic T-shirt and a wispy beard wears a bandana – though I believe the youngsters call them “bang breakers” as they keep long bangs out of their eyes.

Same thing with sweatbands, which used to be worn only by athletes with rich endorsement deals. Now any techno-brat who traded

in his synthesizer for an iPad wears more terry cloth than former tennis stud Bjorn Borg.

Go to a cool club show, and chances are the most coveted item at the merchandise table is the foam can cozy.

Keeping your cool may be hot, but letting others know you get your sweat on – that’s steamy.


Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533