If you don’t live in Arizona, or you have never been here, today, I want to impart a fact that you might not understand, something that may seem like it’s a myth or a bogeyman from a fairytale:

Arizona is Hot, and I mean really Hot

We here in AZ understand this fact; we live it and—to take a line from Bane in Batman—we were born in it; molded by it. We take 110 degree nights like a champion boxer takes a punch, while barely blinking an eye at seatbelt buckle burns in a black car. With bland-faced denial, we walk under a sun that may almost be hot enough to cook eggs on a car, over pavement that really isn’t safe to walk on without shoes, and through winds that feel like you just opened an oven.

The Complete Idiots Guide To Surviving In Arizona Without An AC

Yeah, it sucks, no one likes it, but we’ve gotten used to it. The Arizona sun is just one of this state’s many “charms” (“well at least it’s a dry heat, amiright?”) However, though you might not realize it during this very instant, there is one weapon that acts as a catalyst to make this hell we live in bearable; just one instrument that, when taken away, acts like Superman’s kryptonite to our poor, frail bodies. This instrument, of course, is the air conditioner. Yes, the mighty air conditioner, our loving but vengeful god. With it, we can brave deserts, walk over lava pits and conquer mighty dragons; but, without it, we are nothing more than pale mortals begging, gasping for relief from the terror that surrounds us with every waking moment. We need the AC to continue our lives in this hell, but—as proof our god is a vengeful one—there will be times when you will have to do without. This blog is to help you through those times, so you may come out on the other side a victor, and a survivor. Without further ado, here are some tips to follow when your air conditioner goes out; may god have mercy on your soul.

4. The Naked Man (or Woman)

Some of you may know this as a pickup line from the eponymous hit “How I met your Mother”; however, it is similar in namesake only. You see, without AC, you need to get desperate, to throw your inhibitions to the wayside so you can stay alive. This is where the Naked Man comes in. All it takes is the removal of ones clothes, a well-placed fan, and—of course—the customary draping of ice bags along one’s body. It may be uncomfortable, and it may seem crazy to your family and your dog, but if you want to survive in the wasteland we call Phoenix, it is one of your only hopes.

Pro Tip: If your family looks at you weird, or company comes over and questions the “decency” of stripping down to your birthday suit in front of them, simply ask them to join. Their primal instincts will kick in, and they too will join in your search for survival. We Arizonans share a bond, and that bond can only be shared by The Naked Man.

3. Freezing the Dead Body

This one may take a bit of money, but—if done correctly—you may be able to make it until the AC repairman finally shows up. All it takes is a full sized freezer, and a total lack of self-respect. Step 1: plug said freezer in, and wait until maximum cold temperature is acquired (there should be ice by this point). Step 2: Insert your soon-to-be-melted carcass into the freezer, but leave the freezer door open (you’re trying to cool down, not win a Darwin award). Step 3: Obnoxiously flip off the sun as its puny waves try to reach your fortress of solitude. They have no power here!

2. The Everlasting Beer Trip

Obviously, one of the best ways to stay in good shape during your trial set before you by the evil gods of Phoenix is staying hydrated; this means beer, and lots of it. Nothing is better than cracking open a cold one during a 120 degree scorcher, but what many may not realize is the ulterior advantage you may take on one of what should be several beer runs throughout the day: the walk-in cooler. At most purveyors of all things good (liquor), you should find a walk-in cooler where mountains of our favorite amber treat line the wall in a frozen wonderland, far different than the hellscape outside. This is where your salvation lies. Take your time, finger through labels and change your decision as much as possible. If you’re subtle enough about it, they won’t kick you out. Just seem proactive, and ask these timewasting questions as you slowly check every bottle in that oasis of cold and beer:

  • Which one of these beers would go best with my wife’s/SO’s dress?
  • What is the flavor profile of every single beer in this cooler like? (To cashier, if being kicked out)
  • Do you have *insert obscure beer here* because I’m not leaving until you give me that beer
  • *Point to beer case in the very back corner of the room (underneath the largest tower, of course)* I want to try that one. Can you please help me get that one?

1. The Last Resort

If all else fails, and the AC repairman has not arrived (or you have completely forgot to call them due to your following this ridiculous list), then all bets are off; it’s time for the last resort. I’m not saying to kill yourself, though living in Arizona does at times seem like a form of suicide; no, the final technique that I can impart unto you, dear reader, is this; move away as fast as you can. Arizona heat is a vile, vile force that simply cannot be stopped, and if you feel like this is running away, or that “all your family lives there and I have a mortgage” are good reasons to stay put, then you need to re-evaluate your life decisions. Just get out of there, and pray that it doesn’t try and follow you.

Image courtesy of Liz Noffsinger/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tyler Fleck is a writer from Arizona who truly hates his sun-overlord. But, in the interest of defeating it and loosening its grip upon its enslaved citizens, this article is written to help promote Sunrise Mechanical, a provider of AC services in Phoenix. Check out their website to see how you can join the good fight.