When our daughter’s class planned a field trip to the zoo, I volunteered to chaperone.
It sounded like a attractive occasion to spend time with our little girl and get to assume her friends.
It never occurred to myself and others that the two of us would make the journey in a college bus. The bus was not equipped with A/C. The windows openly opened an inch for safety reasons. Between the seasoned shocks, boiling conditions and 60 minute drive, I arrived at the zoo with a bad migraine. Since the field trip was tied up for the minute month of June, the morning was tepid and sticky. The temperature was anywhere in the mid eighties, and the day sun was brutal. There was no shade to be found. I figured out that the reptile house, aquarium and the gift store were the only air conditioned spaces. My group spent the majority of our time in those locations. I offered each of the women ten dollars to spend at the gift store and told them to take their time browsing. I was in no hurry to leave the A/C and step back outside into the intense heat, overwhelming humidity and horrible odors of the zoo. At the end of the morning, when I was coated in sweat, sunburned and irritated, it was time to step back onto the bus. The ride beach house was even worse than the initial drive. I couldn’t wait to exit that bus, crawl into our vehicle and blast the A/C. When I finally made it home, I poured myself a gigantic glass of wine and lowered our temperature control setting. I felt that I deserved it. I also decided to never volunteer for another college field trip.