Hottie /ˈhɒ.ti/ n. slang for Hot Water Bottle
1. Relative to electric blanket, generally characterised as either:
a) poor cousin from ‘that side of the family’, who shows up to family weddings in sneans, confuses ‘then’ with ‘than’ and steals money from Great Aunt Cecily when she’s fallen asleep in the corner with the gin bottle.
b) Grandparent figure who can’t accept new technology, marvels at grandchildren using two thumbs to text, clicks on obvious spam email links, and assumes professional computer training is involved when fixing tech issues by turning it off and back on again.
2. First, last and only line of defence against the
worst scum of the universeLondon weather.
3. Enemy of exposed skin, commanding offensive tactics too slow to wake subject of attack (slow and steady wins the race), but enough to engender physical damage.
4. Burninator of ankles.
The ankle burn I woke up to this morning and resultant feelings towards my hottie reminds me of my favourite (and possibly shortest ever) poem (Catullus 85):
Odi et amo. Quare id faciam, fortasse requiris.
Nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.
Oh, you don’t know Latin? Well, my fave translation (can’t remember if this was my own translation or I got it elsewhere, so I’m not claiming it):
I hate and I love.
If you ask me to explain the contradiction,
But I can feel it, and the pain is crucifixion.
As my ankle burns with its own inner fire, I boil the jug and put an unsheathed hottie in my bed once more. No, that’s not a euphemism. Though perhaps the metaphor matches.
I never learn. I know I should put a cover on, but it’s just not the same. I want to feel the heat on my skin. I want to squirm against the too-hot ridges of the rippled side and caress the smooth sides with my tingling toes. Why is it smooth on one side and not the other?! Is this some magical formula for heat dispersion/retention? Is it ribbed for my pleasure?
I curl around my hottie and that knobbly neck is like the awkward arm that must find the sweet spot under the crook or else be given up as collateral damage. It’s like hair in the face or a prodding knee – rejected on a less needy night, but accepted in the sum of all things when the sum of the day’s temperatures is sweet FA.
This sounds like an abusive relationship. It hurts me and I come back for more, night after night. My injuries are concealed with winter stockings at work – and what stories would I make up if not? I slipped and fell on the stove? With my… leg? I stood too close to a car exhaust? At ankle height?
Hot water bottles were all but banned when I left home. I’m not sure what the deal was, but they were almost impossible to find in stores. Something about perishing rubber and boiling water all over the children (not the CHILDREN!) and the burnination.
Having converted to the modern marvel of the delicious, convenient, sexy electric blanket with a timer (oh, how I adored on a night out to set it to turn on from 2 to 6am, just to cover the possibilities), I was a bit at a loss in London, where all is furnished, but not with such extravagances. I was kindly gifted a hottie for my December birthday last year, and it has been my constant (Read: only. Read: frustrated sigh) bed companion since.
I hate and I love. What is better – lying on a sheet of warmth, or cuddling up to an intensified ball of heat?
You know what would really be better: a bit of effing sunshine!
Updated to add: when I woke up after writing this, I remembered one unsexy feature of the humble hottie – the instant desire to kick its cold limpness out of bed in the morning.