Burned by a hottie AGAIN

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 universe London 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,
I can’t,
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.

16 thoughts on “Burned by a hottie AGAIN

    1. shapelle Post author

      Oooh now double points if you can name a store to get one in London! Preferably under a fiver. And Amelia, if you can do so, you win a thousand internets.

        1. shapelle Post author

          Delicious! Lucky the lavendar is optional coz it makes me think of sad old ladies of the annoying variety and give me the slightest hint of constant about-to-sneeze!

  1. jo mckenzie

    What’s with there being no electric blankets? I don’t understand!
    Love the parallels with abusive relationships, and if you manage to answer the “why is it ribbed on one side” riddle, I want to know too. Love the latin, always love the latin.

    1. shapelle Post author

      Another reader was also perturbed by this question, and Googled it, which only led back to my blog. Apparently by asking the question, I am now the authority on hot water bottle ribs. Dangit I’ll take it!

    1. shapelle Post author

      Heating pad? What is this modern marvel? I, alas, have lost most of my lingua latina – when I read back my dissertation I’m like, what am I SAYING?! But Catullus 85 has always stuck with me, and so much so that it followed me around the world. Weeeeird but true story – I was talking Classics to fellow-geek LD while in a hotel room in Athens in 2011, specifically talking about that poem, and AS I SPOKE she opened the cupboard to get a blanket and said, ‘wait, which poem, how does it go?’ I repeated it and she looked suspiciously at me, for there in the back of the cupboard was etched the poem, in the original latin. WTF x a million OMGs.

  2. michael

    From what I’ve experienced so far, the reason no one has electric blankets here is because the central heating and double-glazed windows combo is so all conquering that it’s actually a bit of a relief to clamber into an ice-cold bed.

    1. shapelle Post author

      Ahhh yes they certainly know how to central heat here! Unfortunately we can’t afford to have ours pumping 24/7 as quite a lot of people do, so outside of that magic few hours in the morning and evening, I have to resort to other (burnier) measures!

  3. Travis Nevers

    I have no idea what “sneans” are. I suspect the word may be a portmanteau of some kind, but all I could come up with was snake jeans. And I’m pretty sure it’s not that.

    1. shapelle Post author

      Sneans. n. “The highly attractive combination of sneakers and jeans. e.g. “Oh my god check out Gavin, Sneans alert.” (Urban Dictionary)

      ‘Snake Jeans’ was a pretty rad guess though. I feel like we could do something with that…

      1. Travis Nevers

        The more you know! Conceptually, snake jeans made no sense at all yet once it popped into my head I couldn’t think of anything else it could possibly be.

        Armed with this new knowledge, and living where I do, it’s only a matter of time until I come across a blissfully unaware sneanser and chuckle to myself.

        Quality of life significantly increased.


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