With the arrival of the summer heat, so enters the makeshift fan. Magazines, newspapers, pieces of scrap paper folded in half, or the ambitious frenetic waving of your own hand in front of your face--anything that can create a slight whisper of a breeze for your head. Which, when you think about it, is always where you're super hot, right? What's the one thing people are constantly saying during the summer? "Ugh, I need to cool down my face."
One of my favorite forms of people-watching involves large groups of people using whatever booklet they've been given as a fan. Graduations are great for this. So are theatres with weak air-conditioning. It's sort of an uncoordinated piece of performance art. Some genius thinks, "Hey, it's hot in here." and starts waving his program in front of his face. Others catch on, and agree. Eventually all you'll see is flapping programs. I love it.
Of course, wherever there's a makeshift fan, there's always the person who chimes in with, "You know, that's just going to make you hotter." These people weigh in like they've conducted numerous scientific tests, dropping phrases like "energy exertion" and "heat creation."
These are also the same people who 3-minutes later, start to fan themselves with their Playbill.
No one knows if it works, and honestly, no one really cares. When it's hot and there's no breeze outside, fanning yourself with whatever you happen to be holding is just the universal response to the heat. It's the pee-dance of the summer.