Sunday, August 7, 2011

In Praise of Chilly Willie

When I was having dinner with Barbara a week before Oshkosh, it was one of those hot nights where even though we were sitting in a dark air conditioned restaurant, it was still warm. She reached into her bag and put a cloth tie around her neck and explained that it is her new favorite thing she found at a flea market -- the Chilly Willie. It's cotton cloth with a gel inside. You soak it so the gel expands and it keeps you cool when you wrap it around your neck. She offered to send me one and I said SURE.

It was a day my helper was here and I gave her the directions and had her prepare it for me. I don't know if she was supposed to do this, but she stuck it in a ziploc bag in the freezer. I was leaving for Oshkosh the next day, that horrible Friday of steamy hot hot hot weather, and luckily I remembered to shove it in my purse.

Got the car, it had air conditioning going full blast, but I had been driving for an hour or more and I was still hot... remembered Chilly Willie which was now only partially thawed and pulled it out and tied it around my neck... AHHHHHH. It was fantastic.

Just now I googled Chilly Willie (I even spelled it right the first time!) and found that there is a Chilly Willie Store on line with 36 different choices of material. At the store it's $8, but Barbara may or may not tell us if this is what she paid at the flea market. Whatever the price, it's definitely worth $8. If you buy one, buy a few because people (like I did) will see it and want one. Here's the store link.

The other great thing is that old Chilly Willie was in my purse, in the zip loc bag for about five days after I got home before I took it out, expecting it to somehow smell damp or dank or musty, but it didn't. Chilly Willie is in perfectly good (and neutral smelling) shape.

Here's mine:


Mary Mc said...

That's so funny - I bought you one in Burlington, that was made by a teammate to sell for the team!

Barbara said...

I got them for only $5 from a really nice vendor at the Sunday flea market in the school yard on Columbus Avenue & 76th Street. The instructions said not to wash it but with so much sweat going into it, I have washed mine by hand with mild hand soap at the sink which caused no problems. By the way, no need for the freezer - it works at just room temperature.