Last week our shul had its annual dinner. It was in a big heated tent in the parking lot. It was a warm day for January, about 50 degrees. The tent was hectic. The kids were running around everywhere and acting crazy. It was crowded and we were missing a chair at the table, no soup bowls, no wine. The heater was blowing a jet stream of very hot air straight at me, making it almost unbearable to sit. The people next to me called over one of the girls from the catering service and she was futzing with the controller for the heater to adjust it, but couldn't get it to not blow such hot air so hard. I took the thing out of her hand and futzed with it for a while. No way to make it cooler, just turned it off. Then a little later someone turned it on again, because they were cold. I think I turned it off a little later 'cause I got hot again.
On the way home, my cousin made a comment about the neighboring table giving us dirty looks all through the meal. I said I didn't know why this should be. At this point my wife started yelling at me - "Why wouldn't they? They were watching you turn the heater on and off all night!"
That's right. The dinner was on Shabbos!
Which I had completely forgotten about sitting in that tent. Surrounded by the screaming kids. And the blast furnace heater.
And as it clicked I almost threw up. It pretty much ruined the whole weekend. I don't even know what to say to people I run into - really, I know that you are not supposed to TURN OFF HEATERS on Shabbos. Really, I wasn't just flaunting chillul shabbos in front of the whole shul.
Oy, g'valt, g'valt, g'valt!