Sunday, July 10, 2005

Some don’t like it hot

So far this summer, we’ve been having trouble keeping our house anywhere near my wife Kara’s comfort zone, which is somewhere between 73 and 73.02 degrees. In the spring, as soon as the furnace clicks, shudders and rumbles off, if Kara had her way, the air conditioning would immediately pop on. But she doesn’t have her way, mainly because we don’t have an air conditioner. In terms of cooling technology, we haven’t even moved into the last century yet, though we take our minds off the heat by spinning our favorite platters on the gramophone and reading telegraph tickers to each other.

The window unit my parents handed-us-down was just a couple of inches too wide for our windows. If the weather keeps up like this, we might just drag it out from under the workbench, run an extension cord to it out in the driveway and hug it until October.

Every time the temperature goes above ninety-five degrees, it gets tougher to steer the conversation away from central air, which I recently researched. I discovered that central air costs about the same as hiring a servant to follow you around, fanning you with ostrich feathers and feeding you filet mignon and gold nuggets for the rest of your life.

So I came up with a cheaper solution. “From now on,” I told Kara, “we’ll be a Celsius house. Look -- it’s only 35 degrees out today. Doesn’t that sound chilly?”

The temperature in the room dropped a few degrees at that suggestion, but we still didn’t really have a workable solution.

Another problem with the heat is that when we have the windows open and the lights on at night, some poor, defenseless bugs inevitably find their way into our house. I should put some moth heads on toothpicks outside of our windows to give them fair warning; Kara the Smoosher will not take such mercy on them once they’re in the house. If you’re a bug, and you see Kara coming towards you with a tissue, she is NOT coming to wipe your nose (if you have one.) If you have wings, use them.

A few nights ago, we had a moth fluttering around our bedroom and bouncing off Kara’s reading lamp. I figured he’d just go his own merry way once we turned the lights out. I’m normally a catch-and-release guy, but that requires much more work than being a smooshing guy, what with having to walk all the way to the front door to relocate bugs to the yard, so my first line of defense is to pretend that there’s nothing there, like I do with the tip cup at Starbucks.

Kara’s repeated appeals for someone to “take care” of the moth fell on ears that pretended to be deaf. So she played the sex card. No, not that sex card. This one: “Can you just be a man and kill the moth?”

I thought men were supposed to give moths suit jackets to eat, not to kill them just for landing on their wives’ foreheads. So I played a sex card of my own: “Can you just be a woman and nag me?” I’m still testing my boundaries.

“I already am! It’s not doing much good though,” she replied, pulling a tissue out of the box.

I held out a finger towards the moth, put on my most gubernatorial voice and said, “Come with me if you want to live.”

The moth didn’t take me up on the offer, and I’m not sure that he really had a chance to appreciate the extra softness that the two-ply tissue afforded him as Kara mushed him against the wall. He probably appreciated the relief from the heat, though.


  1. R O F L M A O!!

    Moth heads on toothpicks, what WILL you think of next?

    I, too, am A/C-less. This beautiful home just like those which each of us grew up in does not have central air because it has hot water baseboard heat (tada! no ductwork!!) I've just about run out of contractors to call for quotes, which is pretty hard to do in a city of 200,000. I finally broke down and bought 3 of the smallest window units I could find. They only needed a 13" window!!

    When I fire those bad boys up I yell "FREEDOM!" just like William Wallace did in Braveheart. They were $80 here, which means you'll probably have to pay about $800 over in your neck of the woods.

    Keep bridging that gender gap, buddy!

  2. smoking the bear7/11/2005 9:33 AM

    Just set all of your neighbors' houses on fire. You'll feel cooler by comparison.

    P.S. Yes, I'm commenting again, but probably not for long, as you're not very interesting.

  3. Dude, I think that was your funniest one yet. "Come with me if you want to live" made me sts all over the place.

  4. that was a very very good ac huh? that sucks...there are only a few areas of town here that dont have central....but living in las vegas, its almost a sin to NOT have central. have you thought of swamp tho? my ex had that for the "spring and fall" seasons, that we really just pretend to have, and it actually works pretty well...and as far as i know they arent that expensive...

  5. Yep, I have no AC either. It's a pain in the arse, but let me tell you, the manservant thing is NOT a bad idea.

    Although as a caveat, try to strike the gold nuggets out of the contract. I find that chewing them feels too similar to chewing aluminum foil. And nobody but my dog likes chewing aluminum foil. She's weird. Likes licking 9 volt batteries too. But I digress. Perhaps instead of feeding you gold nuggets, you could just have ONE servant follow both you AND Kara around with TWO ostrich feathers. Then you'd just need to work at the same place and never really get too much farther apart from each other than five or six feet. Unless you could pull a King Solomon and chop that baby in half.

    PS - Count yourself lukcy that your woman remains coherent when she sees bugs. Mine loses her powers of speech and reverts to the more primal -- albeit more persuasive -- powers of screech. And I ain't talkin' Saved By The Bell either.

  6. Hey, thanks for dropping by and leaving your droppings, all. Much appreciated.

    Randi -- are you saying I should move to a swamp?

    Smoking -- Thanks for gracing this page with your very interesting presence, and for leaving the URL to your very interesting web site.

  7. Really. This is as sincere as I get.

  8. Haha! Okay, that link was funny. That's all I have to say -- I don't want to waste valuable time that you could be spending somewhere interesting.

  9. Swamp is some sort of rudimentary evaporator. I think it's a good source for Legionnaire's disease or something.

  10. very entertaining stuff!!

    thanks for visiting me!

  11. sex card? what's that? *feigning ignorance* ;)

  12. No A/C?? Growing up in Florida, I don't think there was a single day in the year that I didn't use A/C. In fact, I didn't even own jeans until I moved up north for college. (Up north to Georgia, that is.)

  13. A "Celsius" way of looking at things! THAT is hilarious! Well, perception is 9/10ths of reality, isn't it? What amazes me is that I grew up in the steamy heat of Southern Mississippi, yet, after adapting to one grueling winter in Alaska, I was in my element. Even now, back down here in heat and humidity thick enough to cut with a butter knife, I am miserable, despite having endured this for almost 15 years now. I retreat into my air conditioned trailer and do not come out until the sun stops takes a break, a sort of reverse hibernation. Y'oud think I'd have acclimated by now. No friggin way. It's just in my nature. I am an exiled Norseman, always will be. Nice blog, by the way, I'm glad I found it, courtesy of our mutual friend, the Buf.

  14. I got all excited when I heard Kara played the "sex card"... Like, Dude, the honeymoon isn't over yet... I was really proud of you. But alas, I read the next line and saw that you got smooshed as well. Keep testing those boundaries, bro... and keep up the good work! Lots of brick layin' ahead... The "dalester"

  15. Thanks for dropping by, dudes. Y'allses Shatner is fun to read.

    Scott -- All the way north to Georgia? Build me a snowman, dude.

    The Michael -- Much thanks, man. I hear the fiords is Mississippi are beautiful.

    Dalester -- What are you doing on the computer? Shouldn't you be running ductwork or something? No, that's not a euphemism.

  16. I agree with everyone here - another great post! I'm really happy to hear you'd rather not kill the bugs. You're a good hearted fella.