Sunday, July 03, 2005

COLUMN: Hot

Hmm ... this is NOT making sense to me. I need to scan the headlines for a sec. Let's see here. Supreme Court something or other ... BTK killer ... Wimbledon ... Nope. Absolutely no news stories at all on the earth moving closer to the sun.

I'm pretty sure it has, though. I don't own a thermometer, but my guess is that over the past couple of weeks, the daily high temperature has been, oh, if I had to ballpark it I'd say around 243 degrees or so. You know, I haven't seen too many of those famed black squirrels running around Rock Island lately. My guess is that they've all melted.

The point is, it's been REALLY hot out lately, and not your everyday kind of hot at that. This has been, to quote Neil Simon, Africa hot. When I'm walking a half a block to my car and breaking out in a sweat, it's hot. Well, or maybe I'm just THAT out of shape.

What happened to spring though? Seriously, it lasts for a week anymore. It's 20 degrees below zero, then you blink and it's 100. If push comes to shove, I most definitely prefer being cold than hot. When it's cold outside, you can put on a jacket. When it's hot, you just plain suffer.

Nowhere is this more evident than within the vibrant climatic atmospherics of my apartment. I live in a pretty big apartment complex. One floor below me lives a colorful old guy known to us simply as "Benny." He's a great guy, but ol' Benny keeps his apartment at around 102 degrees year round. In the winter, this is a GOOD thing -- I never have to run my heat. But in the summer, when Benny turns my apartment into his own personal crockpot, it means I have to have my air conditioner on 24 hours a day to keep up.

My air conditioner has two settings -- "ON" and "OFF." If I try to shut the air off, it's 95 within two hours. Instead, I keep it on all summer long, thus turning it into non-stop jacket weather in my apartment. Again, though, it's better than heat.

I found this out a couple weeks ago when my air conditioner decided to konk out on me. I called our maintenance folks, who gave me a one-week ETA on repair. I thought I could make it.

"You're a man," said the voice that pops up in my head only in times like this. "You don't need any air conditioning, you baby." Did Rambo have air conditioning when he blew up that town? I think not. Did Bruce Willis ever make "Die Hard Yet Climate Controlled"? That'd be a no. Did The Terminator say "I'll be back ... once I've cooled down a bit"?

I could do it. I could tough it out. And I did ... for approximately 22 hours. Then I called them back and whined until they sent someone straight out. Lo and behold, our maintenance guy showed up and the two of us along with a friend of mine grabbed a working unit out of an empty apartment.

Now imagine this scenario: The three of us are pulling my old, broken air conditioner out of the wall. Suddenly, I hear a noise. Make that several noises. I hear someone say something that can't be repeated in a family newspaper. I look up in just enough time to see an honest-to-gosh SWARM of bumblebees fly into my apartment. I couldn't quite understand their grievances, but my guess was that we had just leveled their condo and they were a bit unhappy.

I spend one calculated second examining the situation. Weighing my options, I proceed with the best and most rational choice, which involves making a noise like "eep," dropping everything (including the air conditioner, onto the floor, with a thud) and fleeing out the door while yelling what I'm pretty sure was "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" Although it could have possibly been "Iiiiieeeeeeeee!"

Eventually, while I supervised from several rooms away, my friend and the maintenance guy shooed all the bees out.

The moral of the story is quite simple: Summer is evil, and I need to move to Iceland. Unless there are Icelandic bees, in which case I simply need to move to the icemaker inside my refrigerator. There'd be no heat, no bees, an abundant supply of leftovers, and, most importantly, I could finally find out if the little light stays on when the door's closed.

1 comment:

Alivia said...

just htought i'd revisit your blog. it made me laff. fyi africa-hot also applies to canada. :P