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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Another Not-So-Hot Idea Gone Wrong

Sorry to be AWOL for a few days, but it’s good to be back in the writing saddle. First, a look over at Bugs & Cranks at a hitter gone cold at the plate:

Andruw Who? — Who are you, and what have you done with our sure-slugging center fielder?

And now for something much, much warmer:

It’s been a hot couple of weeks around New England this month. I’m not really a ‘hot weather’ sort of guy. And so I’ve been complaining, nearly hourly, about the heat, the humidity, and the uncomfortable clammy stickiness of various undergarments I might be wearing.

My wife has been present for many of these complaints, and they must have finally gotten to her. Realizing that the only other options for shutting me up would be moving to Alaska or shoving my carcass in a deep freezer, she broke down and did the humane thing today — she suggested that we go buy an air conditioner.

“Sadly, our local Home Despot was fresh out of liquid nitrogen-powered cooling assemblies. Nor could they help us with dry ice generators, industrial walk-in freezer motors, or anything including the words ‘subzero’, ‘cryonic’, or ‘Eskimo approved’.”

To be fair, we already had one air conditioner, in our bedroom. And on hot summer nights, it does make sleeping bearable — and frosty cool. But opening the door to leave our room is like walking into a blast furnace. I suspect that the heat driven out of the bedroom mingles with the other heat in the house, works itself into a tizzy, calls its heat friends around the neighborhood, and they all wait in ambush outside the door. If you ever want to experience the life cycle of a frozen microwave pizza, I can help you out. It’s not delivery; it’s Di-fricking-hellish.

So the missus relented and offered to help me pick out a window A/C unit for the living room downstairs. With enough oomph — I was thinking ‘liquid nitrogen cooling jets’ — it might even make some of the other rooms habitable.

(And if not — who cares? We spend ninety-five percent of our waking at-home time in the living room. If I have to sweat it out making beer withdrawals or deposits in the kitchen or bathroom, respectively, then so be it. Just so long as the living room is at least as cold as the beer when I get back.)

Sadly, our local Home Despot was fresh out of liquid nitrogen-powered cooling assemblies. Nor could they help us with dry ice generators, industrial walk-in freezer motors, or anything including the words ‘subzero’, ‘cryonic’, or ‘Eskimo approved’. ‘You can do it, we can help’, my sweaty ass.

Eventually, we picked out a model with a beefy BTU number and brought it home. It’s a heavy little monster, leading my wife and I to believe that loading it into the car, heaving it out, and huffing it up the stairs to our house constituted the ‘hard part’ of the installation.

Silly us. You’d think we’d know better by now. I blame the heat strokes and strained backs for clouding our judgement.

I’ll spare you the gory details of the four-hour assembly process. Suffice it to say that the very first step in the instructions was to remove a series of screws holding two very solid and heavy bits of metal together. They actually asked us to partially dismantle the air conditioner when we were supposed to be putting the pieces together. But that’s not the bad part.

The bad part was, we couldn’t do it. One of the screws refused to come out. Just flatly refused. Oh, it would turn. Apply a screwdriver to the head, and the thing would spin like a happy little top in its screwhole. It just wouldn’t go anywhere. It just sat there smugly, twirling around without lifting out, as if to say:

Looking for some cool air, eh? Well, screwhole you!

In our battle plan, we assembled an impressive array of tools to attack this screwy bastard. Pliers, knives, an entire family of screwdrivers — at one point, we brought in salad tongs from the kitchen. Nothing. For nearly an hour we fought one stupid, tiny 3/8″ screw keeping us from cool comfort, involuntary shivers, and pointy nipples. Finally — finally! — I poked and pried the thing enough to get the screw threads on track, and removed the beast from our new air conditioner.

And it was all uphill from there.

Maybe I’m just unfamiliar with the ways of the modern air conditioner. Perhaps the doodads and thingajiggies and shoddy parts are all par for the course these days, and that’s just how it is. But we spent the next three hours pushing things into holes too small for those things, screwing screws into holes too big to hold those screws, and wondering why in the hell we had fourteen parts left over at the end of the assembly. But assemble we finally did, and now, thank the gods, we have a working air conditioner.

Which is a goddamned good thing. Because after all that, we fricking needed one. Next time, remind me to just ask for a box fan and save all the bullshit. Even the liquid nitrogen sprayer isn’t worth this kind of trouble. Sheesh.

Permalink  |  1 Comment

One Response to “Another Not-So-Hot Idea Gone Wrong”

  1. p00ke says:

    You could always just run through the sprinkler. Grass, water & mud. Fun, cool and dirty. Before we had “advanced” ideas about fun, cool and dirty. Gotta luv the yunguns.

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