My upstairs air conditioning unit stopped cooling Friday night. Today is Thursday and it still isn’t cooling. I heard on the news last night that yesterday marked the 69th day this summer the temperature has reached 90 degrees or higher. Second hottest summer on record in these parts.
But we have progress, folks. The A/C repair person finally showed up yesterday and I learned that the problem is a burned out condenser. Or compressor. Whatever. Some long “C” word that means “cooling is no longer taking place.” Upstairs. Where all the bedrooms are located. Where my computer is located. Where I usually spend a good deal of time.
Yes, I am sweating as I write this.
I was hoping for a quick fix — a generous hit of Freon and it’d be good to go. But I began to think there was a more serious problem when the repairman spent almost an hour outside and in the basement, checking things out. My suspicions were confirmed when I let him back into the house and he avoided looking at me and instead made friends with Quincy the Wonder Dog.
I asked, “So, what’s the prognosis?”
He harrumphed and delayed answering by scratching QTWD behind the ears and redirecting the nose aimed at his crotch. “Boy, he sure is a friendly one, ain’t he?”
“Yeah, everyone is his best friend. About the air conditioner . . .”
“I love dogs. Cain’t have one where I stay at now, but I purely do love dogs.”
I briefly considered tucking a Kleenex in the man’s shirt pocket, figuring the resultant impact when QTWD retrieved it would get his attention. Or maybe stop his heart.
I tried again, more loudly. “Were you able to fix the problem?”
“No, ma’am, I sure weren’t. The [insert C word] is shot and needs to be replaced.”
“Oh. That’s bad.”
“Well now, good news is, we can prob’ly get a replacement right quick.”
“Great. That’s wonderful.” I’m reconsidering the whole death-by-Kleenex thing.
“Bad news is, our installation crew is running ’bout a week, week and a half behind. Hot weather, you know.”
Yeah, I know.
He continued with the bad news. “It’ll be middle of next week ‘fore we can get to it.”
I know from past experience that “middle of next week” could come as early as Monday but usually ends up being Friday. I considered asking whether he could just give me a restorative intravenous shot of Freon in the meantime, but decided he probably didn’t have an abundance of appreciation for sarcasm. No need to antagonize him. For all I know, he IS the installation crew. Plus, you know, he really was a nice guy, all things considered. “All things” being that my A/C is STILL NOT COOLING.
So I’ll wait. But I’m hot. And I’ll stay hot for the foreseeable future. I’ll be especially hot at night, when I go to bed. Because I really hate sleeping on the couch. Even though it’s downstairs, where the air is nice and cool. Silly me, I want to sleep in my bed and not wake up with a stiff neck and sore back.
I started thinking of ways I could cool off and get some sleep. I tried remembering times in my life I had felt truly chilled and what had caused it. Problem is, I grew up in Minnesota and half my life was spent feeling chilled. I figured a snowball down the back was not a viable option, nor was walking barefoot on frost-rimed linoleum. The coldest non-winter memory I could come up with was putting on a sopping wet t-shirt over a swimsuit after a day at the lake.
So last night I dug around in various dresser drawers and found an old worn t-shirt my DS22 left behind when he went off to college. Men’s XL soft white cotton. Very good. It had a few holes. Even better. I got out a plastic spray bottle and filled it with cold water. And stripped down to nothing and put the t-shirt on. And sprayed. And shivered. And sprayed some more. And lay down in bed, covers kicked aside, with the ceiling fan going full speed. Oh yes. And slept.
My own impromptu wet t-shirt contest. And nary a judge in sight.
Well, you can’t have everything.