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Things I Learned When the Air Conditioning Went Out

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This past weekend it was 102 degrees each day, which meant it was the perfect time for the air conditioning to go out.  And so it did.  On Saturday, it started making strange grinding noises and then went out during the late afternoon.

We called around, and couldn’t get anyone out until Sunday morning.  Fine.  We toughed it out that night and had every ceiling fan and box fan in the house going at full speed.

On Sunday morning the AC guy gave the motor a “jump” and said he’d have to get a replacement motor on Monday.  By 11am it was off again, and could not be jumped back into life.  By 5pm, we decided we’d be getting a hotel room for the night since it was 96 degrees in the house.

I learned some very important things during the great air conditioning outage of 2011, and they are:

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1.  It can and will get hotter inside the house than it is outside the house, despite having insulation and five fans.

2.  In terms of survival, it’s better to live somewhere cold than somewhere hot when modern conveniences cease to function properly.  If it’s cold, there are several options for survival, including starting a fire, layering clothing, generating body heat through exercise, huddling together for warmth, etc.  If it’s hot, you’re pretty much just fucked.

It's better than being hot...

3.  Boob sweat is the most disgusting of all the sweat produced by the body.

Not actually me. I was way sweatier than this.

4.  ADHD overrides Asperger’s when it comes to staying in a hotel, especially if the last time you were in a hotel was when you were two-years-old and you don’t remember it.  There was mad dashing around the house to pack, followed by jumping up and down and pleas of “can we just GO now?”

5.  There are lots of things to do in a room that is 14×10.  First, you can amuse yourself by jumping from one bed to the other, while pretending the floor is hot lava.  You can also turn on and off every light in the room 15 times, just because the light buttons are different than home.  There are also numerous doors, cabinets, and drawers to be opened and closed repetitively, as well as a window with curtains you can pull open and closed until your mother’s face turns so red from annoyance that it appears it may pop right off her shoulders.

6.  It takes enormous restraint to not beat a child senseless who has just lifted his ass off the couch cushion in the lobby, and let a huge, disgusting fart rip…3 feet from the refined looking Asian lady also sitting in the lobby.

Between this and the boob sweat, all we needed was a banjo and a 'possum.

7.  Setting the thermostat for 62 degrees in your room will make you giddily happy, and will result in peaceful slumber.

8.  Hotels do not get the full array of cable channels, and at 8pm the only choices for a child are the local news station or How I Met Your Mother, neither of which seems to be interesting or appropriate for a six-year-old.

9.  A grown woman who has narrowly avoided heat stroke can lay on a hotel bed in her underwear, happily playing Pumpkins vs. Monsters, for a solid hour.

It's just like a good book, but without the words and the thinking.

10.  Packing an overnight bag when you are about to pass out from heat exhaustion means you will be wearing brown pants, a fuchsia tank, and a white shrug to work the next day.

11.  I won’t pay more than $1.69 for a loaf of bread, but I’ll pay almost anything to have a comfortable temperature.

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The next time we move, in addition to considering the cost of living, unemployment rate, school ratings, housing prices, and crime rates, we will also be considering the average daytime temperature and whether we could survive outdoors in a tent for more than 20 minutes.

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Every click saves a puppy.

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