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Today there’s a break in the humidity. Not a minute too soon. One more day and I think I might have shuffled off this mortal coil. We’re not supposed to have to put up with extremely humid weather, are we?
My problems are compounded by two factors; I don’t have air conditioning and I don’t sweat. The not sweating may sound like a good deal, but it isn’t. The lack of air conditioning is by choice.
I’ve never liked air conditioning. For one thing, the contrast between inside and outside is too great. It’s a shock going from one to the other. In my part of California it wasn’t necessary. The summers never became unbearably hot and it just wasn’t humid.
When I was a little kid the summers were always humid. I can remember trying to sleep when the air was like hot jell-o. My kid brother and I had a solution. We would put our mattresses on the floor next to open windows. We would soak our sheets in cold water and sleep under and over them. We had to try and fall asleep quickly before sheets dried.
A backyard sprinkler was our favorite possession. In those days, the fire departments would attach big overhead sprinklers to the fire hydrants and turn them on in the afternoon. Every kid on the block would be outside getting wet. So far as I can tell, fire fighters across our burning up cities are doing the same today. There was a cute picture in the paper, showing a dog romping in a street shower.
I’ve been using four fans to good advantage. The fans, plus a shade tree outside my living room window, keep my place comfortable, except for the most miserably hot and humid days.
One of the fans is in the ceiling. I’ve always loved the way ceiling fans look. Even the most mundane restaurant or room picks up an air of a Casablanca-type movie with Humphrey Bogart. This is the first time I’ve ever had one and if I had known how beneficial they are I would have had at least one, sooner. It amazes me how efficiently they keep hot air under control.
My other fans are traditional standing types with the traditional blades spinning around in a circle. I had one in the living room and one in my bedroom. They were relatively new. The one in the bedroom I ran continuously, and, apparently, overworked it, because it stopped and couldn’t be revived.
This called for an immediate replacement, so into town I went. This time, I happened to be in a different store from the one where I had purchased the first two fans. There was a huge variety of fans, including several made with new technology. Once more I realized how out of the modern loop I am.
Again, I was faced with making a choice, something with which I don’t deal too well. My daughter and a helpful salesman obligingly demonstrated just about everything in stock, including a small fan enclosed in a simple box that sits on a shelf. It has a blast of air powerful enough to send you to Oz. It would be great in a garage or heavy duty workshop, but would have blown me, and my bed all the way to the yellow brick road.
The fan I ultimately chose is, in many ways, a remarkable appliance. In the first place, it looks like a piece of equipment for a Star Wars set – something like a tall, skinny R2D2. The fan apparatus is set, sideways, like a coil, behind a chrome grid about 3 feet tall by 6 inches wide. It is not only absolutely silent, but has a remote control. I can lie in bed, turn it off and on, and change the speed and motion, by pushing buttons on a small box.
I can see that I am light years behind just about everyone using electrical and electronic gear. I play movies on a VCR, don’t have a CD or DVD or computer, and I wouldn’t take a cell phone as a free gift. Just as well, since everything even slightly electronic goes belly up whenever I get involved with it.
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