There are moments when you feel the stars align and the gods have smiled down upon you, and then there are the moments when you’re actually awake.
This week has been an exercise in staying off the “She’s gone postal” bulletin. I’m sure it’s not been pleasant for anyone around me, despite my epic efforts to remain sane and calm and far away from a loaded shotgun.
It all began with a tiny glitch in the air conditioning.
The “glitch” was that it stopped working. And I’m sure everyone is perfectly aware of the chapter in the manual that states all A.C. glitches will occur at precisely the moment when previously unseen record blowing heat waves sweep across your area and stall atop your house. This is a given.
Fueled by an inordinate amount of optimism, I brush it off and call the repair fellah who kindly comes three days later. When he announces the problem—some bits are broken—I smile and nod sagely. Yep, another given. When he reveals that the bits are not under warranty, my smile slips a tiny bit and I try to recall the several years of hard work those bits put into minding my comfort with very little applause. When he lastly discloses that the replacement bits are not on his truck, nor at his headquarters, but still in a factory somewhere in Sri Lanka, I sigh and say, “What’s a few days with a little sweat?”
“More like seven, ma’am.”
Sleeping is a little challenging with all that extra heat, but I mentally try to rearrange my body’s meteorological time clock and convince it that instead of 89° in my bedroom in a spectacular resurrection of summer, it’s actually January 7th and my heat is working beautifully to combat the subzero temperatures outside. My time clock remains stubbornly unconvinced—a total lack of enthusiasm in the arena of creative imagination.
A week passes by with my nightly inventive game stalling on the idea that perhaps I’m actually losing weight as I sleep. Surely with all this sweating my metabolism is racing to cool down my body from its hours of feverish temperature. But the only thing I see sliding off me in the morning is my freshly applied makeup.
After twelve days of no A.C., I finally receive the hallelujah phone call with a date for installment—four days from now. I show an extra amount of gratitude after hearing the news and refrain from slamming the phone down. Four more days. I can do this. No sweat. Well … yes, maybe some sweat, but I can do this.
The next morning I am greeted by the deflating discovery that the house is now internetless.
I immediately panic. Being teased by the gods who removed my coolant system and shoved the sun a few inches closer to the Earth is one thing—yes, it’s fun for them to see the tiny ant dance on a hot plate under a heat directing magnifying glass, but detaching her from the godhead and rendering her silenced from the mainframe?? THIS WON’T DO!
It’s the equivalent of Sandra Bullock letting go of George Clooney in Gravity. I am alone and silent and inside an overheated spacesuit.
Thank heavens I still have phone service to call the internet company. But the service is only available from my bathroom, which, because of its super cheery wall of windows and two skylights, is doubling as a fully operational sauna. I call, I chat, and am told the usual—Just turn everything off, unplug, wait, reattach and allow your modem to cycle through.
Okay, except I have to do this downstairs in the basement—where the phone has no service—and hike back up to report the lack of progress. Four times.
After ninety minutes, I am handed off to the supervisor’s supervisor who now recognizes the problem as, “Well, it says right here there’s an order to disconnect your internet.”
Firstly, why would anyone purposefully do that unless they knew the exact time they were going to die and hoped to save the remaining family members a couple days on the billing cycle? And secondly, how long had that little notation been popping up on someone’s screen, but hadn’t been seen because … well, you know, computer solitaire?
I am told I have been escalated to the top of their priority list and that the matter will be resolved shortly.
“Define shortly,” I request.
“Lady, I’m just reading from the handbook script here. Maybe take a chill pill, eh?”
“I WOULD IF I COULD!” I shout back.
On the morning of the A.C. visit, the phone rings and I hear that my technician has the flu. Or heat stroke. Doesn’t matter. He ain’t comin’. I slog through another day of heat and disconnection to the outside world. I watch the weatherman smile apologetically and announce this is quite a remarkable weather pattern. I throw the remote control at the screen and now have no television. I go to bed wondering who I killed in anther life. Surely this is karma coming back to bite me in the ass, right?
It is too hot to sleep. I throw off the covers and toss off my clothes. It does not help. I am quite desperate and open the porch door to see about a stirring breeze. But instead of a breeze I’m greeted by a buzz. It sounds as if my room has become the test facility for a batch of angry drones.
I flip on the bedside lamp and count a small swarm of about five hornets—each just a shade smaller than my fist.
I dive beneath the heavy blankets and try to determine if I’m crying or if my eyes are now sweating. The sound above me is bitter and determined. They are worker bees who have obviously been thrown off their mission by an open door that normally wasn’t open. I look for the smallest redeeming quality in this series of fiascos and I am left with only one thought. Well at least somebody’s working.
“Hey, I don’t suppose any of you guys have a background in tech support?”
September Gotta Have a Gott winner
In January, Rob and I announced that his sketches will be available toward the end of the year in the form of a 2015 calendar! And our readers would get to be the judges and voters for which doodles they’d like to see selected for each month. We’ll reveal the winners one by one, and come November, If you’ve Gotta have a GOTT, you can place your order. Jump on over to see the cartoon winner for September!
Don’t forget to check out what we’re cookin’ in the Scullery and what we all talked about down in the pub. Plus, you can see more of Robin Gott‘s humor–all from the only pen carved from a human funny bone.
- How Does a Heatwave Affect the Human Body? (http://www.scientificamerican.com)
- A History of Air Conditioning (http://www.slate.com)
- Repairman Cartoons (http://jantoo.com)